Sometimes the craziest things come from the weirdest places. There are certain things that you see or hear coming from different people from certain cultures and geographical locations, such as hearing someone from Great Britain mention having “a spot of tea” will not surprise most because of the love of tea. Remember, throwing their tea into the water, started an entire war. Seriously, there are those times where hearing something come from someone sounds weird, like hearing Taylor Swift’s video director, Joseph Kahn, talk about bodying someone – a term used in the Hip Hop culture to describe how an MC dominated another MC in a battle rap.
It is not that he is Asian, both the Neptune and 2-Live Crew (major contributors to the Hip Hop culture) were heavily influenced by Asians. It is more the appearance and demeanor that throws people off, but sometimes looks can be deceiving. Let learn a little bit more about Joseph Kahn.
1. He is a Houston Native
While most people don’t realize it, Houston has played a significant role in the advancement of Hip Hop, as the second major hub of its growth after New York in the early to mid-1980s. With groups like the Geto Boys, UGK, and others – not to mention it being the home of the famed Rap-A-Lot Records, it is easy to see why a kid growing up in Jersey Village (A Houston Suburb) has a passion for the art. It does not take much time observing Kahn before you understand that he has creative passion.
2. He Does More Than Videos
Joseph Kahn has become known as the guy that directs, Taylor Swift’s videos; however, he is so much more than that. If you understand Taylor’s thirst for perfection, then you have to know that she works with Joseph Kahn because he delivers. He is a very talented filmmaker that is making a name for himself in the indie film world. In fact, he recently screened Bodied, a ridiculously politically incorrect, outrageous movie focused on battle rap. It is good to see filmmakers who are willing to challenge the status quo and the demand for political correctness.
3. He Consistently Battles the Disconnect Created by His Work
Kahn is immensely creative, and I stated earlier, he tends to venture away from the cookie-cutter approach to creating a story. This diversion from the status quo sometimes leads to a disconnect. He revealed that Netflix had a difficult time accepting the fact that his protagonist in “Bodied” was not really a protagonist, which was actually the entire point of the movie. Basically, his story was not neatly wrapped in political correctness, so many distributors passed on it.
4. Challenges Boundaries
When you watch Bodied, it will be easy to see why so many distributors passed on the film. Through at least 75 percent of the film, everyone is talking in Ebonics, but it is a battle rap movie. What are people going to expect? The problem is that people automatically associated Ebonics with broken English and being a sign of a person not being adequately educated. The truth is that Ebonics has a cultural history and it has a heavy influence on the Hip Hop culture as a whole – not just rap music.
5. He Is Not Making a Lot of Friends
You would think that a person who is attempting to find distribution for his work would be a bit more soft-spoken and less abrasive, but not Kahn. He recently mentioned that “Get Out,” a movie that has received global acclaim, is child’s play when placed in juxtaposition to “Bodied.” He said that “Get Out” is a horror movie that only has to do one thing to be successful – scare people. When challenged on his assessment, he stands firm on it, suggesting that a movie about Battle Rap has no genre or historical context in the film world.