When power cut in the middle of his studio session in November 2016, Gugs-born Uno July took a short break in the Red Bull Studios’ lounge in Cape Town — a medium-sized not-quite-room where talks with outstanding cultural figures whose work touches on, or is directly influenced by, music, are often held, and upon whose walls have sat works by photographers such as Elsa Bleda.
He’d been in and out of the booth since 6.30am, recording, re-recording and ad-libbing tracks in a marathon session helmed by producer and mixing and recording engineer Kay Faith. Grandmaster Ready D slid in and out to lace cuts. Uno’s mom dukes pulled through too to show her youngin some love.
The emcee gathered all beautiful folks who’d been around throughout the day to either contribute guest features, or hang out while he recorded, and later launched his rap LP entitled Zero Hour Zone.
It’s best we head to the video location, luckily it’s not far off from here, he said, as the afternoon sun of hipster-friendly Kaapstad kissed black peoples’ skin and wrought terror unto the Caucs who roam freely in this part of town.
A couple of Ubers later, we were overlooking the Cape Town city bowl and scouting for the best setting to film one of the scenes from album, a song called “Isukile” featuring former Contra Gang crew member Simmysimmynya. Uno and videographer Dale Fortune chose a sparse forest which gives way to a vast expanse of high-risers below. The scenery ahead is shielded by Table Mountain, and monitored by White Clouds which never quite constantly lurk above Devil’s Peak.
This, is where sections of the KaeB-produced traphouse stabba were made manifest, visually.
(Other scenes happened on alternate days.)
It’s worth noting that Uno and his comrade in raps and life Jimmy Flexx followed the same procedure when recording the first 24 Hour Project as Ill Skillz in 2010. “Unbreakable”, the song they filmed a video for, featured IAMWEAVES, who changed his name to Petit Noir shortly afterwards and basically took flight across the rest of planet earth with his noirwave movement.