Black and British

Back in 2021, a Spoken Word Music Video collaboration unfolded when The Futz Butler approached our team with a concept: to craft a music video that would resonate deeply with audiences, particularly during Black History Month. This ambitious project aimed to boldly explore the multifaceted landscape of British blackness in a post-Brexit era, employing the powerful mediums of film, sound design, and the spoken word.

At the heart of this cinematic endeavour stood Tony D, a wordsmith, rapper, and esteemed figure in the realm of spoken word poetry. Known not only for his lyrical prowess but also for his genuine demeanour, Tony D brought a unique perspective to the project. As one of the founding members of the renowned Poisonous Poets collective, Tony D’s artistry had been forged on the crucible of battle rap stages across the globe. Yet, it was his ability to weave intricate narratives and provoke introspection through his words that truly distinguished him as a poet of remarkable depth, commanding the English language, more befitting of a Shakespearian scholar.

Futz Butler sought to harness Tony D’s formidable talent to create a film that would serve as a poignant reflection of the black British experience. Through Tony D’s compelling performance, the film aimed to navigate the complexities of identity, heritage, and belonging with unflinching honesty. Each carefully crafted verse was infused with cultural references, incisive observations, and thought-provoking inquiries, inviting viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and challenge prevailing narratives.

Under the deft direction of Yaz Merrin, the film took shape, guided by a singular vision: to disrupt conventional narratives and amplify voices that had long been marginalized. For Merrin, this project was more than just a creative endeavour; it was a call to action, a rallying cry for change. In her own words, she articulated her motivation: “I want to change the narrative. To tell a story of struggle and survival through the eyes of experience. And for people to recognize that as far down the road as we have travelled, there is still a way to go.”

As the project unfolded, it became increasingly evident that the spoken word music video medium was the perfect vehicle for conveying the raw emotions and nuanced perspectives embedded within the narrative. Tony D’s impassioned delivery, coupled with Merrin’s evocative direction, imbued each verse with a sense of urgency and authenticity, compelling viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and confront the systemic injustices that pervade society.

The resulting spoken word music video was nothing short of transformative – a testament to the power of art to provoke thought, inspire change, and foster empathy. By seamlessly weaving together elements of spoken word, music, and visual storytelling, the film transcended traditional boundaries, inviting audiences on a journey of introspection and discovery.

In the end, Futz Butler’s vision had been realized: a bold and uncompromising portrayal of the black British experience, brought to life through the transformative power of a spoken word music video. This is more than a music video, it is a catalyst for change, a testament to the enduring power of art to challenge perceptions, provoke dialogue, and inspire action.