Lazrus “Scribble”

2004-lazrus-scribbleLazrus was an Auckland MC who had the sweet song “Scribble”. Like a lot of rap songs, it’s a song about writing a rap song, but the production nudges it into being a cool summer jam.

The video casts Lazrus as a lonely cleaner, mopping up at Alleluya Cafe. But a sticky floor is the least of his worries. Over in the toilet, a succession of visitors (all played by Lazrus) graffiti the toilet wall. They each express themselves through the medium of marker pen, spray paint or lipstick, with little concern for the watching security camera.

The graffiti is all pretty rubbish and doesn’t even come close to the quality scribblings I’ve seen in the ladies loos at the King’s Arms or Mighty Mighty. The toilet antics aside, the strongest scenes are Lazrus along at Alleluya with the Auckland night time skyline in the picture window behind him.

The website Thread has an interview with Lazrus from 2004, where he talks about the video. He reveals that the video had to be changed at the last minute after their original location fell through, adding ” I never intended on dressing up in drag or anything.” Maybe there’s an unrealised video that would have been better than this one, but the “Scribble” video doesn’t feel like a last-minute job.

In the interview Lazrus also says, “no disrespect to NZ On Air, but the $5000 you get is never enough to pay for everything, so favours have to be pulled left, right and centre.” But the $5000 was never ever intended to pay for everything. In 1991 NZ On Air budgeted an average music video production as costing $10,000, halved that for the funding, with the expectation that the artist (or their record company) would match that. If $5000 isn’t enough, then, yeah, you call in favours or chip in some cash yourself. Or wait another decade until music video production becomes really cheap.

Best bit: the Sky Tower, looking gloriously framed by St Kevin’s arcade.

Director: Stephen Baker
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the old sawing-the-lady-in-half trick.

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