BE ABOUT IT by The Uhuruverse- Video Out Now!
I met The Uhuruverse ‘bout four years ago, just when Snatch Power was doing its first event: a burlesque show called “FETISH WONDERLAND” based on Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland characters. The first/last time I got to interview The Uhuruverse, they looked at the city of Los Angeles in a much different way—with that sparkle of innocence you hear about. Many adventures later, the protective gloss of experience is what shines in their eyes, and “BE ABOUT IT” is one of the tracks on their debut album that I believe reflects that shift. The Brightest Oddest Strangest Star U Ever Did Saw Up Close And Afar From Planet Earth To Mars And Beyond is an album title that itself illustrates both its creator’s whimsy and determination while in a state of progressing aggression. I hit the artist with a quick trio of questions regarding the symbolism in this high-energy song and video, also covering their ongoing artistic relationship with filmmaker Oscar Galeana.
sondriaWRITES: Somehow the city of Los Angeles looks empty, but it looks like you're all around it during all types of the day. In the "BE ABOUT IT" post-apocalyptic dreamscape, where are you the most free and uninhibited?
The Uhuruverse: In the "BE ABOUT IT" post-apocalyptic dreamscape I am THRIVING! I am hanging out on all the rooftops! I'm like, creating a hang-gliding system from rooftop to rooftop--getting high af on all of the buildings. Or, just getting lit and throwing parties where I perform solo and/or with all my music projects like NVSBL GVNG and FUCK U PAY US! I want all the ninjas up there sparring! I want workout rooftops, yoga rooftops. I'm hitting ALL THOSE ROOFTOP POOLS!!! It's just gonna be like a complete party takeover of freedom on all the DTLA Rooftops! If I'm not on the rooftops thriving, I'm going all the way underground and doing the same shit on the train! I wanna see a space-Disco soul train rocking through DTLA in the post-apocalypse where people are drinking hella water and eating fresh food they trade or bring to share when they kick it!
I would love to see all my niggas on Skid Row takeover the skyscrapers and thrive in all the punk ass buildings they tried to build on top of them! Me, The Uhuruverse, I'm just underground with it and or/ thriving on every rooftop like (AIN'T NO CEILINGS NIGGA! The sky's the limit!) I'm also jacking all the lit cars, eating any bomb ass food/shit I had to walk past when the world was still alive and money wasn't obsolete and I couldn't afford shit. I'm looting, my ass off just thriving and playing dress up and shit, getting drunk on the liquor I loot, and staying in a bunch of dope ass penthouses/warehouses (I LOVEEEEE WAREHOUSES) in this dreamscape. I'd feel like Ralph Ellison, with like, all my tinkers mostly dolo, though I see my niggas there too <3
sondriaWRITES: Let's talk about the significance in the styling and pieces you chose for this video...the gas mask, the goggles...your eyes are a huge part of your art and you reference not being able to breathe in your art a lot as well. Your choker, and your fight for self-control. What are some ways you use fashion symbolically? What are you trying to say to us by rocking these pieces?
The Uhuruverse: Ok les do it! YAAS! I always fashion symbolically! And also functionally! The choker--It doubles as a weapon to me. It is leather with metal spikes--It's always readily available and it reminds me of physical discipline--It disciplines me to stay sharp, ready, and on the ground. The choker makes me Dis/Obey. It's like a self-restraint. A self-discipline. The goggles are my alien vision--those psychedelic fisheye lenses are like what I really see, and then when I take em’ off it's like the matrix/ the post-apocalyptic world/ the hot ass mess of "reality" /society and mundane earthling shit.
The gas mask is like-- "I can't breathe in all the toxicity, the Earth is polluted! It's toxic!" I'm just out here trying to function. There is toxicity in so many ways, but I just want to breathe out here. I'm trying to survive! But yeah my eyes have also always been a topic of my life being that they're crooked (or used to be lazy, and I've had eye surgery before). My eyes have gotten me bullied and talked about and dissed and into fights and not "liked" by anyone, considered alien, and odd--all kinds of shit (lol)--but then like my vision has always been wide because of that crooked eye, so I feel like in my peripheral vision I see everything coming and before the normal eye would see it. Maybe also because I'm an Aquarius/Pisces but my vision definitely seems like a ninja superpower! Whatever it is, I see it all, so I'm like always trying to keep my vision clear and lit, and not be distracted by nothing. I wanna have tunnel vision and focus on what I see/know.
| LIT VISION ONLY| :D
sondriaWRITES: You worked with Oscar Galeana on a couple other projects, including "Obey". What about Oscar's cinematic style keeps drawing you two together to manifest your vision? What makes ya'll the winning combo?
The Uhuruverse: Ok, Oscar, is THE BEST PUNK FILMMAKER I HAVE EVER WORKED WITH /possibly ALIVE. I love his cinematic punk eye! He lives punk, so he is punk and we're both South Central punks. I'm black and he's brown but we're homies. It's really natural! I've worked with a lot of cinematographers and I have repeatedly worked with a few. I love them all for different reasons, but one thing I can say about Oscar is that we vibe on shooting. I love to have things shot dark and a bit "messy". Not too produced, but still premeditated--giving space for magic, improv, and realism when I'm going for the post-apocalyptic element of my vision. Yet, I love ( in "BE ABOUT IT") that scene where I'm standing in a blurry waterfall. The way they shot that was from the inside of the building (through the glass and the waterfall) while I'm outdoors of the building...so the layers makes it look trippy/a bit psychedelic or like some sort of effect/edit that is truly just live. Oscar is impeccable with getting the right shot and also with editing punk. "BE ABOUT IT" is a single person video, but Oscar is killing it in post to make that video very engaging! I do my best to get the best shot as a Performance Artist and he does his best too behind the camera and in post!
The song "BE ABOUT IT" is in the album The Brightest Oddest Strangest Star U Ever Did Saw Up Close And Afar From Planet Earth To Mars And Beyond and cab be streamed on TIDAL, Apple Music, and Spotify. Learn more about The Uhuruverse at www.snatchpower.com