Director John Colombo Talks Slaughterhouse's "Microphone" Video
Exclusive: the man behind some of DX's most discussed videos explains the glass booth and other concepts behind Slaughterhouse's latest visual, and how viewers got to see it ahead of schedule.
If John Colombo's name isn't instantly recognizable among HipHopDX readers, the work he's done should be. The New York born, Arizona-based director is responsible for visuals for Raekwon's "New Wu," DJ Honda's "Let It Out," and Grafh's "Bring the Goons Out" to name just a few. After the latest Slaughterhouse visual, "Microphone" leaked this weekend, John reached out to DX to explain the concepts behind the clip, and why it arrived as an early Thanksgiving gift.
"The idea for 'Microphone' came about as a tribute to microphones," Colombo explains. "I found a guy who owns a recording studio called The Salt Mine, and they have a collection of over 250 classic microphones. After that, we decided to create this room with a microphone maker who would build these four master microphones. That was the underlying concept. Then a friend of mine brought out the idea of having them in the booth. The thought was, 'Since we're dealing with microphones, let's play on this booth concept too.'"
Colombo and his team worked with Slaughterhouse over the course of two days during a tour stop. And while the video may look like all business, the director says Hip Hop's current supergroup is just as fun and open to new ideas as their self-directed viral videos suggest.
"We were bouncing ideas around about for weeks about being in all these crazy locations, and the concept fully evolved about three days before the shoot was scheduled," Colombo adds. "That was about the time that we decided to go with the four core locations you see in the final video—the studio, the bank, the dining scene and the desert. We wanted to connect those locations to four vignettes that were going on in the background."
And as for Joell, Royce, Budden and Crooked's response to the finish product?
"Everybody loved it, and I know I'm not the only person who wrote a treatment to the video," Colombo says.
The multiple treatments for a video from an album which was released back in August speaks to both how much Slaughterhouse's music has resonated with listeners as well as the ultra-competitive nature of exclusively premiering a video.
Colombo says that the "Microphone" video was tentatively meant to be released after Thanksgiving, but was leaked due to circumstances beyond his control. But that issue has now worked to the benefit of Slaughterhouse fans, as evidenced by the views and comments the visual has garnered. Having previously helmed the lens for Budden's "Exxxes" and Slaughterhouse's "Move On," Colombo says he is already in talks to work on future videos from members of the collective.