New Orleans artist gets national attention over controversial Wal-Mart music video
New Orleans rapper, Mr. Ghetto, has gained local and national attention for the ‘New Orleans Bounce’ video filmed here in the Crescent City. Speaking through his manager, he defends himself and the video that’s getting mixed reactions.
It is a video about a guy getting the girl, a video produced around Wal-Mart, and a video that quickly became an internet sensation when it was posted on YouTube just two weeks ago.
See the video by clicking the link in the related items to the left.
“I don’t think they’re all necessarily fans,” Rachel Lewis said.
“A lot of people like it, a lot of people don’t,” entertainment manager Travis Lyons said.
Soon after the video garnered attention, the song hit local airways.
“As soon as we played it, the power lines blew up and folks were calling and going crazy for it. We’ve had a constant request fro it pretty much ever since,” radio DJ Mike Swift said.
The high energy & repetitive beat is called Bounce Music. It’s also known as New Orleans Hip-Hop. It’s a form of music that’s been popular for generations. But this has even some natives asking why.
“Bounce music is good here in New Orleans ,” Alexis Harris said. “That’s how we dance, that’s what we listen to, that’s what we like but I don’t think it’s good to make a video in a public store.”
We showed the video to Glenn Fields. Right away, he identified the parts he liked.
“The dancers they nice but the kids,” Fields said.
But he’s worried about the impact the video might have on young children.
Fields said, “They looking at Wal-Mart as a grocery store and going to buy groceries and toys and everything, but if they see that video they’re going to look at Wal-Mart like its distributing sex or something, you know.”
Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said, “The filming of the video was not authorized and we don’t condone it. We just don’t think it’s an appropriate activity in our stores.”
Which begs the question, how did rapper Mr. Ghetto pull it off? We turned to his manager Travis Lyons for answers.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter asked, “Was it filmed during business hours, before or after? I really don’t want to get into that part of it; I just want to say it’s a blessing that happened for the kid,” Lyons replied. “It got him notoriety around the world I don’t want to dig that deep into it.”
But what he would say is that the video was never meant to be taken seriously.
“It was a bunch of kids having fun, never knew it would take off,” Lyons explained.
And take off it did.
Trotter asked, “Tell me about the women?”
“The sistas was doing their thing, doing New Orleans ,” Lyons replied.
Many will tell you New Orleans is synonymous with Bounce.
“It’s what our people love and it’s new Orleans 100 percent,” DJ Mike Swift said.
“But it’s not the music that some women find offensive, rather it is the lyrics and what the dancers are doing with their shopping carts,” Trotter said.
We showed it to Alexis Harris and Rachel Lewis.
“It’s degrading to women,” Lewis said.
“The ladies are disrespecting themselves by shaking on the camera in a store, where people shop,” Harris said.
Trotter asked Lyons , “So to those women who say this video is offensive and objectifies women you say what? I say they can’t move that fast that’s why they feel that way, you know, that’s how I feel my personal opinion you know,” Lyons jokingly replied.
But he did offer a more serious defense.
“This is something you can cut on your TV right now and see women shaking,” said Lyons .
Wal-Mart managers at the Tchoupitoulas location confirm part of the video was filmed in the store’s parking lot.
Robert Mayes, also known as ‘Mr. Ghetto’ he has an upcoming album, and hopes to use momentum from the Wal-Mart video to help move his career to the next level.