By: Shamus Hill
Van Buren Records, the inseparable, high-energy posse of creatives originally hailing from Brockton, Massachusetts, have had the entirety of 2021 on lock. Since debuting their first full-roster project – Bad For Press – in April, VB has literally gone worldwide, growing their base of fans exponentially in the process. Today, they make their way onto the airwaves of Mass Music Radio with the official music video for "LIL HAITI".
Equipped with shots of some of the City of Champion's Haitian-owned businesses, this release isn't the first time in which the term "Little Haiti" was used to describe the city of Brockton. During the city's 2019 mayoral election, Gary Keith, a councilor-at-large candidate, described in private messages how Brockton would turn into "little Haiti" if Jean Bradley Derenoncourt were to be elected as mayor. Jean, who came to Brockton as a refugee following Haiti's 2010 earthquake, personifies the growing force that the Haitian American community possesses in the city of Brockton. With nearly 30% of the city's residents being born outside of the United States, Haitians contribute to the overall sense of community that's prevalent in Brockton in an increasingly powerful way. Van Buren Records' "LIL HAITI" only helps to reinforce the growing change in diversity that exists in one of Massachusetts' core cities.
From the second that this well-executed Ricky Felix and Roho instrumental starts, a day in the life begins. MEECH, who's at the helm of this release, leads in "LIL HAITI" with both a hook and verse that become centralized around grinding toward success. From there, Luke Bar$, Lord Felix, and Jiles pick up the pace with three beautifully-carved verses, showcasing their seemingly flawless capabilities with respect to rapping along the way. Each and every trip to the studio, these Brockton artists manage to push to new heights, something which has quickly led to them taking over the top spot with respect to Massachusetts music this year. While I'm aware of the wide-array of artists from this state, no one has been operating to the same degree as the roster of creatives behind Van Buren Records.
This video was brought to life by Simon Morrison, Daymian Mejia, Nicolas Andrew, Tay Thai, and Jimmy Del Ponte, with the final product resting as the best to exit the Bay State this year. Not only does this release shine a light on who these Brockton creatives are at their core, it manages to put the city itself on a pedestal in the same breath. There's a vast amount of pride that residents of Brockton carry with them everywhere that they go, and this visual displays this in its truest form.
Watch the official music video for "Lil Haiti" below: