While there are a great number of rap artists from Duval County, few can speak of their airtime on MTV. Local favorite Robert Raimon Roy has captured the attention of the legendary channel not once, but twice. His first time was with the video for the sultry slow jam “Carmencita.” More recently, the fascinating hip-hop video for “Little Egypt Wavy,” directed by Peter J. Brant, wowed MTV and Youtube audiences as well as Nylon magazine. Roy has once again teamed up with Brant for his newest video, “Robert Raimon Roy,” which will be released monday night and far surpasses the videos prior.
The video itself is far more narrative than previous videos and uses surrealist technique to tell a story of identity that is, as Roy puts it, “very Lynchian in mood and aesthetic.” Roy explains why this method of storytelling was used: “What I aim to do musically is take something and flip it on its head so you can see something else, and that’s what Peter did with the video. He did the same thing I do musically, visually. So, conceptually, we were on the same page.” In the spirit of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks the video does feature distinct color schemes and compelling characters with unsettling smiles. Previously Roy was known by the shortened version of his name, Rob Roy, but with his “literally” self titled new single (http://soundcloud.com/robertraimonroy/robert-raimon-roy ) and upcoming album, Le Tigre Blanc, he is entering a new avenue of his career. With Le Tigre Blanc he still raps in the same style that got him such a strong following in the first place but with a bit more maturity. Le Tigre Blanc experiments more with the ideas of meta- modernism and internet culture.
In the last year Roy has reaped continuous praise, particularly online, for his ventures into different forms of art. Internet artist Art404 tweeted “is @robertraimonroy the first and only verified new media artist?” and though grateful for the recognition Roy now prefers not to brand himself. “I don’t necessarily want to depict myself that way anymore. its a limiting term.” He continues to say that though he expresses his creativity through different mediums such as paint, pencils, pixels and rap music he doesn’t want to box himself into any kind of corner. In the simplest phrasing he said, “I do a lot of shit. And I do work with different mediums.”
When I ask if how he has matured he laughs and says “I don’t know if I have matured.” He does say that Le Tigre Blanc differs from prior work because it’s more of an meta-work with a more ethnic vibe and also says that its more r&b. Roy further describes the new work as ‘coming of age for someone who grew up in the internet era.” Keeping up with our generation’s tendency toward track by track listening, Le Tigre Blanc is an album that covers varied ground. “It’s not bound to a style or genre. Though it does have an urban influence, it has a myriad of influences.”
On the subject of the crisply edited video though, it was miraculously funded via Kickstarter and will initially premiere in Los Angeles in The Spare Room before it appears online. The video was shot on a Red 4 camera in Los Angeles with less than 10 actors (one of which is a professional magician). Even so, Roy says, “It looks like I spent $100,000 on it.” I was privileged enough to see it early, for RRR fans the video is something to eagerly anticipate and reblog.
As for what is next for Robert Raimon Roy he jokes “Retirement.” He then says “We’ll see. I’m sure I will create something else. I still have ideas.”
The video will premiere online on october 9th on a website TBA for updates check http://robertraimonroy.tumblr.com/ and twitter.com/robertraimonroy
For additional media hit up http://robertraimonroy.com.