Bronx hip-hop/rap artist Ricky Mapes presents a powerful reflection of urban America with his music video for "IDWDT". The track, which stands for "I Don't Wanna Die Tonight" comes off Mapes' EP Save Yourself, released earlier this year. The video brings light to the harsh realities of urban city life, raising awareness, reflection of choices, and hopefully conversation of change to the forefront of the scene. It premiered last Friday on Ghettoblaster.
"The premise of the video was to showcase the harsh realities of the environments that too many of us are used to," shared Mapes. "To display the consequences of living a certain lifestyle and that no matter how much you run you will never be able to escape your fate." The video was produced & directed by Kidmateo, and co-directed by L.I.F.E.. Filmed in one day, the footage was shot on Mapes Avenue, in the Bronx (NYC), coming together as an organic and immensely powerfully piece. Presented in black and white, a montage of scenes from the city highlight various scenarios of daily life, cross-cut with a young man running through the streets, whose sense of panic bleeds through with the weight of the lyrics. The video serves to only further enhance Mapes' message, by showcasing pieces of reality, daily choices, and their consequences.
In all of his work, Mapes brings a fresh and honest perspective to the New York hip-hop scene, with powerful lyrics and music that confronts reality, taking a stand to speak out rather than turn a blind eye. Especially as seen in "IDWDT," Mapes' music is vocal-centric, with supporting beats and ambient noise used to highlight the gravity of his words. “The meaning behind both the song and the video is to really act as a reminder for people living their life," reflected Mapes. "Always understand that there’s an effect to a cause, you know? With great success comes trials and tribulations, comes conflict and confrontation. Sometimes you don’t even have to be successful, things sometime happen to those undeserving of it. What I want people to take away from this is to remember to be aware. Be aware of your decisions, your surroundings, and the people around you, just always be aware.” While the track confronts harsh realities and dark material, Mapes' ultimate message is one of positivity and awareness.
"IDWDT" comes off Mapes' EP Save Yourself, which was released in March of 2018. The entire EP confronts feelings of fear, paranoia, and anxiety found in modern life, while still bringing optimism for the future. Through honesty in his own vulnerability in performance, Mapes finds comfort and artistic release. "It was therapeutic making this body of work as it helped me get a lot of different thoughts and ideas off my chest and out of my head. Sentiments I’ve never been able to express in conversation, I was able to express musically here and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. This project was for me, but if it winds up being for you too, then that’s just a bonus." Save Yourself is available for stream and purchase on all major digital platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud. Mapes will be performing live on July 19 at The Paper Box in Brooklyn, NY, with more shows to be announced this summer.