Meet 10-year-old Kanye, Lupe, and Pharrell

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?

Comments (6 total) Add your comment
  • tiff

    My first time seeing/hearing CRS but I loved the video concept!

  • monica

    i like learning new stuff like this. keep it up. as for the collaboration itself, i wish more artists did this, focusing more on the music and less about the paycheck. they act like they have loans to pay or something. after the first single, you’re done paying your rent, your health insurance, and food; you’re pretty much set. stop acting stupid.

  • Rich

    Not hip-hop, but certainly the grandaddy of the “lil’ kids filling in for the big stars” trend in videos: Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher.” 20+ years later it’s still awesome.

  • Jon

    Paula Abdul, Forever Your Girl

  • Fatima

    I LOVE Kanye and Lupe, but there is something about that track I really can’t stand. It doesn’t seem like anything is suppoed to go together and the piano is way to lifeless and plodding with the raps.

  • Astro Boy

    AH-MEH-ZIN. Thanks!

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