Updated: Jul 16, 2020
“As I started progressing I was like is this going to be another one of those songs where it’s all verse? I was like, why do all my songs have a long verse but no chorus and I was like yo...”
Before creating Chuck Norris, Lj was in a creative slump. But after finding the beat on youtube, and then figuring out the lyrics, he knew he had something.
Those creative-juices began to flow again and Lj was back and ready to try out this new song.
He tried that new song out at The Underworld. Which is a stage in New Brunswick, run by fellow musician, Zoloft Zombie(https://www.instagram.com/zoloftzombie/.) Zoloft, along with the other fans there that night, got a taste of this round-house-kick of a song, before it ever was...
“They were singing along with the chorus and they never heard of it before. I was like, yo this song might actually be quite good.”
He didn’t even have the song recorded yet. Lj was just trying it out. The feedback got him thinking but he still didn’t pull the trigger on recording it.
Then Came The Phone Call
“Yo LJ... I’m hungry for another video.”
Joshua, aka “YoAspire” is one of those creators that is constantly looking for and trying out new things. Before partnering up with Lj on this project though, he was on the hunt for something… Better yet, he was “hungry” for something. On that call he told him:
“If you have any songs you like, that you want to work, just send me the media. I'm going to kill this music video.”
At the point of this phone-call, LJ still had yet to record the song. So he wasn’t set-in-stone on making Chuck Norris into a music video. But his friend changed that pretty quickly. Although the potential was there, there was another song: Kirby, in the mix. Kirby was nice but Chuck Norris had something else in it that he thought his friend could work with...
“I was like, I feel Chuck Norris is a better one. One it has a better feel to it and then... it’s different.”
If you listen to the song, you get a feel of why it’s “different” and that’s exactly what Lj was going for.
“Chuck Norris is more of a... this just sounds good and it feels good so let's just make it. Most of the song, with Chuck Norris, I’m not saying anything, like it makes no sense.”
Livin in the past on the move let me reminisce
Ain’t Nobody talkin in the room full of elephants
Every single win is a blessin let me celebrate
On a higher plain no more stressin let me elevate
Chuck norris is a “happy and playful” song. He wanted something that flowed, was fun, and something to release all of the energy he had cooped-up while he was in that “slump.”
Although it may have not been Lj’s intention to throw some absolute Gems-of-lyrics in this song, he may have secretly outdone himself. Where, in Slump-Gotti, Lj intentionally was telling a story and making sense with the lyrics, Chuck Norris was one where he just let it flow and didn’t care what he said. If it sounded good he put the pen to the paper.
Check the time on my wrist watch
It don’t tick tock but it shines
Diamond big rocks, you could go blind
On my mind is a new thought
Light bulb in the sky
Ice pack on my left cheek
Right under my eye
If you can keep up with Lj’s lyrical prowess in this chill-non-chalant-mind-bending song, pay close attention to the lyrics and see if you can catch more of those gems.
Maybe, you’ll be able to make a diamond necklace from them...
Collaboration and Working Together
It’s one thing for a random director to reach out to you and say ‘Hey, I like your work, lets collaborate on something.’ But, it’s another thing when someone you know and trust to say: Let's make it happen.
“He trusts my vision.” Joshua said, “As soon as he showed me the song and the title, I didn’t even know what to expect. But, I was just bumpin with it automatically.”
When you have that trust-the-process mentality it makes everything so much easier. But, in that random director scenario, you may have to spend a little time getting to know each other. Which is great, and needs to be done, but in this case: of The Chuck Norris Music Video, the turnaround time was quick and the two started shooting in about a week from that phone-call.
Selfishly, as creators we want to be involved with every step of the process. With Lj and Joshua and this music video, Lj gave the whole music video process to Josh.
“Josh put it all together I can’t take credit for anything, Josh went crazy.”
That’s a testament to their willingness to trust each other's unique talents. They know how to stay in their lanes and let the other do what they do best.
Directing and Shooting Chuck Norris
“The video was to just compliment what the song meant. Very fun and cartoonish.”
To start: you have to be aligned with the song. And LJ makes music that Josh likes. Music that he connects with. So it makes it easier for him to do his thing behind the camera and his computer. Also, it’s able to spark Johua’s vision as a director to make the song come alive.
Creating a music video is no easy task. When you’re not on the same page with the director it can make for a tumultuous day of filming.
Worst case scenario: you may have to take a step back from the project or even worse: find a new partner. But, these two don’t have to worry about that. They have been working together for years and you can see that come out in each of their projects that they’ve worked on together.
“Sometimes directing can be awkward. You have to tell people how to do something that they might not understand. I’m happy Lj understands and gets me.”
From filming in a shop rite, to getting kicked out, Joshua had a vision and a plan. No matter what he was going to follow through and make his vision a reality. So many scenes could be their favorite. Including the basement scene, the fight scene, the boom-box scene or something else. Their favorite scene though:
“Shop rite, because we got kicked out.” Joshua said. Then Lj added, “I think the same thing, because it added an element of danger.”
Hearing about that scene, and the way Joshua filmed the rest of it, complemented, in my opinion what this song is about: ‘Discovery and Danger.’
Every verse is a new journey, and the chorus is the glue that allows people to recall what they just discovered while listening to this new song…
By- Lj The Alien.
“Just to have all of those people there... The vibe was fun, everybody was chillin, laughing and having a good time. It was cool.”
To make it happen though and to bring Joshua’s vision alive he needed some help. It takes an army sometimes to make things happen sometimes and these people stepped up to the plate.
All of these people took roles in the music video that brought it to life.
If you know Lj, he’s a guy who wants to have a good time and is out to help support his friends and fellow creators. He wishes more people were there but is thankful to the ones who were able to make the trip to make it happen.
He also knows how to work, get the job done, and then celebrate the win.
The Music Video
You get a taste of Joshua’s amazing editing and directing ability throughout the music video. From the watch scene(photo above) to the (quickly filmed) scenes in shop rite, the fighting scenes, Lj in a tree, incorporating a purple light, an aerial shot looking down on Lj, editing in an old school tv with shots of Chuck Norris’ old movie and clips from the music video; you get to see what he can do and how he turns a song into a visual masterpiece.
I’m high on this Earth but my brain is far away from
Everything I know, sight trained on the future
The ability for two people to combine their unique talents is usually incredible. In this case: Lj’s smooth-flowing song and Joshua's editing skills. The two were on the same page with this one. One with the mic and the other with the camera.
“If it flows write it down if it feels good don’t second guess, it just write it down and let it go.” - LJ
LJ The Alien -
Find Lj’s music on:
Sound cloud- https://soundcloud.com/lj-the-alien
Editor and Director
Story by- Tom Kubrak
Email- firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries, comments and questions.
IG & TWTR @tomkubrak