Maryland-based rapper Your Boy Fuse recently released his sophomore album, Compassionate Compositions, a project filled with introspective tracks about his life. "I was looking in the mirror, looking at my trials and tribulations, and my patterns," the artist says.
The first video to come from the album, which was released last month, is for "Sip the Liquor," which examines the inclination to drown one's troubles in hooch. With the track, Fuse has contributed to the vast collection of hip-hop tracks about getting blistered in order to escape ones problems (see Mobb Deep's "Drink Away the Pain," etc. etc.)
Fuse, who also heads his own label, 4Ever Records, talked about the inspiration for the lyrics, gray days, and the importance of showing federal D.C. in hip-hop videos.
Fuse says he wrote the track when going through a difficult time in his life, which led him to question why it's so socially acceptable for people to hit the bottle when they're struggling.
"Whether people like it or not, it’s a vice we all get into," he says. "It's sort of like a natural instinct: After a long day at work, you go to happy hour. And why do we keep a bottle of wine in fridge to relax? I said 'Hey, this is something everyone does in America."
If one doesn't really listening to the verses (or see the video), "Sip the Liquor" could be confused with just another pro-drinking hip-hop anthem--a mistake Fuse says some have already made. "I'm not promoting it," he says. "I did catch some flack from people saying, 'Why are you promoting this!" but I'm not."
Obviously the video for a track called “Sip the Liquor” includes shots of drinks and drinking, but it’s mostly lonely, solitary imbibing, rather than good-time social drinking at a party or in a club. Fuse is the only person in the video, looking forlorn and pensive, and most of the scenes were shot near water or monuments throughout D.C.
“I came up with the concept,” Fuse says. “Since [the track] is about about evaluating myself, the whole focus had to be on me solo—I wanted it to be as raw and real as possible, so you could really relate, like, ‘That’s how I was when my girlfriend left me’ or ‘That’s how I was when I lost my job.’”
Because Fuse is evaluating his life and attempting to clear his head in the video, he decided he should be seen in some of D.C.’s more beautiful locations—including places he really does visit when he needs to be alone with his thoughts.
“There are beautiful parts to the city, that’s why I took things over by the Key Bridge, the Kennedy Center, and some of my little personal cuts. I live in Maryland, but D.C. is where I’m fron—we always see the hood side, but not everything is gutter in D.C. We have nice things. It can’t always be U Street or Georgia Avenue [in videos]. It’s clean it’s beautiful, with all of the marble and historic places. But you still can’t forget about the Southeast side. That’s the realness of it.
The video shoot
Fuse was hoping that the day of the five-hour shoot for the video (shot by his friend Ti'Jean of Andre George Films) would start out gray, but end with the sun shining. “I kind of wanted a sunny day, to sort of show a symbol of hope,” he says. It ended up being a completely overcast day, but Fuse was still pleased with the end result. “I like how it came out with the gray,” he says. “There is a lot of emotion in the song—it’s gloomy, but there’s a lot of positive to it, too. [During the shoot], the sun didn’t come out at all, but it didn’t thunderstorm either, which worked.”