- 25 Oct 21
The powerful clip, influenced by Queen Latifah's 'UNITY', was directed by Dublin’s Brian McDonnell.
Up-and-coming Cork rapper Kestine has shared the captivating video for 'U.N.I.T.Y', showcasing Black Irish hip-hop with a track taken from his recent EP Reflection.
Engineered by Outsider YP, and designed to be a moment of looking back and appreciating where we are now, Reflection takes a good look at Kestine's interesting life through a diverse set of tracks.
The music video, directed by Dublin artist Brian McDonnell, is a clear ode to Queen Latifa's 2009 track 'UNITY' intertwined with German-born Kestine's Cork heritage.
When the rapper was a child, his dad would play him American hip-hop videos to help him learn English. The rapper and singer-songwriter grew up with a heavy Gospel influence courtesy of his parents, alongside the big impression made by the sounds of hip hop, reggae, and soul.
His newest music video touches upon the BLM movement and Black History Month, which takes place every October. The hip-hop act notes how many fellow Black people hurt their own, damaging their cause.
"This video was birthed from my competitive nature," Kestine tells Hot Press. "I wanted to showcase a visual story for my song which came from my April 2021 EP, Reflection.
"However, I also wanted to show what Cork could offer. Right now, the Irish music scene has major focus on great Irish acts like The Academic, JyellowL, Denise Chaila, Jafaris, Orla Gartland and Nealo. I feel like the South of the country - Cork especially - needs to be highlighted."
"I spoke to Brian, and let him know that I want to showcase what Irish hiphop can be and that want to be able to compete with the UK and US hiphop powerhouses."
Kestine explains how incredible it still is for him to see Black Irish people thriving in culture.
"Seeing Black Irish people establishing themselves and setting a precedence of excellence is astonishing. I'm literally seeing history being made," Kestine remarks. "I remember how it was in the early 2000s when people of African descent started coming to Ireland. The last 21 years have been eye opening."
"However, there are too many of our brothers stabbing each other and claiming the 'gang life' - young black men in Tallaght, Blanchardstown and Cork," he adds. "It's sad to see some of us are blind and forget the sacrifices our parents made for us to have an opportunity."
Kestine has previously been placed on the Spotify editorial playlist 'New Eire', describing himself as “the Irish love child of Kendrick Lamar and early Kanye West."
Check out Kestine's new video for 'U.N.I.T.Y' below: