By Pranav Trewn
Berkeley rapper Rexx Life Raj put out one of my favorite songs of last year, the elastic slapper and highlight from his impressive most recent project Father Figure, “Handheld GPS.” The song has hopped from word-of-mouth mixtape-burner to certified Spotify playlist jam to a now established aux-cord classic amongst Bay Area locals thanks to its fluid construction and Raj’s self-minded quotables about modern ambition and technological distraction. “Two cell phones, still so disconnected/ Social media disingenuous, it’s that shit that needs disinfecting,” Raj smoothly intones, before turning his gaze from outward in to offer, “Fuck a suggestion, use intuition/ When your heart speaks to you, you should listen.” All that get-your-life-right talk goes down effortlessly thanks to the song’s smacking, yet soulful instrumental loop.
Today we’re premiering the video for “Handheld GPS,” a simple clip filmed in Yosemite National Park showcasing Raj rapping the song beside pop-art doodles underscoring his lyricism and movements. Gino Mancuso and Javari Jackson directed the visual, with Chris Hurtt handling the animations, including a signal bar in the top-left corner of each frame that goes up and down as Raj maneuvers the natural landscape. Yet no matter what the meter reads, Raj’s connection is loud and clear, and he’s undoubtedly getting his message across. Watch the video and check out his upcoming tour dates with Mr. Carmack below.
04/06 — Dallas, TX @ Cambridge Room*
04/07 — Austin, TX @ Vulcan Gas Co.*
04/08 — Washington DC @ 930 Club*
04/09 — Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West*
* w/ Mr. Carmack
Father Figure is out now via EMPIRE.