Our Readers' Opinions
July 15, 2016
Skinny/Kubiyashi music video missed its mark

Editor: A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. Video, a series of pictures, tells a story of many more words. And so it is with disappointment I critique the music video produced by Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell for the song, ‘Solid As A Rock’ that is performed by Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle.{{more}}

The description of the music video on YouTube says the production was “inspired by the struggles of life and the joys of overcoming negativity in all forms and aspects.

Skinny Fabulous very vividly depicts through his lyrics a beating heart of joy, fuelled by the veins of pain and struggle. None of us would be who we are today without remaining solid in the face of extreme adversity – it doesn’t matter who you are. Remember where you come from and persist with a level of determination and focus, remain solid.”

Admirable words, fully depicting the intent behind the song. However, the collection of pictures that make up the video does not portray this struggle in any solid way. Instead, the video descends into the abyss of American gangster rap, images of ghetto life and a distorted view of success.

The first image is a young child in a toy sports car, framed by a car sporting rims “straight outta Compton.” Then comes the classic pit bull on a leash, held by a young man flashing a big linked chain and wearing a brand name shirt. Add to that flashes of young men wearing bandanas that mirror the gang culture that is robbing the nation of its young men through the hustle for fast money and even faster death and it is easy to conclude that the music video has missed its mark.

Even if the intention of Skinny and Kubiyashi is to portray the resilience of ghetto youth to the hard times that befall us, the message is far removed from the reality of their own personal struggles. Take Skinny, for example, he is a university graduate trained in Communica­tions. Kubiyashi is a university graduate trained in Information and Communications Technology. Both young men have used education to improve themselves and fuel their success. Their pursuit of knowledge has made them solid as a rock, which sadly, is the one thing the negative images within the music video do not identify, portray, or support.

Knowledge is power. With great power comes great responsibility. The song I like, the music video I do not. It is important that young men like Skinny and Kubiyashi keep it 100. The future of our youths depends on it.