NEWARK, New Jersey — Imagine you’re walking down your block and somebody tells you that [artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist] is filming his new video in your neighborhood. Imagine, even further, that you live in a tough city like Newark, which is near New York but doesn’t exactly see that kind of high-profile action every day.
But of course, in one of the main sections of Eminem’s just-released video for “Not Afraid” (from his forthcoming Recovery LP ), Slim Shady walks down Market Street in downtown Newark among some locals.
“It was a month or three weeks ago,” Newark native Kyro “Ro” Inman, who appeared as an extra in the video, told MTV News. “I was walking [on Market Street] and I asked, ‘What is going on?’ They said, ‘Eminem is shooting a video.’ I had to come see for myself. I saw a big commotion, a lot of people gathered here.”
Ro said the producers of the video must have seen some pizzazz or “a wave” in him, and asked him to take part in the video.
“They had us walking back and forth here,” Ro said, standing in front of a Dunkin Donuts on Market near Broad Street. “Like 10 or 11 times back and forth. [There was] 10 people, maybe 12 people that was walking back and forth with us.”
However, Ro didn’t get to see the star himself. “[Em] wasn’t even here when I arrived,” Ro added. “They had somebody else, like a stunt man, for him. He was standing, walking back and forth. They said [Em] was in the car. I didn’t even get to see him.”
Luckier on that count were Lamont Vaughn and Roberto Prophete, who said they got to see Slim Shady in the flesh. Prophete owns the clothing store Oladejon on Market Street, and Vaughn was right around the corner at a vending stand he owns and walked over once he heard about the production.
“He was standing right here,” Vaughn said. “Somebody came and told us Eminem was filming — I didn’t believe it. I saw him when he came back out of that trailer. I didn’t see the part when he was walking out of the crowd. I saw him when he came out of the trailer. Everybody went crazy: ‘Aeehaeeehhhh! There he go right here!’ They had the whole street blocked off. Newark treated him like it was a homecoming — that’s real. That’s what we love. We want more to come back. Landmarks are all over this city.”
“For him to have brought himself here and that video shoot here, it’s gonna bring more attention to the Brick City,” Vaughn added. “It shows his heart. He’s a brother to me. I listen to is music deeply. He can go many different ways with it: Commercial when he gets deep with it; he touches you when he goes hard real with it. When he goes commercial, it’s still real, but it’s funny.”
Prophete said that as the video blows up, it’ll bring welcome attention to the city.
“It’s a basically going to change it into a little landmark. This building right here, [the former Paramount Theater], used to be an old theater. It’s gonna bring more and more people out here to see the landmarks.”
“Not Afraid” was directed by Richard Lee. Recovery is set for a June 22 release.
What’s the next neighborhood Eminem should film a video in? Let us know in the comments below!