“AG puttin’ on for the 99s and the 2000s.”
This line, delivered by a dangling Marcus Henderson (stage name Jody Fontaine) in the opening shot of “Memphis,” introduces the breakout track off AG Club’s recent project Halfway off the Porch. Hailing from the suburbs of Eastern Bay Area, AG Club is a small collective making big waves with their innovative sound and self-shot videos. “Memphis” is a superb demonstration of the fresh vigor packed into each one of their songs while also serving as a testament to the group’s mastery across disciplines. This track alone has become their foothold into the industry; the music video surpassed a million views on Youtube and has garnered the attention of record labels and fans alike.
The music video was directed by AG Club’s subsidiary 777media, a duo consisting of videographer Manny Madrigal and singer-songwriter Jahan-Jayubo Williams (stage name Babyboy) who both seem to possess an acute sense of what the group has to offer. Much of the video features Fontaine’s characteristic intensity serving as a visual aid to the pedantic chanting delivered by Babyboy in the background. The instrumental—courtesy of former rapper-producer Luis Garcia (stage name Loui)—switches between the relentless pounding of Babyboy’s energetic hook and chilled, airy synths which anchor the song’s otherwise progressive sound to its Bay Area roots.
With a few nods to the cinematography of fellow LA natives The Pharcyde, the video depicts the boys exploring their youthful arrogance by unforgivingly dancing and shouting their way through the streets of LA. The performance is obnoxious by design; AG Club manages to capture the reckless nature of the teenage spirit and harness it into an explosive experience from start to finish.
The raw delivery of “Memphis” draws significance to the opening line upon revisit; we now see that the unapologetic charisma of the baby-faced rappers serves as a testament to the carefree nature of the youth. It is important to note the fact that Fontaine addresses the “99s and 2000s” as peers; the artful presentation of freedom in the video beckons a generation on the cusp of adulthood back into the seductive lure of teenage rebellion.
The making of such a video seems unmistakably fun. This, perhaps, is the greatest weapon in the group’s arsenal. Long gone are the days when hip-hop served solely as an exit from poverty or a fast-track to stardom; AG Club creates content simply because they enjoy doing so.
Watch the video for “Memphis” here: