Tristan “Mack” Wilds channels his NYC roots in his “Own It” video.
Maybe you know him as Michael Lee, the pint-size troublemaker on HBO’s “The Wire,” or possibly as dreamy lead Dixon Wilson on The CW’s “90210,” or understandably as “that guy I often Google ’cause duh, look at him.” But whatever the case, Tristan Wilds is an pop/R&B performer to watch, and, thanks to the actor’s music industry persona, Mack Wilds, and his new “Own It” video, he’s more than happy to oblige us.
Watch Mack Wilds’ “Own It” video after the jump.
The lead single off of Mack’s forthcoming debut album, New York: A Love Story, the Salaam Remi and Ne-Yo-crafted track definitely has a late-’80s to early-’90s, New Jack Swing kinda vibe to it — think Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” or the classic “Poison” by Bobby’s former New Edition bandmates, Bell Biv DeVoe. In a recent Hive interview, the native Staten Islander dove further into the sound of “Own It”: “Being a New Yorker, that’s the way our hearts beat. That boom bap? That rhythm flows through our veins. To be in time where there’s a bunch of New York kids who never seen anything that sounds like us or looks like us on television, that’s kind of disappointing… There hasn’t been anything that’s been authentic to our sound.”
To be sure, the video matches the song’s authentic New York-ness note for note. From inviting scenes of friendly community gatherings to swooping aerial shots of the city’s gleaming skyscrapers, the Fatima Curry-directed clip arguably captures the city’s essence better than most filmmakers — or at least those who try to define the city solely as “Manhattan below 96th St.” Don’t get us wrong, Magnolia’s butter-laden cupcakes are literally worth selling your children for, but there’s WAY more to the city than just its consumer-oriented delights, LBR.
“Own It” also pans over different New York bridges (including the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Verrazano Narrows), with Wilds himself stationed in front of one of them for much of the clip. One lyric in particular — “I don’t mean to brag / But I live a life that most can only dream about” — totally describes the feeling of having one foot in both ponds. On the one hand, he’s this big, huge TV teen idol, and on the other he’s still the same boy from Staten Island he’s always been. In the end, what’s most impressive about the video (other than Wilds’ ability to sing that line without displaying an ounce of arrogance) is that he’s waited this long to drop this musical talent bomb on us. Can’t wait to see what comes next.
Be on the lookout for New York: A Love Story, hitting shelves on Sept. 17.
+ Watch Mack Wilds’ “Own It” video.
Photo credit: Sony Music