VICE Premiere: "The World Is Yours" by Greg Porn

By Siobhan Cassidy

 

Rapper Greg Porn is branching outside of his collaboration with The Roots—he contributed to their last four albums, including the Grammy award-winning undun—to focus on his solo career. He just wrapped up the music video for his first single "The World Is Yours" from his new mixtape Amerikin Junkie. We were so excited by the clip, which features a sketchy bank robbery scenario, Greg wearing a Reservoir Dogs-style black suit, and porny-POV cinematography, we decided to premiere it right here on VICE. We caught up with Greg last week to discuss the video and how the criminal act of robbery can also be an inspiration.

VICE: Can you tell me about the development of  the video?
Greg Porn: Well, I really wanted to do a video like this. The directors, Visually Inclined, are very good. We actually had a different idea in the beginning. The aggressive tone of the song had me thinking of doing a scene where we were burying somebody. But when it was time to do the shoot, they told me they wanted to film stuff on location, and that’s how we came up with the idea of a bank robbery. And we just went with it.

Where did the inspiration for the song come from?
The other guy in the video with me is Ali Bey, he made the track. He’s my partner. Basically, when I went over to his crib and heard the beat, I really liked it. It just felt big like something huge was about to happen.

What’s the idea behind the song?
When I first heard the beat, it sounded really evil and aggressive. I was just sitting in the car thinking of doing something bad like running down on another car or taking something from someone. At that time, money was really tight—not that it isn’t tight now, but back then it was super tight. The song is definitely robbery-inspired.

So "The World Is Yours" is from your upcoming mixtape Amerikin Junkie.
Yeah, it’s all original stuff that we put together. It’s constantly evolving. Once we think we are done, it’s never really done. This is basically Amerikin Junkie volume one. It’s like the first time going to rehab. You have to go a couple of times before you really kick the habit.

Is the mixtape based heavily on addiction?
Looking at Amerikin Junkie, the whole country gets high off of something, in a social sense. It’s a driving force in life. I felt like everybody can relate to that. And it was such a big part of my life. Everybody thinks addiction has such a bad connotation to it, but people are addicted to all kind of things. Like my grandma plays the lottery and my girlfriend goes shopping. It’s so many little things. And I just felt that was very interesting. How it just drives the economy, it drives people, and gives them a reason to wake up in the morning.

What’s the range of songs on Amerikin Junkie?
The songs are from different perspectives of different days-in-the-life of us. Get high and get by in the world. Straight up. That’s basically how it is. Each song features different parts of different days and nights in my life. It’s a collection of thoughts of the crazy life I’m living.

Is true to how you really kick it everyday?
Pretty much. They portray how I used to kick it or how I kick it at the present time. Or how I will most likely will be kicking it in the future.

What’s your relationship with The Roots?
I’m a part of the collaborative that helps with coming up with the albums. I love working with The Roots. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t even be where I am now and my music wouldn’t be either. I don’t want to sound conceited or anything, but I think I have some very, very good music. At least by that measure right there, they have taught me so much. I can’t even say it all because I could write a book on everything I learned from dealing with them musically.

How did you first get involved with them?
They discovered me on a mixtape, and brought me down to the studio. There, we worked on a couple of songs together. And then I started recording myself at my own house, and I made a couple of songs. From that point, they were like, “Yo, come out to LA.” And we’ve been working together ever since.

We are dropping your music video today and your album is coming out in January. You’re a busy guy. What’s next?
I want to shoot a video for almost every song on the album. The songs are very descriptive. So they go with the visual aspect really well.  I’m trying to depict different concepts for the videos because I’m tired of seeing the same old rap videos, with the same old concepts. I want each of my videos to be like “Man that was a different take on life.”

How did you do that with the "The World Is Yours" ? 
It was based on a Reservoir Dogs theme, but it was the Reservoir Dogs from our point of view. I thought that was cool. What is interesting is we weren’t even thinking of Reservoir Dogs when we went about it, we were thinking more like a Breaking Bad.

Any other videos we can look out for?
We already shot two videos. We’re going out to LA to shoot another one. That’s the whole thing, to shoot as many videos as possible. And then do shows in the near future. We want to try to keep putting music out until we have a following. I think I have something to offer the world that they haven’t’ heard before.

No doubt. Thanks!

@SiobhanCassidy0

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