Rocks Off's Kim Douglass wrote this about The Niceguys almost one year ago to the day. If you're not familiar with them, you should read it, because then we don't have to do the perfunctory "This Is How They Got Started, This Is Why They're Different Then Every Other Group In Crisp Jeans And Bright Shirts" bit.
There are four Niceguys in total; two producers (Free and Christolph), one DJ (Candlestick) and one rapper (Yves Saint). And they all appear to be very talented.
A few days ago (is 16 days "a few"?) the video for the group's "Not At All" single showed up in our inbox. We watched it. Then we watched it again. And again. And again. It's good. And funny. So we took some notes. Then we tried for a few hours to get one of these guys who are nice on the phone last night.
Then we found one. It was Yves. Which was good, because that's the one we were hoping for. He was drinking alcohol and watching Fight Club. He answered the questions that we asked. He talks fast, which is a little intimidating, and he answers questions with questions, which is a little intimidating too. He didn't say anything that we weren't expecting, although we're fairly certain he lied about the number of Jay-Z albums he owns.
We said the phrase "okay, okay" a lot more than we would've liked. Then we got off the phone and incorporated notes from the interview into the notes from the video. Hit the jump to see those notes.
• This is a nice, earthy, well-constructed beat. It's new but old, if that makes any sense. And it's calm, but can be a little overpowering if you're used to listening to more scaled back stuff. You see H.I.S.D. do this sort of thing a lot, though they don't really flex their R&B muscles as much as Jack Freeman does here.
• Freeman, by the way, is excellent here. He crushes the hook. Plus, he looks like it really, really hurts him to sing. That might actually be a requisite to be a soul singer. That and a scruffy beard. And being short. Why do all those guys look like that?
• Oh, also, part of the reason Freeman is so likeable is because he kind of looks like a smaller version of LeBron James. And sounds like a bigger version of Anthony Hamilton.
• Sorry about the back-to-back-to-back Freeman bullets. We very possibly might be in love with him.
• Also, notice the Evesborough Films byline? It's the company of director Danny Ocean. If you see it on something, chances are that it's not going to suck. He could shoot a video for 2 Girls 1 Cup and it'd be ill.
• This might be the first time in the history of rap a rapper took a shot at skim milk. Bravo to Yves Saint for that one.
• Also, notice Yves opens up with the "Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?" line. It's a nice little hat tip to some of the blogs/anonymous commenters that questioned The Nice Guys' musical ability not too long ago.
And if you took the line, as well as the fact that he kinda goes into Hova mode a time or two, to draw an assumption that Yves owns six or seven Jay-Z albums, you'd be absolutely wrong. He says he owns zero. Though that may be a bit like when we tell our wives that we own zero porn; technically that's true, but only technically.
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• The scribbles that are on the video, Montana from ATW did 'em. Remember their video where he did the same thing? It's a neat little trick. And just as much a part of what it is that makes this video a winner as the actual performers. It'd be nice if they made some new music soon.
• Regarding the How To Make A Rap Video aspect, they just about nailed it here. They hit some very important rap-video requisites. The "funny moment," the "group laugh," the "intensity," the "six or seven people nodding their heads in unison," the "white girls," the "artsy shot," the "all black everything" shot, they all make appearances.
Some shots that they missed though: "Girl Walking In Front A Car In Slow Motion"; the "Liquor Pouring In Slowing Motion"; "Rapper Looks Off To The Side And Bobs His Head"; and "People Playing Cards/Dice/Dominoes."