NASA (Squeak E. Clean and Kool Kojak) teamed up with Fab Five Freddy and the Museum of Contemporary Art to create a tribute to SAMO, the late ‘70s graffiti entity created by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz. NASA composed the music, while Fab Five Freddy did the spoken word over top. The video was put together by filmmakers Aaron Rose and Thomas McMahan, and constructed from footage of late ‘70s New York. Via MOCA‘s YouTube Channel:
For this film, rather than making a direct homage to Basquiat’s work, the filmmakers decided instead to try to re-create the world, which spawned SAMO. Los Angeles musician, Sam Spiegel (aka Squeak E. Clean), who is known for his work with Kanye West, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Crystal Castles, came together with Brazilian-American producer Kool Kojak to record the track under the group name NASA (Spiegel’s solo project). Legendary New York impresario Fab Five Freddy was recruited to do a spoken word track for the bridge, and the music was complete. A search for archival footage of New York from the era was undergone, then coupled with organic elements to add a sense of hand-made to the film. Animator Maya Erdelyi painstakingly painted and scratched hundreds of feet of vintage 16mm stock, which has been used as a visual bed for the film. Erdelyi and artist Alexis Ross did the SAMO/Fab Five Freddy texts and lettering by hand. Aaron Rose and filmmaker/animator Thomas McMahan then assembled of the final piece together in the edit.