After liberating the killer remix of “The Danger” which found Chino XL and Sean Price replacing Apathy and Celph Titled, Esoteric softens up and releases a touching video for “Wonder Why.” Taken off his and Stu Bangas’ Machete Mode LP; available now on iTunes.
Premiering the clip with my old stomping grounds, Eso also shared some thoughts on the video, his son Xavier and more.
Did you and director Pio Dibenedetto work together on the video concept?
We did, yes. My idea for the video was just to showcase an average day in the life of what I do with my son Xavier: we’ll take the dog out in the morning and let him go nuts, go grab some lunch somewhere, check out a comic book shop, and then get our haircut. Just spending some time together as father and son. The way it is painted out and shot by Pio captures that, but in a different timeline, which I think works too. When I’m solo I’m a little more experimental, in the sense that I’ll occasionally drift from the constant barrage of wordplay and punchlines that kids expect from me. And I wanted to throw a curveball like that on Machete Mode, so when Stu sent the beat over, I knew it was a good opportunity to touch on something different, and then make a video for it.
You also mention your son changed your outlook on life. How so?
Everybody that has a kid goes around for the first year or two saying “having a kid just changes your perspective on everything.” I hear that 1,000 times from different people, and yes I say it myself, but you can keep a similar perspective on life, you just have to balance it and adjust priorities. Being there for him is my number one priority, over Hip Hop, touring, or any of that. When I created this CZARFACE character I was doing two things at once: giving my son his own personal superhero (kind of like Jack Flack in the Cloak & Dagger movie), complete with an action figure, and doing what I love: making a record with my best friend 7L, and a Wu-Tang legend. It is funny, because Xavier thinks this “Czarface” guy can be found at Toys R Us and stuff. Occasionally he asks about a Czarface cartoon…maybe one day we’ll get that done. That was my plan with that album: to keep him entertained and keep myself entertained. Xavier even got his voice on the DJ Premier record on the album. One day he’ll look back at it and say “damn my dad was out of his mind” or maybe he’ll appreciate it somehow. Here he is in the little Czarface mini commercial I shot, showing the whole thing was very real to him. I don’t know, I’m just learning. I don’t really have a blueprint on how to raise a kid, I’m just kind of freestyling the whole thing and luckily my wife can reel us back in if we go too far. I like being there for him. He wakes up in the morning and tells me about the dreams he had that night. That’s a highlight for me. This morning he told me about a mechanical dinosaur park that he was able to pick up and turn into a monster truck. The way the five year old mind works is an amazing thing. See, I’m on HipHopDX right now, I should be talking about Machete Mode or how the new AOTP [Army Of The Pharaohs] album that is gonna mess your heads up, but I’m going on and on about my son. That is the effect your kids have on you.