MC OJ and Rythmn Slave “Money Worries”

I am so happy that this video is now online. When I started 5000 Ways, “Money Worries” was one of the first missing videos I came across, breaking my heart. Last year the brilliant guys at NZ On Screen asked me for some suggestions of videos and this one was at the top of my list, and at last here it is.

OJ and Slave were very Auckland, and indeed their first video, “Positivity”, was shot around downtown Auckland. [You know what? It wasn’t – it was also shot in Wellington.] So it’s surprising to discover that “Money Worries” was very openly filmed in Wellington.

Much of the video is shot in and around Shed 21, one of the old wharf buildings on Wellington’s waterfront. It’s now been converted into cool loft apartments, but back in 1991 it was still a grotty old warehouse. But with its large stylish windows and brick walls, it was perfect to fill with old cars, dancers and Mikey Havoc in a phone box.

Mr Havoc provides guest vocals on the chorus (“Moneeeeeeeey! Moneeeeeeeeeey!”). He squirms and wriggles in the artfully placed phone box and old cars, suggesting neither are really able to contine his energy.

The video looks amazing. Directed by Matthew Palmer, it makes good use of the natural light, shooting the dancers in silhouette and capturing the physical energy of Otis and Mark.

The boys are also allowed out, with high-speed adventures as they travel around Lambton Quay, The Terrace and Featherston Street. And suddenly the Wellington location makes sense.

This is not the cool Wellington of today. The Absolutely Positively Wellington campaign was in its very early stages. Wellington was still a dull grey town of bureaucrats and businessmen. Here were two young Auckland guys rapping about being poor, surrounded by the high-rise offices of some of the richest and/or most powerful people in New Zealand.

The video takes the ambition of the song and amplifies it. These guys aren’t going to be penniless forever, and when they do get money, it will be on their terms. The old warehouses were soon to become cool apartments, Wellington’s grey reputation was about to be washed away by a vibrant new image, and these two guys were about to make their mark on the world of New Zealand pop culture. Yeah, something like that.

I really like this video. Coming from the first full funding round, it seems exactly the sort of video that the NZ On Air funding was designed to help out with.



Director: Matt Palmer
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

2 thoughts on “MC OJ and Rythmn Slave “Money Worries””

  1. This video and song embodies the great musical mashup of that time. the hip hop rock crossover was still fresh and hadn’t been done to death and there was an underlying manchester beat and guitar wah wah that also helped push this song to be such a great pop single.. i think some of todays hip hop is too rooted in its wannabe gangster image that it doesn’t lift the spirit as songs like this did. end of day why take life so serious. slave and otis never did.

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