Berkeley Rapper Koran Streets Channels 'Above the Rim' in New 'Hard' Video: Premiere
Berkeley, Calif.-based rapper Koran Streets may not be a well-known name just yet, but he's been buzzing around the Bay Area for a few years now as an actor in the films Licks and Kicks, and he dropped the attention-grabbing You.Know.I.Got.It (The Album) this past September. Today (Jan. 18), he unveils the new video for "Hard" from the release, which Billboard is premiering below.
The track is a personal one for the MC, referencing the late Atlanta rapper Bankroll Fresh -- who was killed in a shooting outside a recording studio in March 2016 -- in the opening verse. The video utilizes Streets' acting chops with a basketball interlude that recalls Above the Rim, the 1994 film that starred late rap icon Tupac Shakur.
"In the video, I wanted to pay tribute to my favorite rapper and actor Tupac; that's where I got the Above the Rim concept from," Streets explains in an email. "I also wanted to pay homage to Bankroll Fresh. He was one of my favorite rappers at the time of his passing. His last words to the world on his Instagram, he starts off by saying, 'Had to let these n***as know I'm going hard as ever,' so in the first verse of 'Hard' I say, 'R.I.P BANKROLL I'M GOING HARD AS EVER!' The life of Bankroll Fresh inspired the song. The life of Tupac inspired the video."
The 26-year-old has emerged from a tough situation growing up, to say the least; at the age of 13 a fire left him with burns over 28 percent of his body, requiring 27 surgeries and leaving him in a coma for six months. Over the past several years he's released a string of mixtapes in his U.Know.I.Got.It series before self-releasing his proper debut in September.
Check out the video for "Hard" below.