Saturday, February 7, 2009

SMASHPROOF feature on the front page of the NZ Herald today:

And for once we're not being attacked by the papers...

4:00AM Saturday Feb 07, 2009. By Vaimoana Tapaleao

A new music video re-enacts the moment South Aucklander Pihema Cameron was caught tagging shortly before he was killed.

The video - to the song Brother, by South Auckland hip-hop group Smashproof - shows lookalikes acting out the scene when the 15-year-old was caught vandalising the property of businessman Bruce Emery in January last year.

Emery chased and stabbed Pihema, who bled to death. He is due to be sentenced next Friday for manslaughter.

In the video, a Maori youth wearing black is tagging a property fence when he is interrupted and chased by a chubby Pakeha man wearing spectacles.

The man grabs the teenager and struggles with him, before the camera cuts away. In the background, rapper Tyree says: "Man, take away a kid's life just because he tagged? Damn."

The song, which features singer Gin Wigmore, deals with social issues in South Auckland, including criminal activity, drug dealing and gang affiliation.

Director Chris Graham said recreating the scene - which had the potential to be sensitive for some - was important to fully illustrate the seriousness of the incident.

"You have to do justice to a song with such strong issues ... You had some people saying that kid deserved it and others saying he didn't. We consciously wanted to provoke thought and to reopen dialogue."

Mr Graham said the group, consisting of Tyree and fellow South Auckland-raised rappers Young Sid and Deach, wanted to "shine a light" on an incident that many people had debated without understanding what it was like to live in South Auckland.

"It was really important to get people thinking. People can look and listen to it and either relate to it or - if you're at the other end of the spectrum - to consider what's happening around them."

Pihema Cameron's mother, Leanne, said she had yet to see the video but supported using the incident to highlight local issues.

"I heard about it and my daughter said it was okay. Seeing [musicians'] views through that - those kids are pointing out and expressing their views - good on them."

She hoped Emery would see it, saying: "He gets fame in a different way - good."

Emery's lawyer, Chris Comesky, said the video had the potential to cause disorder, with people acting "unfavourably" towards his client as a result. However, given that the scene was being used in an artistic context that highlighted social issues, it was fair.

"If it's a fair portrayal then I'd be the first person to say I wouldn't have a problem with it. After all, it was sort of a landmark case in New Zealand, so if it provokes people to think about particular issues - crime and how life can easily be taken - then that's a good thing."

R.I.P Pihema Cameron


Anonymous said...

Damn frontpage that is dope...good to see the media pushing the message in a positive light get people talkin.... hopefully the weekend album got a whole heap of thought provoking stuff in it cant wait.

Jaycee said...

i thought the video was really good and i think it helps people understand the issues that we have in south auckland.

r.i.p pihema

Daniel said...

I just seen it on the news both one and three recorded and uploaded to youtube now.

MTC said...

^^^ please send us links for that, thanks

Daniel said...

tv 3


MTC said...

^^^ good lookin' Danny

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