How genius is this unofficial fan-made video for “Us Placers,” the debut single from Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Pharrell Williams’ supergroup CRS? (Big hat-tip to Nah Right for bringing this to our attention.)
The song, in which the three charismatic rappers trade verses over a sample of Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser,” was an instant Internet classic when it came out on a mixtape this spring. Lupe told me last month that there might be a full-length CRS album as soon as late 2008; in the meantime, this video should be enough to tide us over. If you haven’t watched it yet (which you should, immediately!), the director got a bunch of kids who look like they’re in about fourth grade to play the emcees. Junior Ye, Lu, and P have their older counterparts’ mannerisms, fashion sense, and general swagger down to an uncanny degree, and the video’s production values are ace; the Dylan-esque cue cards are a nice touch. My only quibble is with the kid they got to play Thom Yorke — he gets points for trying mightily, but that guy’s not one-tenth as morose and world-weary as mini-Thom oughta be.
But who am I to nitpick such a funny clip? Especially when it put me in mind of some other videos featuring small children standing in for famous rappers. Like this posthumous Biggie masterpiece, directed by Spike Jonze:
The shots with lil’ Puffy mugging for the camera in the juniors-sized shiny suit get me every time!
And then there’s this new Jay-Z video, featuring a teen-aged version of Hov decked out in fly ’88 gear:
What we have here is a bona fide trend — and an awesome one, at that. Anything I missed?