Fred Pharaoh‘s video for “GOLD TOOTH”, off of his tape Just For Fun, is one of his hardest cutts, polishing a persona birthed from pain. Fred (please don’t call him Frederick) imposes a “man versus the world” motif onto this track-video through a variety of techniques.
This partially follows from the fact that he’s the only character in the video; all others are reduced to minor suggestions in a short series of far-away, blurry shots. He forcefully draws listeners’ ears to his perspective alone. We literally can’t look at anyone else. The totem-pole imagery (i.e., ‘me atop the competition’) of his lyrics are amplified by the throne he literally places himself on. He uses this to play on the dichotomy he creates when he settles himself in torn clothes on that same throne. An artist struggling for a close dream.
This one-verse, no-chorus track also exposes Fred’s anger towards the low expectations he feels from close family members, and how he plans to fight those expectations with vigor. He isn’t whiny about his position as a working artist; Fred owns the struggles he’ll have to overcome as a hungry emcee. He transforms others’ ill-will to raise his own position.
A strumming piano and booming drums retain the New York steamroller energy Fred was brought up on and modernizes. He delivers lines alongside a variety of tempos exposed by these instruments. By maneuvering the twists these sounds take throughout the song, Fred creates an exciting passage for us to go on with him. He throws no shots and embellishes on no part of his persona; he uses this track to expose the genuine force behind his body of work.
Oh, and it also features audio from one of the best scenes in Meance II Society. You know you done fucked up, right?
STREAM EVERY CUTT OFF THE TAPE :