Ken Rebel leads a group during music video shoot

Ken Rebel and Underwater Squad Start Riot in SoHo During Music Video Shoot

Photos by Harrison Corwin and Shamon Jones

Bape’s had an unspoken attachment to hip hop since making waves in the United States over a decade ago. From their collaborations in the past with Pharrell, Kanye West, and the Beastie Boys to their upcoming collection with the Flatbush Zombies, one could say Bape and rap go hand in hand. It’s only right that history be made outside its doors.

“It’s good for the culture,” one employee told me inside Bape’s New York flagship location, as a cluster of New York City youth socialized on the cobblestoned outside, awaiting the official start of Brooklyn rapper Ken Rebel‘s impromptu video shoot with Korean rap trio The Cohort. Better known as Underwater Squad, The Cohort has garnered much attention in the states due to the mega success of “It G Ma,”a trap song that’s made Asian rap history. Okasian, a member of the crew gave Mass Appeal the rundown on the video shoot and language barriers, right before it turned into an all out riot.

Okasian and Keith Ape
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Ken Rebel Video Shoot In Soho
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Mass Appeal: All these people are reciting your lyrics and they don’t even know your language. How does that feel?

Okasian: Fuck language. When it comes to music you don’t need a language. [Today] we’re shooting this video with Ken Rebel, JayAllDay, Keith Ape, and myself, Okasian. We don’t know what the song’s gon’ be called, but it’s definitely fire. NYC has showed mad love. SOB’s was turnt. All these people out here for the video shoot.

You performed at SXSW and a video of you at YouTube offices has also surfaced. What else has Underwater Squad been working on? 

We’re working with a whole lot of people right now, and I don’t know which songs are gonna come out, but we’re hooking up with like Nez & Rio, the producers who made “Pretty Flacko 2.” We recorded one thing in L.A., but I don’t know when it’s gon’ drop though. We did a couple shows in L.A., all that shit was turnt. Shows after shows. SXSW then L.A. SX was crazy too, we played Fool’s Gold…everything was turnt. They showed us crazy love. This shit feels crazy. Like [I was] walking into fucking YouTube. You see every rapper I was listening to on the street and shit. They KNOW us too. That’s fucking crazy.

[The crowd grows larger as we speak.]

This is the first music video we shot in America. Actually, Keith is doing “It G Ma” remix and they are shooting it right now. I’m trying to stay low-key about the features and shit, but it’s gonna be fire. You’re gonna hear some big names on it.

Why meet at the Bape store? 

I fuck with Bape. Bape is my life. Bape is life on the real.

*

“People have been calling the store all day asking what time the shoot is starting,” a Bape employee with two-tone hair states. The store is packed as usual with the occasional inquiry from fans asking questions about the video shoot.

As Underwater Squad gave out daps and took photos, Ken Rebel spoke to Mass Appeal on how the video shoot came to fruition.

Ken Rebel leads a group during music video shoot
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Mass Appeal: What’s going on today? 

Ken Rebel: Me, Keith Ape, Okasian, and JayAllday, we’re doing this video shoot for the new song we got coming out.

Your song right?

Yeah. Me and Keith meet each other at SX. They brought me out to one of their shows. We turned shit upside down. They just brought me out to their sold-out show at SOB’s. We turned shit upside down. That’s my family right there. They show me so much love. It’s all through connection and bad English.That’s how we connect. Through the music and bad Bnglish. They real cool dudes.

What’s the track?

I hasn’t come out yet. We recorded it two days ago and said we gotta get this video done. Yesterday, we shot part one of the video at the YouTube office. I can’t say too much, but the scene is very turnt and boss styled. Right now we gotta get the youth involved. This scene is for the youth. We gonna be willin’ out in the streets. Jumpin’ on cars. Regular rebel life shit. That’s what today is about.

*

Just as he finishes our interview, Rebel calls Cohort member Okasian and runs off into the crowd. In an instant, the mob grows from a mere 30-member fleet to a strong 100 and burst down Greene St. down into the Vfiles alley way. Two NYPD patrol cars drive straight into the crowd, weapons drawn. The group quickly wraps around to Broadway and troops to Jersey St., growing larger in size with each block.

Turnt is an understatement to the events that took place, as the youth climbed construction site scaffolding and jumped on moving vehicles, as seen in the footage below, in what was definitely the most high-strung music video shoot SoHo has ever seen.

Pt.2 A video posted by Alex Williams (@al20cal) on

Today was lit thank you to everyone that came out

A video posted by Alex Williams (@al20cal) on

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