Big Ups! Rik Cordero

1. Craftiness - Rik Cordero and his company, Three/21 Media, have earned their reputation by making something out of nothing. While yesteryear's high-profile music video directors (i.e. Hype Williams, Little X, etc.) were known for their extravagant, larger-than-life videos, Cordero's crew takes limited budgets and creates memorable, effective videos from them. Cordero is more focused on telling a story than he is about making these rappers seem like they're more than people - and during the harsh economic times that the music industry and the country are facing right now, this is exactly what's needed. At its barest core, Hip Hop can be executed by a beatboxer with a hard surface (pause) and an emcee rhyming - and I think that Rik takes a similar approach to his projects.

2. A Wide-Ranging Clientele - Another reason that Cordero is so effective is the long list of artists he works with. He'll work with major label superstars like Nas and Busta Rhymes, and indie staples like Royce Da 5'9" and The Roots. As unifying as Hip Hop can be (especially internationally), we all know that this culture and this industry can be amazingly cliquish and polarizing with the differences between sub-genres, fan bases, and resources. Rik Cordero doesn't let bullshit get in the way of making quality product, and I feel that his broad way of thinking is exactly what Hip Hop needs if it wants to continue to grow.

3. The Combo of Versatility and Loyalty - Rik Cordero doesn't only direct Hip Hop videos. He's got two feature films - Mend and Inside A Change - under his belt, and he's directed a couple rock videos as well. He admits that he enjoys feature films because they're more challenging, but that Hip Hop still has his loyalty, even if it burdens him with a stigma as merely a "hip-hop director." As he said in my interview: "Am I going to do mainstream videos? Probably, because I have to pay the bills. ... Being around in the 90s and being a DJ, it feels good to know that I'm contributing something [to Hip Hop], because I love it so much." Doing things outside of Hip Hop and still feeling a loyalty to it will both help Hip Hop grow from within, and help it grow from outsiders who get into Hip Hop after enjoying his other projects.

from www.hiphopdx.com