Cartoon Hip-Hop meshups
‘Literally my favorite artists, the ones I grew up buying their CDs now follow me, and watch/comment on my videos. It really doesn’t get cooler than that!’
That dude that does those
cartoon hip-hop mashups
Let’s start with a banger: 40M views of your first post ‘Shortest Video on Youtube’ (1 second) 12 years ago is totally insane. I am sure you did not count on it but what has changed for you since then?
I definitely didn’t think that one would get anywhere near that many views, and it’s up to 44M now! A lot has changed over these 12 years, but specifically with that channel, I eventually ended up turning that short video into a 1,000-part, that’s right 1,000-part animated series, which is about to conclude soon.
Also in terms of money you must have felt like winning the lottery as you can get about $1,200 to $6,000 for every million views. Apparently. Do you find yourself in a dilemma sometimes where you think about what people want to see compared to what you want to create?
(Laughing) If only that were true. Those sites that put out that info are always just estimating. In actuality, it’s nowhere near that, not even close to the low- end number. On YouTube, most of my views are coming from those short videos, which rarely show ads.
I learned that Mylo is not even your cat. It belongs to one of your friends. Ever thought of getting your own?
He’s my close friend James Catusco’s cat, owner of the legendary New York Pizzeria Catusco’s Pizza. We worked with some other close friends running a recording studio back in the day in Brooklyn, and James adopted these 2 cats, Mylo and Lulu. I started randomly filming them around the studio, and the rest is history. I’ve always thought of getting my own, but the building I live in doesn’t allow pets unfortunately.
‘I always credit that early Internet video of Bert and Ernie rapping MOP’
From short cat clips to hip hop fused retro cartoons. In hindsight, the idea is brilliant as it combines feelings, emotions, personal experiences from both sources and creates something new. What and how triggered the idea?
I always credit that early Internet video of Bert and Ernie rapping MOP, but you could go back even further to Space Ghost on Adult Swim, which was a show that reused old animation to create something new. That concept fascinated me from Day 1, but that MOP video is really what inspired me to start making these things.
How do you decide which hip hop song goes over which cartoon and how much time do you require before even starting the edit?
I have a long-running list of songs, basically really all stuff I grew up listening to. A lot of people agree with my choices, so I rely on my instincts, and also the many years of hip-hop knowledge from listening to DJ Mister Cee and Funk Flex back in the day.
You post a new mashup on IG every day. How much time does it take to put one together?
They all vary, some take much longer than others, due to the style of animation. Certain cartoons are much easier to work with than others. I’d say on average, they take about 4-6 hours, but they used to take at least double that, if not more.
What is your trade secret to perfectly line up the cartoon’s movement to the hip hop lyrics?
(Laughing) It wouldn’t be a secret if I revealed it! It’s really just patience and persistence, and 19 years as a video editor/creator under my belt.
‘It wouldn’t be a secret if I revealed it!’
Which editing tool are you using?
I use Adobe Premiere Pro, and definitely some Photoshop mixed in too.
What is your favourite cartoon?
The Simpsons for sure, with South Park as a very close second.
What is your favourite hip hop song/band?
I’m from New York, so if we’re talking groups, I gotta go with Wu-Tang.
Hip Hop artist?
Again, lifelong New Yorker, so I gotta go with Biggie.
What has been your most watched mashup so far?
I’m pretty sure it’s my Bert and Ernie/Regulate video. That one was my nod to the original MOP video, and ended up getting taken down from Youtube, but it’s got something like 27 Million views on Facebook.
Can you check copyrights issue before you start working on a piece?
Must be annoying if they remove them once posted. Nowadays it’s a lot different, as most of these sites have musicdeals. So on Instagram for example, I only use songs directly from within their system.
‘Sometimes artists like Biggie or 2Pac tend to get big views’
I would expect Hip Hop artists/labels to knock on your door all the time to feature their song/artist. Such a great platform to bring songs back to life.
(Laughing) Definitely not, but I know a lot of the artists appreciate them. That’s the coolest thing about all of this. Literally my favorite artists, the ones I grew up buying their CDs now follow me, and watch/comment on my videos. It really doesn’t get cooler than that!
Are there certain cartoons and hip hop songs that get more attention than others?
Sometimes artists like Biggie or 2Pac tend to get big views, but I’ve learned firsthand, that is definitely not automatically going to happen! If anything, it’s a nice head start to go with an artist who’s more popular, but it absolutely still needs to be a good video for it to really break through.
What else do you do apart from editing and being a creative director?
Spending time with my girlfriend, friends, and family. I’m a huge basketball fan, let’s go Knicks, so much of my free time is spent obsessing over them.
What else is on your wish list?
My wish list would consist of my own tv show and a Knicks championship, both of which are extraordinarily far-fetched.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
I’d say Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) because I’m a big fan and also am not a skilled interviewer,but I know he’d make it good!