If tattoos are like pictures and every picture tells a story, then Twista's new video for "Hope" spins enough tales to rival the Brothers Grimm.
The rapid-fire rapper and guest collaborator Faith Evans assume the roles of narrators in the sobering yet optimistic clip, which was shot by director Chris Robinson (Jay-Z, Alicia Keys) earlier this month. As the two pass unnoticed from scene to scene like all-knowing specters, life stories emerge from people's tattoos.
"Hope" serves as the first single off the soundtrack to "Coach Carter" (see "Kanye, Fabolous, Twista Make 'Coach Carter' Soundtrack A Slam Dunk"), and film footage will be integrated into the actors' personal accounts. The video is expected to surface by mid-month, according to a Capitol Records spokesperson.
The version of "Hope" that appears on the soundtrack and has just begun to surface at radio is a remix of the track off Twista's last album, Kamikaze. Instead of a supporting role from Faith Evans, the album track features Dirty South soul slinger Cee-Lo.
In between other projects — like working with his crew the Speedknot Mobstaz for a record due early next year and assisting Christina Milian with a track for her upcoming album — Twista will spend the next few months on the follow-up to Kamikaze. And while even the man himself doesn't know whether he'll be able to top the most successful album of his 14-year career, he's at least confident in his approach.
"It might be easy, it might be hard, but I think I got some nice joints in store," Twista said. "I'm just going to try to keep it real, real hype and serve 'em up with that original rap — how it's supposed to go."
Twista hopes to drop the album in the summer. His planned due date doesn't have anything to do with schemes devised by his label's high-level marketing execs, however. Rather, it's simply a matter of aesthetics.
"That's when you can cruise in the fresh ride, on your 22s, bumpin' with the top down," he explained.
Still, there's a drawback to being one of the year's most celebrated MCs. Milian, the Mobstaz and a host of other artists aren't the only folks who have T's number on speed dial — they're just the most famous.
"Losing privacy," Twista said, offering a curse to counteract the gift that 2004 has been. "People at you all the time, you turn into a money bag. Somebody once said, 'When the blood get in the water, the sharks come out.' "