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Nathan R. Smith, Director of Music Videos for Mick Jenkins, Joey Bada$$, and More: Digging Through the Greats

I always listened to a lot of rap growing up; I never really listened to anything else. Once I got into high school, I started listening to Three 6 Mafia and Big K.R.I.T., and actually, Big K.R.I.T.’s song “Hometown Hero” was one of the songs that got me into making music videos. Every time I listened to it, I would think of the craziest things, and the actual music video for it sucked. I was like, “Wow, I should make something better.”

There have been times where I listen to a song once and I have a bunch of ideas and other times when I listen to it 100 times and nothing comes to mind. A lot of times, I ask the artist if they have anything they had in mind, and that usually plays into any ideas I had. There have been so many music videos that have been going off of other videos, but I like creating original ideas.

If you really put everything you have into what you’re doing, regardless of what the project is, even for small artists, people will notice your work. Doing work that’s true to who you are is really important, and staying true to your artistic vision is more important than just doing a video to get exposure.

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