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Rokeaux – ‘Silent’ [Gorkem Tekdal, USA, 2018]

Silent is the title of this catchy, calypso-tinged, hip hop track by independent rapper/singer Rokeaux and also the name of its accompanying music video, directed by Gorkem Tekdal. The film has a very new-age, “millennial” aesthetic, displaying all the hallmarks of a media-savvy videographer; the kind of content creation savant that, with a decent drone camera and on an exceptionally low-budget, can make anybody look like a star.

The film mostly consists of scenes of the Rokeaux overlooking the city at dizzying heights and his long-legged muse dressed in body-hugging black and high heels. At certain moments, the shots are literally flipped upside-down or mirrored along a latitudinal axis to create a visually interesting perspective. It is even more of a testament to the director’s inspired choices here, since we are not exactly in territories untrodden musically or conceptually. The clip is not without clichés but, even so, it is apparent the process has been handled with care and enjoyment.

Meet in the middle

It is a passable three-and-a-half minutes that will coast by harmlessly and without much complaint. The most discernible misstep is that the female character isn’t given anything to do other than stand and look pretty, but a lot more could be said about the many the gratuitous, near-naked twerking we see in a lot of other music videos that pass for popular entertainment. At least here the song is one of intended reverie and romance where Rokeaux places the object of his affection on a pedestal, whilst defending her against the ‘haters’.

In short, this is the type of content that, in the wrong hands or under a less skilled person’s supervision, might have felt static, bland or even offensive, but here the material is handled with aplomb and swagger.


'Silent' was a film submission in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2018.

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