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Stroke Code Music Video Review


Directed by: Derek Whittington

Written by: Hyphen-One

Music Video Review by: Chris Olson


Still from Stroke Code with a black woman wearing a blue face mask.
Stroke Code

A vibrant, ambitious, and kinetic music video directed by Derek Whittington for OG Neuro and Hyphen-One’s ultra collaborative track “Stroke Code” combines urban creativity with a hard-hitting (and painfully relevant) scientific message.

From the first beat of Stroke Code, you feel the capable creative hands of the artists at work. The meshing of beatboxing, simple harmonies, lively vocals and more are expertly crafted, resulting in an addictive vibe that is as thought-provoking as it is engaging. With social references in the song to George Floyd, COVID and 2020, the political zeal of the track’s intention is inescapable but impressively handled with a music video that celebrates unity, colour and collaboration.

Across the city streets, the camera attempts to keep up with all manner of human activity, from graffiti artists to samba dancers, that seems bursting with energy and conviction. In order to fully appreciate the energy on display, computer-generated explosions of colour are added to sequences, from face masks being tweaked to show-stopping choreography in the middle of the street, everything here is teeming with passion.

There is an obvious fluidity to the filmmaking that is essential to connect the multiple aspects of the music video. With a 4-minute plus running time, this is a substantial piece that aims to (and succeeds in) convey a heartfelt message using a plethora of eye-catching strands. The music complements this perfectly, with catchy riffs, grounded vocals, and a blend of the modern with the classic R&B feels, everything feels on point.

As far removed from a COVID public service announcement as you could get, Stroke Code seems able to not only talk about numerous, huge issues that have impacted society globally but in a way that somehow feels refreshingly simple.

The rhythm and movement of the piece interlink all who appear within, reflecting our shared experience, and the vibrant colourful additions seem to pinpoint our individuality which strikes us more often than we think.

Whether your choice is to spray paint “Rise Together” on a broken door, or simply walk to work wearing a face mask, we all play our part in this frenetic and ultimately hopeful journey through life that is never overpowered by the seemingly endless sorrow and pain that comes our way. In fact, it’s those shared experiences that can bring us together if we choose to see the connection.

Watch my video review of "Stroke Code":



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