Van Styles Directs Music Videos for Hip-Hop Star MURS
Styles, who until recently was exclusive to Vouyer Media, met the Los Angeles rapper at an in-store signing in 2002 through a friend who worked at The Basement, a hip-hop record store in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
MURS, a Los Angeles rapper, is a major force in the independent rap scene who made his major label debut, “MURS for President,” last year. He’s looked at as a leader in the rap game who’s achieved enormous success and toured the world all without major-label backing until 2008.
“I was a big fan of MURS before getting to know him, just growing up in L.A. and being into the underground hip-hop scene,” Styles told XBIZ. “I liked his lyrics and liked what he had to say. It was a different message than the commercial rap they play on the radio.
“He likes porn, so that was our initial link. He’s a fan, and we just kept in touch and became friends.”
Their friendship led Styles to direct a music video for MURS in 2003. It was for a song called “Risky Business” on MURS’ “The End of the Beginning” album and featured Digital Underground’s Shock G. The video featured adult stars Olivia O’Lovely, Jada Fire and Simone.
That initial working relationship has blossomed into the pair’s most recent work on a series of three music videos from MURS’ latest record. The trio of tracks tells the story of a couple that meets, falls in love and eventually breaks up. The first video for “Me and This Jawn” was released this week.
Subsequent videos for the songs “Piece of Me” and “The Breakup” will be released in the next few weeks. All three videos are included in a forthcoming MURS anthology DVD that will be available on the rapper’s Paid Dues tour.
The happy nature of “Me and This Jawn” — when the couple first falls in love — inspired Styles to create realistic visuals of a couple falling for each other. Adult star Roxy Reynolds plays MURS’ love interest. The two previously met on a Sirius radio show in New York so there was a level of comfort that shows in the video, Styles said.
“I wanted people who watch this video to think that this is a real couple that’s dating,” Styles said. “I wanted to capture them in a real setting — going out on dates, hanging out — natural, everyday scenarios. They’re not on a yacht or driving around in a Bentley with the top down; it’s real life.”
The three videos were shot during the course of three days in Los Angeles and neighboring cities. Most of the footage from “Me and This Jawn” was filmed in Santa Monica by the pier and boardwalk.
The videos represent Styles’ first directing gigs in the rap video world and he hopes it opens up doors for other opportunities in the field. He mentions wanting to work with Brother Ali, Aesop Rock and anyone from the Living Legends, one of MURS’ groups.
The full video for “Me and This Jawn” posted on the popular hip-hop site XXLMag.com today. Watch it here.