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Transmedia / transatlantic hip-hop music video integrates Second Life, Twitter, Skype & YouTube

Here's a creative and fun music video by Philly-based hip-hop artist Legrand that is exemplary for a number of reasons. First off, fun song! Secondly, created as a collaboration between Legrand and a group of 20 students at the Tokyo campus of Temple University, it's an interesting example of what can be accomplished using fairly accessible desktop and online tools, collaborating across great distances.

Most interestingly, the video was designed as a single continuous screen capture.  According to Professor JJ Aucouturier, the music video combines: Windows XP, Vista, OS X Snow Leopard, Ableton Live, Wordpad, Notepad, Firefox, YouTube, Twitter, Gmail, Second Life, Skype, Google, VLC player and Camtasia Studio. Not only that, they received Skype calls from Andre 3000 and Legrand, tweets from Kanye West, and emails from YouTube, Andrew Landry, Michio Ueda and Ok Go.

Really clever! Congrats to everyone involved. More on how it was produced after the jump...

[Link to original video.]

University class takes hold of the reins to a rapper’s fame

Watch video here:

 Tokyo, Friday, 9th July 2010


Legrand - Virtual Love220 Students from the Japan Campus ofTemple University challenge the music business status quo as they release a music video they produced for Philadelphia-based independent hip hop artist Legrand this week.

In a class experiment that’s already been called “revolutionary,” 20 students from the Tokyo campus of Philadelphia-based Temple University have worked for 4 months with independent hip hop artist Legrand to design, produce and promote a music video for his new single “Virtual Love.” Teasers for the video have spread like wildfire on youtube since last Sunday, and the full video is due to hit the video portal on Friday, July 9th.

Watch it here -

The video is like OK Go meets Kanye West on skype. Designed as a single shot, it is entirely recorded as a continuous computer screen capture, where all sequences are triggered in realtime synchrony with the music. It starts with a seemingly harmless click of the Play button in the music production software, launching the track. Then all hell breaks loose. E-mails are sent and received, windows and applications pop up in frantic rhythm; the rapper calls on skype just in synch for the break; tweets update live by hip hop celebrities, video shout-outs are sent from famous youtubers who join in for the chorus, in an unprecedented social media chain reaction culminating in a Second-Life live concert and the computer, quite simply, shuts down on the resulting chaos, leaving the viewer panting.

The video took four months to produce, and used the skills of 20 college seniors, as varied as computer majors who hacked the twitter application programming interface, art students who designed texture maps for the 3-D Second-Life avatars, to film students who edited the takes and marketing students who wrote... well, what you’ve been reading here thank you very much.

To tell the truth, this was a production not many independent artists could afford - if it wasn’t non-profit. As it is, the project is a bold statement about the current landscape of the music industry and college education. With diminishing prospects of investment from major production companies, and increasingly complicated technical skills required in their projects, DIY artists lack the time and resources to be there for their fans. The rapid pace of change has increased the pressure on university programs like that at Temple University, Japan Campus, making it increasingly harder to anticipate where the industry is headed and challenging professors to figure out how best to prepare students. Student-run projects such as “Virtual Love” can develop tech-savvy, crowd-wise initiatives in a way that’s well suited to the needs of independent musicians: cheap, quick and playful. Students can - literally, trade this for a learning experience that is amazing: working with a real artist, with a real career, real music, and real audiences.

Temple University, Japan Campus (Abbreviated: TUJ) is an international campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, located in Tokyo, Japan. It is the oldest and largest campus of any foreign university in Japan, with an estimated 1,286 matriculated students, of which approximately one-half are Japanese and one-half are from the US. (

The project took place as part of the undergraduate class “Introduction to cybermedia”, in Temple’s Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media, School of Communications and Theatre. The class was taught by professor JJ Aucouturier, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and former music researcher at Sony (

Hip hop artist Legrand is an independent musician based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has opened for De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and toured internationally. His most recent album, The Professional, is distributed by Internet Records. (

Contact: JJ Aucouturier, Temple University, Japan Campus 2-8-12 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047 Tel: +81-(0)35-441-9800 Mob: +81 (0)901-764-1406 Fax: +81 (0)35-441-9811 Twitter: jjtokyo Email:






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