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Big ups to Fice for his honest and real new video

FICE: He's not interested in editing Tacoma or selling museum tickets. Photo courtesy of Janae Jones/MySpace

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I usually hate homemade hip-hop videos about how much some unknown rapper loves where he or she comes from. But I got an e-mail the other day from someone who appreciated just such a video. So I watched "253" by local emcee Fice.

The video is a testament to the beauty of the 253 region of the South Puget Sound. A lot of it involves burly dudes with sleeve tattoos and old buildings. And streets you probably know. I recognize some of the faces. I recognize most of the old buildings. The cut opens with a Neko Case sample and a still of an Ice Cube poster. We get to watch Fice wake up and drive around. There are a lot of cuts to intimidating-looking people with all sorts of different colored skin. And lots of nice-looking people with all sorts of different colored skin. And poor people. Killas and hundred dolla bills. Emo kids with too many feelings. Big up.

It took me all day to figure out what I liked about Fice's Tacoma tribute. It wasn't that I saw a bunch of places and people I knew, and got to point and go "Ooooo ... I've eaten a hamburger there!" or "There's my cousin!" It wasn't because I got the vicarious thrill of living in a city that got five minutes and 23 seconds of fame on YouTube.

It was the honesty. More specifically, the honest picture of Tacoma Fice managed to capture on camera, in song, and on the mic.

I'm going to get shit for this. But I'm going to say it. Too often, art in Tacoma - no matter what the genre - fails to portray the range of faces and places with the kind of respect I saw in Fice's video. St. Joseph's Hospital, the B&I and Hilltop Market. Samoans, Latinos, African Americas, white folk, Asian folk - sometimes all in the same shot. Folks throwing Cs up. And Eddie Sumlin. Fice even kisses his mom. It's real in a way that a lot of the art I see around here just plain isn't.

I'm not sure I like all the places Fice chose to rep, but I know them. And I didn't get the icky feeling that I get when I see an oil painting of Frisko Freeze selling for $500 - like someone went slumming one day and decided to paint about it. I didn't get the feeling Fice was trying to make a video for tourists, calling out all the uniqueness in Tacoma in hopes someone from Seattle or the Eastside will find it quaint enough down here to come and buy dinner and some museum tickets. I like that he included a lot of places and people the vast majority of communication about this city edits out for publicity's sake, or impugns for the same reason. 

Big up to Fice, who I don't know, but wouldn't be ashamed to.

Joe Malik is a jaded, ornery, "power to the people type" that can't help but comment on all the stupid, awesome, or just plain questionable stuff he sees within the local arts community. Basically, he's kind of an arts-centric asshole - but we like him. The Weekly Volcano doesn't always agree with what he says, but we do enjoy stirring the pot.

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Comments for "SLOUCHING TOWARD UTOPIA: Two five three" (3)

Weekly Volcano is not responsible for the content of these comments. Weekly Volcano reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

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Tea said on Jul. 01, 2010 at 7:40pm

My point exactly...;-) 2.5.3. (nuff said)

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joshua lee said on Jul. 01, 2010 at 8:00pm

Fice is truly talented artist. This is a major hit for the 253. I don't know how many times I watched the video now. Major props bro. Keep doing your thang

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RDA said on Jul. 01, 2010 at 9:48pm

This will FOREVER be the 253 Anthem. Greatest hip hop song to come out of the Northwest period.

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