New York artist Roga Raph pays homage to one of the greatest rap videos of all time and also flexes his directorial muscles in his new visuals for the excellent “Stand Up,” the latest we’re hearing from his highly anticipated Nostalgiks album.
If the crew of friends moving in reverse reminds you of anything, chances are that you, like Roga, are a fan of the Pharcyde’s groundbreaking “Drop” video. There’s an air of celebrating that famous clip throughout “Stand Up,” though it also addresses a very real and contemporary issues faced by so many Americans: poverty.
At first, “Stand Up” appears to portray a fun day spent at Coney Island, where Roga and his friends hit up the rides and arcades on the boardwalk before grabbing some lunch. The thing is, as the video plays on and you listen to his rhymes, you realize there’s something darker here. It turns out that the emcee is facing eviction, a scene that plays out while a sample of a news recording from the Green Party’s own Jill Stein plays and drives home the song’s message. It’s one of not letting the rich and powerful in this country dictate the lives of others—it’s time to stand up.