Monday, July 29, 2013

Check out Psalm One's touching "Macaroni and Cheese" video

Posted By on 07.29.13 at 10:50 AM

Psalm One
Tonight local rapper Psalm One (aka Cristalle Bowen) opens for Doomtree MC Dessa at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion to close out this year's Downtown Sound series. Psalm says it's one of her biggest hometown shows, and it's an excellent opportunity to catch up on her recent spate of work. At the end of May Psalm released Free Hugs, an EP she describes as a "breath of fresh air"; the project started a couple years ago when producers A Plus and Aagee (aka Compound 7) woke her up in the middle of the night and sent her a pack of beats, and she challenged herself to record a song for every track and ended up releasing Free Hugs under the name Hologram Kizzie. Psalm is also in the middle of mixing an album with producer Oh No (of Gangrene), and she's continuing to build Rhyme School, a hip-hop focused music mentoring program she works on in partnership with the Intonation Music Workshop.

Today Psalm dropped another project—it's the video for a track called "Macaroni and Cheese." The slinky neo-soul tune came out back in 2006 (it's on her debut for Rhymesayers, The Death of Frequent Flier), but she never got around to making visuals for it, and got an itch to make a video this past winter. Around that time a student at Nazareth Academy High School named DJ Rybski approached Psalm on Twitter with the idea of working on some videos. Rybski, now 17 and preparing to enter his senior year, has been making music videos since his freshman year and came up with a concept for the "Macaroni and Cheese" clip—Psalm would make mac 'n' cheese and give it to people in need. "Going to Catholic high school, I've always been told that it's more important to give back," Rybski says in an e-mail. "This video was a perfect way to do just that."

The idea really connected for Psalm. "I thought it was completely heartwarming because it wasn't my idea to do it," she says. They decided to make a meal for Deborah's Place, a west side homeless shelter that's exclusively for women. "I made them macaroni and cheese, vegetables, and some dessert, and we went up there and sat with them and made lunch," Psalm says. The rapper and videographer were both touched by their time at Deborah's Place ("it's one of the coolest things I've ever done," Psalm says), and the folks who work at the shelter were quite appreciative; Deborah's Place communications manager Megan Williams says, "Psalm One could not have been more welcoming and generous."

Watching the "Macaroni and Cheese" video, it's pretty apparent that everyone enjoyed the experience. Check it out below (and peep the Reader 2011 People Issue in an early shot) and go see Psalm One at Pritzker Pavilion tonight—the show starts at 6:30 PM.

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