Flying Lotus makes directorial debut for new Bilal video ‘Levels’


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The Sounds of VTech / Bilal Levels

Turning music into an imaginative spectacle has never been much of a problem for Flying Lotus.
Apparently, he’s got video directing chops as well. Much like his laptop beats, the respected L.A. beatmaker’s directorial debut for the new Bilal music video “Levels” pays homage to all things galactic. The video, released Monday, accompanies Bilal’s ethereal soul track with psychedelic stop-motion, 3-D polygonal madness, a flying head and a boatload of glitter. Not to mention cameos by Erykah Badu, noted bass player Thundercat, and the track’s producer, Shafiq Husayn. This is the third video from Bilal’s album “Airtight’s Revenge.”


FlyLo, born Steve Ellison, said in a recent statement that the concept of the video was in keeping with themes from his video for “MmmHmm,” a track off his highly touted LP “Cosmogramma.” The video, directed by Special Problems also featured an appearance by Thundercat.

“Since Thundercat was part of this song, I thought it would be fun to continue the visual style and feel of this space opera,” Ellison said. “In the end, you have this crazy video made of so much mixed media, geek dreams and lots of love.”

The album was also presented by hip-hop production company Vtech and the L.A.-based label Plug Research and was released with a special remix of “Levels” available for download here.

-- Nate Jackson