Thunderbird Gerard was raised in upstate New York but currently calls Berlin home. Perhaps that has something to do with the line that his music walks: at once familiar, owing to the hard-hitting fundamentals of golden age rap, and foreign, weaving in odd electronics, unusual cadence, or intriguing melody. He’ll be sharing his T.R.O.U.B.L.E. mixtape on May 6 and the above video previews two new tracks. In the beginning we get a short sampling of “Live,” which matches funk-fueled beat menace with a little bit of Kool Keith strangeness. The dude drops references to Elvis Presley, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rapture in the first few bars, but eventually moves on to “Victory Part II.” The track is as triumphant as it sounds, a heavy stomper that even sports a ’90s-style “Go! Go! Go!” in the chorus.
Director CC Steinmetz sends Gerard to Morocco for the clip, where the rapper catches a ride into Marrakesh in an old BMW, then hops on a moped. In town, he finds a crowd of people ready to support his cause. Women with their heads wrapped pump their fists, older men with toothless grins bob and throw up peace, and a gang of kids follows him around like a disorganized cheerleading squad. The sights are well worth the watch, and the takeaway is a positive look for humankind. Victory, indeed.