Last year, Mane Rok and DeeJay Tense dropped an incisive track called “This One’s.” Inspired and appalled by seemingly ubiquitous stories about police brutality in the news, the veteran rapper decided to use his considerable intellect to dig into the issue with more than the usual “f- the police” rhetoric. On Friday, he’ll reveal a powerful video for the song, directed by Nache Greene and Vince Lance (a.k.a. Emergency Room). Rather than simply vilifying the cops of its story, the video tackles all the complexity of the human experience that leads to police brutality. Trust us, you’ll want to see this one.
As part of the build-up to the big night, big Mane Rok will also be releasing a six-pack of remixes of “This One’s” — by a number of talented Colorado producers — through several area music blogs and websites. On Monday, a remix by 800 the Jewell appeared on Dyalekt‘s Scarlet Smoke blog. Yesterday’s remix by Strange Powers was featured on West Denver Copwatch. One of those remixes is making its premiere today, right here in Steal This Track.
This particular remix holds a place of honor for Mane Rok, who credits its producer — who died just after filming for the video wrapped — as one of his biggest local inspirations. If you have any appreciation for Colorado hip-hop, you too owe at least a small debt of gratitude to Kolor Grey, known to his loved ones as Cassidy McLean. As part of the legendary Future Ref crew, the emcee and producer helped build the Denver scene in the late ’90s — even recording the first tracks by Mane Rok’s crew mates Deca and Ichiban. When he heard about Mane Rok’s call to remix “This One’s,” Kolor Grey jumped at the chance to be part of the project, producing his take on the track in no time. Sadly, the hip-hop honcho passed away earlier this year, but he left us this parting shot. The producer’s untimely death adds another layer of power to the hard-hitting track.
Read on for our interview about the video with Mane Rok, Nache Greene and Vince Lance, and to hear the Kolor Grey remix of “This One’s,” dedicated to the memory of McLean himself, as well as to Ayana Jones, the seven-year-old girl killed by Detroit police in May of 2010.