In 1994, Danish rapper Lucas Secon released a song on his second (and final) album, Lucacentric, that may be history’s only recorded mashup of hip-hop and ragtime. The single reached 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
The song is fun, but the video directed by Michel Gondry is legendary. The black-and-white tribute to early cinema was shot in a long continuous single take. There’s liberal use of rear projection, which includes some fun little gags such as our singer in a weird monster movie and a car plowing through pedestrians just to reach some piano keys. It zippy and cool, matching the jazzy, upbeat track accompanying it.
Gondry mentioned that there was no post-production at all, and it really was done in one shot. An impressive feat for a video shot in the 90’s without fancy computer-aided video editing tools at one’s disposal.
Lucas’ parents are pretty interesting, by the way. His mom was the former head of the Danish Academy of Arts, and his dad co-founded Pottery Barn. So is the “lid” Lucas is referring to some fancy, overpriced wicker lid?