King Kapisi “Screems from da Old Plantation”

1999-king-kapisi-screems-from-da-old-plantationThis video feels like Samoa. The cloudy skies laden with moisture, the packed buses, cute kids, majestic waterfalls and coconuts to show you.

It’s directed by Joe Lonie and it’s easily one of the best videos he’s directed, rightly winning Best Video at the 2001 bNet Music Awards. While there are traces of the trademark Lonie gimmick style, it’s much richer and more human than his other videos.

For much of the video King Kapisi is hooning around on the back of a truck. It’s reminiscent of Lonie’s video for Eye TV where they perform the song “Dynamite” on the back of a truck while going up One Tree Hill. In that video the location didn’t really have anything to do with the song, but in “Screems” there’s a very strong connection. The song is all about Samoa, as is the location. And a historical bonus – the video shows vehicles driving on the right-hand side of the road, before Samoa’s 2009 switch to the left.

But going back a bit, the video starts with King Kapisi and his DJ doing a broadcast in a local radio station. People around the island tune in on their boomboxes – little kids showering, a man scraping out a coconut, a dude hanging outside a fale with more little kids. Everywhere the song is heard, it makes people happy. And as the NZ On Screen description notes, it’s taking the hip hop video away from its predictable inner-city setting and taking it to scenes of domestic life on a Pacific island.

The “Screems” video is also notable for featuring product placement, the first I can remember seeing in an NZOA video. The product in question is King Kapisi’s own Overstayer brand t-shirts, reclaiming the term as a badge of honour. (And King Kapisi, Teremoana Rapley and their kids still make Overstayer clothing).

There’s something very perfect about this video. Everything just comes together and it doesn’t just just look good, it feels good.

Best bit: the bus following the truck, hazard light flashing.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… aye aye, cap’n.

4 thoughts on “King Kapisi “Screems from da Old Plantation””

  1. Those portable radios (with the brand carefully taped over) look suspiciously like the budget Transonic ones you could get from The Warehouse back in the day 😀

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