Marvel at The Sheer Amount of Talent on Display in Lex Allen's "Cream and Sugar" Video

Jan. 15, 2016
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Is it possible that the most valuable contributor to Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene right now isn’t a rapper or a producer but a filmmaker—or, rather, a pair of filmmakers? For the last couple of years directors Damien Klaven and Cody LaPlant have been crafting gorgeously shot, strikingly cinematic and often downright unforgettable music videos for some of Milwaukee’s best talent, and damn if they don’t seem to get better at it by the month. The two have raised the bar almost impossibly high for local rap videos. For years the default video was a shoddy, visionless shoot set a house party or some anonymous outdoor backdrop, but Klaven and LaPlant are creating genuine works of art, and the whole rap scene is benefiting from their halo effect. Would WebsterX have bowled over as many rap blogs without their beautiful accompaniments for “Doomsday” and “Lately?” Would Reggie Bonds have the name recognition he deserves without their insane, Mad Max in Milwaukee shoot for “Menace II Society?” Especially for rap fans outside the city, Klaven and LaPlant’s videos have become the entryway into Milwaukee's entire rap scene.

And the two filmmakers do some of their best work yet for Lex Allen’s latest single, “Cream and Sugar.” Actually, everybody involved does some of their best work yet. Allen, a John Legend-voiced neo-soul crooner who paid his dues as a supporting act for years, has developed into one of the city’s most provocative singers as he’s dialed up the androgyny and pushed his falsetto to its limit. Meanwhile, producer Q The Sun lends him a Pharrell-esque beat that rivals just about anything Pharrell’s released lately. And then there’s WebsterX, who slays yet another guest verse here. As if on cue, Klaven and LaPlant’s video turns from a posh sex fantasy into a horrific, noir-ish nightmare the moment the rapper enters the screen. The whole thing feels like an event.

Stream the video below.

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