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ChessClub – Half/Dead [Video]

Toronto, ON – Back in September, the ChessClub hip-hop collective released a video single release titled “Half/Dead” (featuring Anthony Fushell). The crew is gearing up to launch a full-length self-titled album at the end of the year. And this video is definitely stirring up some hype. Apparently, the video was entirely produced by the group in order to maintain full creative control. Cool beans.

“Half/Dead” is a genre mind-warp. It starts off with some wispy floating production, and then dives head-first into a synthyed-out trip. The best way I can describe it all is like this: in the hypothetical scenario where people go frolicking in a field (slow-motion style; like in the movies), they’d probably do so to this beat.

Each MC takes on a verse throughout the track. The visuals are breathtaking – but they also paint a grim picture of endless pursuit. Just listen to that hook: “By the time we make our name/ We’ll be half-dead and insecure.” Let that sink in for a minute. That’s deep like the ocean.

ChessClub - Half/Dead [Video] -

The entire duration of the video shows the ChessClub running through forests and streets, and stuff; as if they’re seeking some sort of final destination. I mean; they might just really like running. In which case Nike should get in on a sponsorship ASAP. But it’s not about that. It’s about that endless pursuit with the unbeknownst end-goal of being half-dead. You’re likely running on that same path right this very minute.

And in case you’re not familiar, ChessClub formed in Newfoundland back in 2008 with founding members Matt Murphy, Andrew Lahey, James Piercey and producer Adrian Gagnon. The common goal was to push hip-hop to another level. Since relocating to Toronto, the group has taken on a full band, courtesy of Adrian Gagnon’s electronic trio named ev ree wuhn (like “everyone” – you feel me?). But seriously – mad daps for having a live band. That’s one of my favourite rarities in the rap game.

Twitter: @ChessClubRap

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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