Harlem upstart Neek Bucks, who hinted earlier this year that he was going to be the next JAY-Z, pays homage to the legendary Brooklyn MC with a solid remake of his ambitious 1998 film Streets Is Watching. Produced by legendary production duo Trackmasters, and premiered via Billboard, the 20-minute short film is a blend of iconic Jigga instrumentals and new school fire.
“To celebrate the [film’s] 20th anniversary and pay homage to JAY-Z, I decided to team up with Trackmasters, Tone, Poke, and give the streets something fresh,” Neek tells Billboard. “Mix the old and legendary with something new.”
The storyline, which mainly follows the same format as it’s muse, was rewritten by Tone (of the Trackmasters) — who also cameos as a guy who gets shot in a parking garage. Aside from ripping classics like “Where I’m From,” “Friend Or Foe,” and the title track, there’s also some of Neek’s own material, such as “Ain’t No Fun” featuring Vino World from his El Barrio EP.
Trackmasters were involved in the original, having produced “Face Off” featuring Sauce Money, which was given an NSFW treatment in the film.
Celebrating 20 years, Streets is Watching is a self-funded cult-classic that gave visual presence to the b-sides that the major label machine didn’t want to push. It was also the first time many fans were able to catch Jay’s first two videos, “In My Lifetime” and “I Can’t Get With That,” which were both released before he signed his first contract.