Jacob: Highlighting the issue of bullying through rap music

My recently released single, Jacob (ft. Bryan Shortell) is the first single of my upcoming rap album, Road to Carnegie Hall. The album takes listeners on a journey through seven emotions, including anger, which the song Jacob represents.

Stop bullying! Kynn - Jacob (ft. Bryan Shortell) #nomorebullyshit

Jacob conveys a powerful anti-bullying message about the emotional effects that bullying can have on today’s youth. Having witnessed the negative effects myself as a young man, I wanted to take a stand against bullying through my rap music. The song Jacob highlights the issue that is still so prevalent in today’s society, so I wanted to use my music as a platform to stop bullying.

The story is about a boy who’s getting bullied at school. He leaves home early every morning to get to school before his bullies, and avoid their emotional and physical attacks. The consistent bullying gets too much for the boy, who eventually snaps; Jacob stabs one of the bullies with a pen that has fallen from his backpack.

The video is a real-life portrayal of a situation that unfortunately isn’t rare in today’s society. The aim of the message is to have the audience connect with the topic and feel a certain empathy for those that fall victim to it.

Developing the concept behind Jacob

I always write about things that I think are important; things that I hope can contribute something positive to communities or individuals. I want my audience to reflect on important issues while enjoying my rap music.

So...I needed a topic for the emotion “anger” as part of the new album, so I thought about: What would make me angry? What makes others angry? The answer was pretty obvious, and so the concept for Jacob was born.

Connecting with Bryan Shortell (Northern Faces, NYC) 

Collaboration is so much stronger than competition, and that’s why I knew that collaborating with Bryan Shortell for Jacob, would produce amazing results. Bryan, a New York based singer from the band Northern Faces, was working as the sound engineer for my new rap album when I heard his music.

Once I heard his music, I instantly knew that we should work together on a collaboration; we connected on a personal as well as a musical level. He sent me some guitar loops, and I played around producing it; it eventually became the beat for Jacob.

I hired a bass player and drummer and then I started writing. Lyrics like: “He wants to kick back but he knows he won’t.” came easily to me.  I wanted to communicate the challenges that victims of bullying experience, as well as let the victims know that they aren’t alone; I wanted Jacob to represent anti-bullying around the globe.

Making the music video

The music video for Jacob was filmed in New York as well as in the Netherlands. I wrote the screenplay, as well as directed and edited the video; it all came together perfectly after lots of hard work and long hours. Having the opportunity to work with so many talented, creative individuals has been a career highlight for me.

New York City

Atze Oosterhof, my cameraman, travelled with me from the Netherlands to New York City, and Bryan travelled down from Albany. Having the opportunity to travel to New York, and meet up with Bryan was a once in a lifetime experience. New York is such a vibrant, gritty city, and was the perfect setting for Jacob. We filmed the majority of the footage beneath the Brooklyn Bridge with a view of the Manhattan skyline as the back drop.

The Netherlands

The rest of the footage was shot in The Hague at The Hague University. Gavin Delusong, a talented actor with a diverse showreel, was cast for the main role as Jacob. His ability to express the emotions that Jacob felt was second to none. The three bullies were played by the very talented actors Alexander van Reeken, Miles Bugdayci and Ivan Legroeney.

The teacher was portrayed by a friend of mine, Roel Kleine, while the extras were sourced locally through the university and via social media.  

On the day of shooting, I was lucky enough to have help from Sebastiaan the Roos, Roel Klein and Brian van der Werf. As well as from Gryzz Lee from Gryzzlee design, my graphic designer who created the cover of the single and album.

What’s next?

My second single, Overseas Connection, is due for release on the 24th of May. It’s a song about how music can connect people. It’s a funky and joyful collaboration with Frannie EL (a singer from Nigeria), BRMS (a rapper from Mauritania), Zenyth (a reggae artist from Jamaica) and background vocals provided by Tehillah Henry (a female singer from England). It’s a story about different cultures coming together and spreading the positive message of how music can connect people, regardless of where they come from; music is a common bond that blurs cultural lines.

Check out the music video for Jacob or listen to it on rotation via streaming or download on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal and more. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, Kynn Music, so you don’t miss out on all of my new rap music; my new rap album Road to Carnegie is due to drop soon!

Check out how I created my new rap album on a shoe string budget in the blog article "My first solo album: Follow me on my journey and find out how I created my new rap album" .

Let’s stand together to stop bullying! To show your support for Kynn and Bryan’s message of anti-bullying, use the hashtag #nomorebullyshit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *