When I first saw the video for Oakland rapper Ezale’s “5 Minutes of Funktown” late last year, what drew me to it – besides good rapping, five beat changes, lightweight ghost riding and a marijuana joint the size of a Top Dog – was how fucking happy he was, smiling and dreads swinging when rapping about his dead or jailed homies. He’s bouncing around, sliding, dancing, gigging in the backseat of a car, and generally turning up with weed, tequila and a gang of fools behind him. It’s rare to see that outward joie de vivre in a debut music video when most other rappers are busy beasting hype of whatever outfit they’re wearing. Ezale brings all that contagious joy to his new video for “Foreal Foreal,” released this week.
At an East Oakland ARCO station, Ezale and his friends have a full on sideshow soundtracked by Run-DMC’s “It’s Like That” (or more accurately its sample in the remix of Jagged Edge’s classic “Let’s Get Married“). Continuing with the theme of other Bay Area rappers obsessed with gas, they shut down the station and the Am/Pm with their mob and scrapers. Even when talking about his departed little brother, the party goes on, hopefully what his bro would’ve wanted. Both “Foreal Foreal” and “5 Minutes of Funktown” appear on the mixtape Drug Funnie.