Meet 3 Directors Behind the Emerging Alabama Rap Scene

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For the last two years, Alabama has cultivated some of the most exciting up-and-coming acts in rap right now. Artists like TLE Cinco, Lil Bam, Rylo Rodriguez, and OMB Peezy, among many others, have helped put the Yellowhammer state on the map. However, much of their success can be attributed to three directors who serve as the eye behind Alabama.

Niles Bryant

For the last four years, Niles Bryant‘s raw, run-and-gun style has helped launch the careers of Cinematic Music Group signees Big Yavo and Luh Soldier, among many others. When explaining his creative process, Bryant explained: “For some reason, I’ll never write out a treatment, I’ll just tell [the rapper] how I want the video to look and they always think it’s hard.” Growing up just outside of Birmingham, Bryant learned how to shoot videos as young as 12 years old and drew inspiration from A Zae Productions, the Chicago drill scene, and the Soundcloud movement. However, it wasn’t until Niles shot Luh Soldier‘s “What You Gone Do About It” and “Finesse” that he realized he could make a living off of directing. Looking towards the future, the 21-year-old has a video on the way for Big Yavo and Birmingham’s Lil Bam, as well as several songs off of Jay Montana‘s new tape B4DACHECK.

Check out “Snowboard” directed by Niles Bryant below!

Krispy Kam

Krispy Kam is comprised of Kam, an Anniston, AL native who has been behind the rise of TLE Cinco, OMB Peezy, and CTG Day Day, and frequent collaborator Jad the G of Jacksonville, FL. However, Kam, in particular, has also gone on to do videos for Rylo Rodriguez‘s hit song “No Fentanyl/Camera Roll” as well as several videos for Youngboy Never Broke Again and Big 30. Easily identifiable by his tag “oh shit, that boy Krispy Kam too Krispy God damn”, Kam‘s style switches from run-and-gun to more polished videos with zany edits that breathe life into his videos.

Check out “Shots Out The Vette” directed by Krispy Kam below!

Ken XL

While Niles Bryant and Krispy Kam have been killing it as of late, Ken XL has been grinding and making a name for himself since 2013. The Prichard, AL native helped launch YBN Nahmir‘s career and has done videos like Lil Bam‘s “Hot Boy” and “Make The Law” as well as underground legend Northside Weezy. With “Hot Boy” in particular, Ken used his love of Juvenile, Lil Wayne, and Hot Boys to “educate the youth” while paying homage to the southern legends. The director even shot a video for Juvenile back when he first started directing and cites that experience as a spark for his career saying: “The thing that made me realize I could [direct] was…I talked to Juvenile on a bench, and Juvi thought that I was already a big dawg…So just hearing that from somebody I always looked up to and also just seeing how everything was working, I knew I was cut out for it.”

Check out “Hot Boy” directed by Ken XL below!

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