Blind Swordsmen is an underground hip-hop music video filmed entirely in time-lapse animation by Babylon Warchild featuring the art of talented freestyle street artist Merak1.
Directors: Rafael Kuerti, Merak1
This track is the first song released to the public off our new album. In truth, this music video was inspired by the Royal Society of Arts medical animation videos from university classes (Andrew Park, of Cognitive Media, the original creator of the ‘RSA Animation’ technique deserves a thank-you and a shout out for inspiration and making this video possible).
The creation was actually quite easy – we basically printed out all the lyrics in the song and filmed the best graffiti artist we could find drawing his version of what inspired him from each sentence.
Then it was just a matter of speeding up Merak’s already incredibly fast work to match each bar/phrase in the song. Each word or phrase is represented in graffiti or caricatures, creating an intuitive lyric video to help listeners understand the words of the song.
What was more interesting than the actual creation was how this ended up coming into existence. As a group based in Toronto, we try to reach out and work with artists all across the world.
We helped start a hip-hop collective spanning over 15 countries worldwide called Empty Handed Warriors. We really like making music and want to share it with everyone, but in this day and age it is incredibly hard to get someone to listen to music only without a video.
We were faced with the reoccurring problem of filming videos for our songs – but the artists involved were living in three or four different countries or continents! After brainstorming and approaching artists (99% running in ABSOLUTE TERROR when you mention the word ANIMATION), we ended up making it for about the cost of paper and markers – Merak is a childhood friend of the band and is a featured rapper on our second album.
The entire video is freestyle – he did not sketch or trace a single thing. I guess we pulled up a photo of Rocky and Citizen Kane for him to look at to get the look, but other than that it was 100% freestyle.
We didn’t have to edit anything out, and we didn’t do many takes.
Special thanks goes out to everyone involved in this: Merak1 (of course!), Unknown Mizery (Sourav Deb), Legitimate (Mark Shrubsole), KDB (Truman Phillips), Solomon Childs, Starang Wondah and DJ Jordi Laforty.
Please watch, enjoy and comment if you like. Forget low-budget music videos – this is the NO BUDGET music video. The clip at the beginning is Masta Killah of Wu-Tang clan, giving us a solid endorsement backstage at his show.
About Rafael Kuerti
Son of Juno-award winning classical Canadian pianist, Anton Kuerti, aka Rumplestiltz (Rafael Kuerti) was born and raised in downtown Toronto.
Both parents were professional classical musicians and Rumple learned to play the cello from a very young age. Stiltz has been using his classical music training and theory/composition background to compose hip-hop instrumentals and beats for over 15 years.
As a member of the worldwide touring underground hip-hop group Babylon Warchild, Rafael has performed on hundreds of hip-hop stages at concerts and festivals across the world including the US, Canada, China, Malaysia, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Greece, Czech, Slovakia, Netherlands, Belgium and many more.
He’s performed and shared the stage with artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Afrika Bambaataa, Xzibit, ONYX, R.A. The Rugged Man, Rahzel, Loop Troop, Planet Asia, Snowgoons, Reef The Lost Cauze, Chief Kamachi, Bizarre (of D12), Lord Lhus, Saukrates, Choclair, Snak The Ripper, Wordsworth, PackFm as well as many others.
As a hip-hop producer, Rafael has had the chance to produce and engineer recording sessions/songs for some of hip-hop’s greatest artists such as: The Gza (of Wu Tang Clan), Sadat X (of Brand Nubian), Starang Wondah (of Boot Camp Clik), Wordsworth (of Lyricist Lounge), Tragedy Khadafi (Of Queensbridge), Stic Man (Of Dead Prez), Chief Kamachi (Army of the Pharoahs), Reef the Lost Cauze (Army of the Pharoahs), Lord Lhus (of Snowgoons), Solomon Childs (Wu Tang Clan) and many more.
Rafael comes directly from a lineage of master cello players and teachers – of the late Janos Starker – widely regarded as one of the premier cello teachers this century. He has vast orchestral and chamber music experience and has appeared professionally in hundreds of orchestras and chamber groups across Canada and Europe.