You Know My Steez – THX 1138

You know what’s great about posting videos to your blog? Very little writing. Following my previous piece deriding uninformed claims that Hip Hop and speculative fiction are somehow averse to each other, I thought it might be good to post some examples showing the best blending of my two favorite artistic expressions–especially those that pull from classic speculative fiction tropes. In this mash up, one of the most phenomenal duos to ever grace the mic and turntables, Gang Starr, meets pre-Star Wars icon George Lucas’s first major film, THX 1138.

In 1971 George Lucas premiered his directorial debut THX 1138, which depicts a bleak society controlled by android police and where mandatory drug use is enforced by the state in order to suppress human emotions and, especially, sex. The film remains one of the more modern renditions of Orwellian dystopian futurism–which was why in 1997 when one of Hip Hop’s premiere groups Gang Starr paid homage to THX 1138 for the video to their song “You Know My Steez,” I was geeked. And after all this time, I still am. The video was directed by Terry Heller, and depicts the late phenomenal emcee with “the voice,” Guru, playing the role of what appears to be a dissenting THX 1138 (acted by Robert Duvall in the film) while spitting verses over a head-nodding track created by none other than the legendary DJ Premier. Wiki calls it, “a faithful homage to THX 1138, from the costuming and iconic cinematography to an upside-down miniature BART tunnel and the duplication of the famous extreme telephoto sunset ending.” Instead of sex, it appears Hip Hop and forms of music are outlawed in this society–strictly policed by the repressive androids who are the extension of an autocratic totalitarian state, perhaps an allusion to attempts to censor and scapegoat Hip Hop which were all too common at the time.

Who’s the suspicious character strapped with the sounds profound/
Similar to rounds spit by Derringers/
You’re in the Terrordome like my man Chuck D said/
It’s time to dethrone you clones, and all you knuckleheads/

Yep. Still dope!

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