REVOLT’s new interview series “You Good?” is hosted by Terrence J. On it, the media personality speaks to his friends about their time social distancing and COVID-19, and much more.
In this week’s episode of “You Good?” host Terrence J sat down with celebrated film/music video director and producer Director X. The Toronto native discussed Coronavirus, using social distancing to your advantage, and much more.
X moved to New York City many years ago, where he worked with hip hop director Hype Williams. He was even Hype’s visual consultant on the 1998 film Belly. Shortly after, X became Hype’s protégé and would later go on to direct dozens of videos for famous artists such as Kanye West, JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, and many more.
The award-winning director and producer is recognized for his high-budget, visually distinctive music videos. He’s the mastermind behind Future and Drake’s visual for “Life Is Good,” and Lil Yachty’s “Oprah’s Bank Account” featuring Drake and DaBaby, among others.
Check out the highlights from this week’s “You Good?” episode with the talented Director X below.
1. Taping into your creativity during a pandemic
X revealed how he’s been using his time during the Coronavirus pandemic to sharpen his skills. The producer also provided tools on how he stays on top of his craft during these times. “Part of it is, technology allows us to keep cracking at things. Even if I’m not fully in the mode to create or write or draw or make something, I can lose myself in the craft,” X explains.
He added: “There’s some kid, I guarantee you no matter what you’re interested in, who’s dedicated themselves to making YouTube videos about it on a regular basis. As a filmmaker, I’m lucky. I got a playlist that I collect of these filmmaking [videos]. I must have 100 300. Those kids do it about stories, scriptwriting, cinematography, and acting. They’re kind of insightful looks into the craft that I can lose myself in.”
And if YouTube isn’t your thing, X tells Terrence that there’s always the traditional route of reading to hone your craft. “There’s the good old school of just reading the books about these things. So when you come out, at least your skillset is better,” X explains. “There’s a lot of like, ‘If you don’t have a new skill by the time you come out of quarantine, you ain’t really about your…’ How about, if you haven’t improved yours. I mean, at some point, just dive into your craft.”
2. Director X on the lasting impact of Coronavirus
Coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic in early March and has since altered society in ways that will forever change the way people go about daily life. X tells Terrence his views on the lasting impact of COVID-19. “The system we’re in has needed to change for a long time. I’ve been paying attention to world politics. Worldwide, with the amount of protesting that was going on, we were at a breaking point with the system, and it’s just not tenable. We’re in a moment of history that will go down in history the same way with the French Revolution [did] with the gap between the rich and poor,” X reveals. “It was ugly before this all happened, and now it’s cracking.”
He added: “To go into the 21st century and still have humanity doing the things we’re doing—people are dying because they don’t have money for their medication, bombing—we have to grow out of it, and I think God is going to force [it] on us.”
3. Director X evaluates humanity
“We’re just eating and eating, and wondering why we’re getting fat,” Director X describes how people are metaphorically acting during these times. “We’re just flying through. There’s just so much stuff to do. We’re basically purposeless, which is what’s happened.”
X’s assessment of society is that there’s a lack of purposefulness and that there’s still a lot of maturing that is needed. “We are, at least the first world, are spoiled teenage kids whose parents handle everything and so all we do is f**k around. There’s no one giving us a mission. There’s no one saying, ‘Let’s clean up the planet... so we just do stuff,’” X says. “We’re just doing what we can do because we’re purposeless right now. We need a moment again and perhaps to see what’s going one. Where humanity says we’re doing this, we’re cleaning the ocean. We’re cleaning the air.”
4. X talks Jeff Bezos
The unemployment rate have reached an historical high. However, not everyone is feeling the economic hurt as a result of COVID-19. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is reportedly on track to becoming the world’s first trillionaire despite having been accused of providing poor working conditions for his employees. The corporation recently terminated staffers, who criticized Amazon’s warehouse work conditions during the crisis. “They fired the kid—you know, a black kid from Staten Island,” X tells Terrence. “Jeff Bezos was in the room. I’m a lefty lefty. He’s in the room at the meeting, talking about how they’re going to discredit the kid. The man is about to be a trillionaire, trying to f**k over a guy who’s making how many dollars above minimum wage? You can’t do this.”
X expressed his distaste for Jeff’s alleged actions toward his employees “We’re blessed. There’s a world of people who aren’t near this s**t, got no connection to it, and all they know is they’re starving,” X tells Terrence. “They just spent hours in a lineup to get a box of food from the bank, and Jeff Bezos is a trillionaire and is cutting his workers’ time at Whole Foods, so he doesn’t have to pay their healthcare.”
5. Society needs to accountability
Terrence J and X discuss life post COVID-19, and understanding what efforts need to be set in place to correct damages. “I feel like as a species, humanity is metaphorically leaving our teenage years, we’re 18 now. Eighteen was the big one because it’s like, ‘Whoa! If I get in trouble with the cops, it’s no more young offenders. I’m going into the system.’ The choices you make and the life you’re going to live, there’s no illusion about it anymore,” X tells Terrence. “That’s where we’re at now. The choices we make with how we generate power, how we grow our food now have real consequences for the planet that we understand. How we treat the poor, how we deal with sickness, things like this.”