P-Money “Scribe 2001”

“Scribe 2001” was a P-Money track (and the opening track on his debut album) but the song was undeniably about the young rapper Scribe. The early 2000s were good for Scribe, the golden years before things started to get complicated. With P-Money’s sophisticated beats, “Scribe 2001” is an introduction to this fresh MC who had a way with words.

The video is incredibly low-budget and was made by P-Money himself. There’s even a brief shot of him reflected in a mirror as he films Scribe, holding the tiniest of video cameras. If P-Money is ever in the shot, the camera is stationary.

The video begins with the duo and pals in a car on a rainy afternoon. They have the freshly released CD single of the track and they blast it in the car stereo, relishing this moment of awesomeness. The video then has a quick montage of New Zealand music personalities of the era – there’s Otis and Slave, Jane Yee, DJ Sir-Vere and Che Fu. And then here’s Scribe telling us his story’s just begun, implying he’s the logical next step in that line-up.

The low-budget video camera gives everything a dull grey, washed-out look. Even Scribe and P-Money look less like a respected DJ and MC and more like a couple of friends mucking around with a video camera. But back then, that’s kind of what they were – a couple of dudes who knew they had a cool song that needed a video.

The video is totally lacking in glamour. They’re hanging around in a hotel room, by some lifts, in a stairwell, in a record shop. It’s a bland utilitarian landscape, brought to life by the killer track.

At one point Scribe is sitting at a table in a nondescript hotel room. In front of him is some cash. Not stacks of Benjamins, rather a more modest Hillary and a Queenie. P-Money flicks a 20 at the camera. The scene comes across as both a parody of hip-hop videos and the sincere swagger of two guys who know one day they’ll be able to do that in a fancy hotel suite and with big stacks of Rutherfords.

But whatever flaws the video might have, none of it really matters. The song is so strong that the video doesn’t need to be super slick. Hey, it’s Scribe and he has some rhymes for you.

Best bit: the people who share the lift with Scribe: frozen; horrified.

Director: Peter Waddams
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… take out the trash.

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