Saturday’s Westport Youth Film Festival featured dozens of entrants from around the country. Among the winners: 1 from our backyard.
“Buck ‘Em Down” — filmed and edited by Staples juniors Michael Holmes and Josh Rauh — was named “Best Music Video.” If you know that calling it “dope” is high praise, then you should check it out on YouTube.
I don’t understand rap, and god willing I never will. But I do understand teenagers’ passions, and “Buck ‘Em Down” is a success story not only for its 2 creators, but for senior Mike Bowen as well.
The video features Nero, a young rapper from New York City who is being promoted by Mike. He organized the filming session in Stamford, and gave it much of its gritty look.
Mike — who is also known by his nom de rap, Mike Waxx — is president of Illroots ( “ill” is high praise too — go figure). He worked as hard at building his business as other Stapleites work at physics, theater, debate or swimming. Mike does it all: He promotes artists, is a mixtape DJ, and is a tremendously talented graphic designer (example below).
His website is professional, wide-ranging, great-looking. And if I knew anything about hip hop, I’m sure I would find it highly informative too.
With 4 million hits, it is also one of the top-rated hip-hop blogs in the world.
Mike has not created his business in a vacuum. Staples courses like digital darkroom, design and technology, and audio production gave him the tools he needed. But he did the rest.
As graduation nears, much attention is focused — rightly — on the high honors students, the ones going to Harvard and Stanford, the young men and women who are “leaders of tomorrow.”
Quietly, in their own way, the Mike Bowens of the world are making their mark too. Somewhere along the way they found something they love, and they embraced it with all their heart.
I look forward to hearing from them in the years to come. Even if, in the case of Mike, I’m not exactly sure what I’m listening to.