“‘Indie’ has everything to do with individuality and pride. In being proud of who we are, we realize that each of us has something special and extraordinary to bring to the table.”
This is how Baltimore rapper Greenspan describes his latest song “Indie,” as well as its accompanying music video. Directed by Angel Kristi Williams, whose work has earned her accolades from film festivals in Atlanta and Sarasota, the music video is a celebration of Baltimore and the black people who make the city what it is.
Viewers see West And East Baltimore through the eyes of Greenspan, as he rides around in a ’64 Lincoln Continental, scenes of black youth interspersed in scenes of black people in beautiful formal wear.
“It was Angel’s vision to capture the moment in time of a ‘Classic Baltimore’ and display Black excellence,” Greenspan said.
“When I first heard the song it felt like something from a different time period, an older time,” Williams added.
But the past and present are blended beautifully in the video, the imagery of a classic and contemporary Baltimore highlighting a shared connection: the celebration of blackness. But there are moments of poignancy, such as when the video abruptly shifts halfway through when another one of Greenspan’s songs, “Kings Night Out,” starts playing.
Flashes of blue and red from a police car light up a dark street; police tape barricades an entire crosswalk. Greenspan turns his head occasionally to look at what’s going on before driving on, hands on the wheel and a handle of Hennessy by his side.
“I knew I wanted the mood to shift once ‘Kings’ came on and [Williams’ video editor] Dan Cooper showed me a cut and it worked perfectly,” Williams said. “The idea behind it is that Baltimore isn’t this homogenous place. Depending on whether you’re in west or east Baltimore and what neighborhood you’re in, your experience of the city can be completely different.”
Ultimately, the video ends right where it started: on a Baltimore block, a little black girl looking into the camera from a distance before walking onward. The message is clear: Baltimore, for Greenspan, Williams, and countless other black people, is home.
“Indie,” which features singer Christen B, comes from Greenspan’s 2016 album Never Gon Die, which can be listened to below.
Check out images from the “Indie” music video below as well.