Emerson students turn on the lights in Boston rapper’s video

by Jaclyn Diaz / Beacon Staff • September 15, 2011

, Beacon Correspondent/strong

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“Do you mind if I smoke?” Moufy asks, lying back on the couch to get comfortable for the 20-minute Skype interview. He doesn’t wait for approval before he licks the paper, rolls it, and proceeds to pass it around to his friends.

Moufy’s wearing a dark shirt and a baseball cap, looking confident and at ease. And why shouldn’t he? His career and hometown’s support are growing with every passing day.

Moufy, whose real name is Jeffrey Fortunato, is an up-and-coming artist hailing from Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. He has found local and budding national success through his song, “Boston Lights,” an anthem that expresses his love and pride for his city.

Moufy’s name will  hit the road as he embarks on the Barstool Blackout Tour, performing at various college campuses from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

The “Boston Lights” music video, an Emerson student creation, has spawned even more support and recognition for the young artist. Junior visual and media arts majors Kyle Beiermeister, Nelson Ramm, and Emily Onofrio were the minds behind the camera.

After seeing Moufy’s work on the Internet, the trio was intrigued by the local pride expressed in “Boston Lights.”

“We had discussed making hip-hop videos in the past,” Onofrio says. “This song and artist really spoke to us.” They later met with Moufy to explain their ideas, and the rapper agreed to work with them.

Filming began the next day.

Camera operators soared over downtown Boston in a rented helicopter, capturing the aerial shots seen as the video opens. Moufy, reveling in the Boston Bruins historic victory, thrusts the Stanley Cup in the air as hockey jersey-clad fans cheer.

The filmmakers traversed the city shooting B-roll from the Back Bay at dusk to Dudley Square, where cyclists popped wheelies in front of Silver Line buses.

Moufy laughs as he remembers the experience both on screen and off. He feels the students were ambitious and excited about the project and that it shows in the final product. According to the rapper, Beiermiester, Ramm, and Onofrio immediately clicked with Moufy’s team and they “hung out just to hang out” — for them it wasn’t really work.

Although working with the filmmakers was enjoyable, Moufy’s most memorable moment was shooting the Boston Bruins parade celebrating the recent Stanley Cup win. He feels that the video successfully captured the air of excitement during an time when all of Boston came together to express their love for the city.

As the song progresses, Moufy’s tone switches from an easy flow to an almost angry, defensive growl. Moufy feels it is appropriate, even necessary, to be protective of his hometown.

“I feel like Boston is not represented fully,” he said. “That seems to happen in a lot of big cities. People only see the tourist attractions and not the struggle and truth beneath that.”

Moufy credits the city of Boston as inspiration for both his artistic and personal development, and from that, his desire to write “Boston Lights.”

He believes his neighborhood of Roxbury was key to the growth he often mentions in his work. Only 19 years old, Moufy still has plans to attend Merrimack College despite deferring his fall admission last year. However, he is quick to state that for now his music comes first. Until he finds a way to balance his music and schoolwork, college will have to wait.

Proof of his age surfaces only when discussing the Barstool Blackout Tour; he mentions with an unabashed smile and a laugh how excited he is at the idea of traveling all over the country with good friends and good music.

emDiaz can be reached at jaclyn_diaz@emerson.edu./em

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