New animated Breez Evahflowin video features thousands of hand-drawn frames

New animated Breez Evahflowin video features thousands of hand-drawn frames

On the heels of last fall’s Breez Deez Treez release, which critics called “a brilliant audio memoir,” and “Thoughtful hip-hop done the right way,” Breez Evahflowin and Dutch creative artist Arjen Noordeman have collaborated to release an animated video of the album’s second track, I Know.

Inspired by the personal honesty and introspective nature of the songs contained in Breez Deez Treez, Arjen Noordeman was instantly drawn to the track I Know, in which Breez speaks about the challenge of writing meaningful songs in a world of instant-gratification and gimmicky hooks. Breez writes in I Know,

Some get caught up in the gears after years on the grind
What he hears in his mind don’t appear when he rhyme
His connection to feeling is nearly dying
He appears designed
To the deals he signed
The line
Gets blurry when we worry about what we owe
Weak minds leak through the audio
In particular nobody you know
But its a part of anybody who flow
Don’t think about it,
… I know

After listening to the song, Noordeman came up with the idea to make an animated video drawn entirely by hand, and blended with video of the MC. The concept was to make an animated sketchbook, like a diary reflecting the personal story of the artist. The process began with Noordeman shooting video of Breez on his NYC rooftop and at his studio in DUMBO. The filmmaker then printed 100 frames of video at a time so he could carry the printouts around with him, sketching the individual frames in pencil whenever he had a chance. Noordeman then transitioned to to brush-painted animation, while his partner Christie Wright conceived of an animated ink-drawn line to tie the different elements together. The result is a mix of live-action and hand-drawn animation that tells the story of an MC striving to maintain a unique voice in a sea of cookie-cutter commercial hooks.

In an age where sophisticated computer graphics can be produced at the touch of a button, this video proves that the hand of an artist can still be relevant – in fact the roughly 3,000 hand-rendered frames represent a departure from today’s digital effects standard, and a return to a time where honest and hard-practiced skills made the difference between amateurs and professionals. Unmasked by sophisticated tricks, the hand-drawn frames show you everything that went into this video, much like the way Breez focuses his songs on the quality of writing and intentional avoidance of vocal gimmickry prevalent in so much hip-hop today.

“I Know” is track 2 off the full length album “Breez Deez Treez”.
Music by Daveytree.
Video directed, animated and produced by Arjen Noordeman, Elasticbrand.
Roughly 3000 frames were drawn by hand for this video.
Live action portion was shot in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

©2009/2010 Breez Evahflowin’ & Daveytree

Artist Bios:
Breez Evahflowin
A founding member of the Stronghold underground rap collective, Breez Evahflowin (born Enrique DaSilva) emerged as a leading force in the New York and national battle rap scenes during the late ’90s, and was crowned the national grand champion of the famed Blaze Battle competition in 1999. During his freestyle rap days, Breez released his own independent solo 12-inch “Forsaken” in 1996, which appeared on the BBE Music compilation Hip-Hop Forever (1998) by DJ/producer Kenny Dope. In the early 2000s, Breez recorded singles for an assortment of different indie labels, including the Boston-based Detonator Records, as well as contributing a slew of guest appearances on records and tours. During his tenure, Breez has worked with several underground rap artists including Vast Aire, Slug, Chali 2na and the Molemen, and released his own solo EP “Fly” on Just Be Records in 2003. Breez Evahflowin’s first proper full-length album “Troublemakers” – a collaboration with producer Dirt E. Dutch – was released on Little Ax Media in 2008.

Arjen Noordeman
Arjen was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands in 1975. He received a BFA in graphic design from Academy of Art & Design, Arnhem, the Netherlands and a MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Arjen has worked as a designer for the interactive design company the Chopping Block, NYC and various broadcast companies including RTL in the Netherlands and Bravo networks in New York City. He held the positions of Director of Design at MASS MOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) and Art Director in the Advertising department of Nickelodeon in New York City where he created concepts and design for TV and print advertising for in-house and external clients. His work has appeared in various publications including Print Magazine, Creative Review, and 100 habits of Successful Publication Designers. A lifelong hip hop fan, he started directing music videos for underground artists such as Breez Evahflowin, Rising Sun Quest and Access Immortal in 2007.

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