Iranian-American rapper Azad Right put himself on the hip-hop map last year, earning comparisons to Nas even before he dropped his self-released debut album, For the Hopeful, last October. Recently, the Venice-raised artist resurfaced with a new track, "If I Die," which pays homage to his hometown over a dramatic, piano-laced beat by U.K. producer Hucci. Now "If I Die" has a moody, atmospheric video to go with it, which we're premiering below.
In the Patrick Kudej–directed clip, Azad waits for a blonde to join him in a hotel room overlooking the Pacific, as he delivers a rap that takes stock of this moment in his career, his personal life and the legacy he's already built for himself. "Bury me in Venice Beach," he declares, "and let my ashes go on the PCH/Blunt lit, top down so they see your face." The video also features singer (and cancer survivor) Harry Hudson, who sings the chorus ("If I die today/At least it's in L.A.") in a field that appears to be somewhere up in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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Raised by his single, divorced father, a blind poet forced to flee political violence in Iran in the 1970s, Azad grew up studying piano and violin, but was drawn to hip-hop from an early age. His musical sensibilities and cultural background make him a truly unique voice in rap music, one with the burgeoning talent to back up his distinctive attitude and perspective.
Azad Right plays a headlining show at the Mint on Thursday, Aug. 20. Tickets (and more music) are available via www.azadright.com.