Coolio Desgracias is the rap alter-ego of Simon Milman, known for playing with nearly every band in Canberra from Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens and The Ellis Collective to Los Chavos and Fats Homicide. As Coolio Desgracias, he adopts an outsized cartoon persona, a mix of smart-alecs like Humpty Hump and Flava Flav, with the free-associative funky lyricism of a Kool Keith or Ghostface Killah.

For his latest release – Bulk TV and Heartbreak – he asked if I would shoot a video of his work process. Bulk TV and Heartbreak is a series of instrumentals, recorded and mixed between his home studio and Merloc Studios. I felt it was an opportunity to showcase Coolio the hip-hop scholar and producer, rather than Coolio the lovable rappin’-ass clown. To make this clear, we even included a shot of Simon hanging up his gold chains and dollar-sign ring before getting down to the serious business of beatmaking.

Bulk TV and Heartbreak is chocked with evocative, cinematic music – I was spoilt in having so many great tunes to lay under the video (I made the most of it and used five separate tracks). I also went with a dry, earnest tone, most apparent in the educational lilt of the intertitles. Our next collaboration – a riff on MTV’s Cribs – is in the planning stages and won’t take itself so seriously!

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