The video for Stone Mecca’s for “Boogeyman” isn’t particularly subtle. Nor is it meant to be.
The clip takes on race relations and prejudice by depicting the story of a young white girl snatched by a white man and rescued by two black men — a scenario the singer, guitarist and bandleader took from the ABC reality show What Would You Do? “All these people were walking by; Some turned around and looked but didn’t do anything,” the Dallas-based Mecca recalls. “Then these two brothers came by — pants down a little bit, looked like they came from a liquor store, maybe. They were the ones who looked at each other and were about to get him and everyone (from the show) had to come out from the back saying, ‘No, no, this is a set-up!'” The video also kicks off with a message from Mecca saying “Don’t see us as boogeymen. We are but compassionate people.”
“Y’know, people look at us and they’re scared of us, there’s fear,” he says. “If you get to know us or get around us, there’s more than what the media’s telling you who we are. Even if people are gangstas, they have a sense of compassion or righteousness. If they saw something like that, that they know isn’t right, they would respond.”
And Mecca — who works regularly with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, among others — is happy to have the song, and video, became part of the dialogue about racism that’s grown in the U.S. during recent years. “It’s right in our faces, man,” says Mecca (real name James Rabb). “We have the Internet now and people are exposed to a lot more and they can dig up a lot more, and we have this undercurrent of hypocrisy and racism, and that’s a sad thing. Anything I can do in my art to get people to see things a little different or open their eyes is something I’ll strive for.”
“Boogeyman” hails from Alienman, Mecca’s first full-fledged solo album, which came out in November. With West Coast dates starting Jan. 16 in Los Angeles (and, he hopes, expanding to other parts of the country) he’s fully invested in his own music and even turning down requests for collaborations from others. “I take things that are either going to help me or will help people or are in a lane with what I’m trying to do right now,” he explains. “I want the music I do to be broad and reach the world, not just one genre. I think if you be yourself, completely who you are, it attracts music lovers to the situation.” That said, Mecca is still enthusiastically in the RZA universe, working with the rapper on his new solo album and a tour that will follow — possibly with Mecca and his band opening shows.
“We’ve done that before, so I think it’s gonna happen this time,” Mecca says. “The response (to the album) from people has been really good as far as them getting the message and really loving the music. I really want to take it out and play it for them and everybody else and get more people on board with what I’m doing.”