It’s the same scene that we all vividly remember at some point in our lives. A daily session of bullying of the verbal and physical kind. Vandalizing of personal property. And in the day of social media and the internet, spreading of false rumors and unsavory remarks that put the unfortunate soul as a punching bag for bad intentions. Despite all the trials and tribulations they go through at school every day, these youths would rather ball it up and keep it to themselves rather than tell the truth to their loved ones.
As part of the #SoundItOut nation-wide campaign to help create bridges for both family and middle-school youths to open up their true feelings to their parents, Cut+Run and Brooklyn-based rapper KAMAUU teamed up with each other to compose and create a music video titled “Howie and the Howl”, a deep and soulful rap single that hits incredibly close to the social plight of American schoolchildren and a message to parents everywhere to give their children the emotional support and love they need.
The music video starts with a top down shot of a single black father and his son eating breakfast at the table. The father, doing some paperwork, asks his son about his experience at school in which he responds it was okay. Noticing the tone of his voice, the father presses on the subject if he really is fine until the boy responds in frustration that everything is normal before storming off to his room. The father then sighs and ponders on what he can do better to give his son the help he needs.
As the boy walks upstairs to his room, we then cut to some analog recordings of a therapy session between the therapist, a parent and their child. Encouraging the youths to open up about their feelings slowly and sharing their true thoughts to their family. We then cut back to the boy now in his room, plugging his earphones and player and starts playing the titular song. All while KAMAUU sits in the corner and begins singing and the boy vibes along to the verses.
The music video also features other families other than the single black father and the main character of the music video. Also featuring another single dad lecturing his two sons in the hallway and a young black girl and her grandmother both smiling and dancing the bad juju away. By the end of the music video, the boy finally comes downstairs to his father at the same room and decides to finally open up about his current situation at school. Upon hearing this, the father puts all of his assignments to a stop and listens with deep care and drops a wisdom bomb on his head.
Deep symbolic meanings can also be found in the lyrics masterfully hidden by KAMAUU. Deeply reflecting on the current social stigmas faced by black fathers trying to be a part of the community despite their ongoing absence from it and children growing up without a parental figure that they desperately need and going through a metamorphosis that shapes them into the person they are today.