Japan-based film director Darryl Wharton-Rigby released a music video profiling some of the most prolific Black business leaders and creatives operating in Tokyo and throughout Japan.
The five-minute video was inspired by the music video collaboration titled “Entrepreneur,” released last month by Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z. “Entrepreneur” highlights Black entrepreneurs such as rapper Tyler, The Creator, filmmaker Issa Rae and Broadway performer Robert Hartwell, and Wharton-Rigby wanted to feature Black entrepreneurs from across the diaspora operating here in Japan.
After seeing the Entrepreneur music video by @Pharrell directed by @CALMATIC we were inspired to do a Japan Edition featuring Black businesses and people across the diaspora who are thriving in TKO/JPN. We hope that you like. https://t.co/N66UInQySA #blkcreatives #blk_n_jpn ✊🏾
— John Lewis’ Backpack Darryl Wharton-Rigby (@whartonrigby) September 11, 2020
“[The music video] captures and highlights prominent creatives and business people as well as shines a light on some of the younger and more unique professionals that have all made Japan their home,” Wharton-Rigby told TW.
Those appearing in the video titled “Entrepreneur Japan Edition” include Soul Food House owners David and LaTonya Whitaker, Kyle’s Good Finds bakery owner Kyle Sexton, Gochisosama online market founder Kina Jackson, author and journalist Baye McNeil, Kobe-based architect and professor Nsenda Lukumwena and several more. The song, “Entrepreneur,” plays throughout, with Tokyo-based rapper Rhyming Gaijin performing a freestyle rap over the beat.
Here it is, the DOPEST video about #blackness in #Japan you'll likely to ever see! Well done @whartonrigby You did some incredible work here, sir! #Epic @Pharrell check out what you have inspired over here in Japan!! https://t.co/HXP7iJ9hBG
— Baye McNeil (@BayeMcneil) September 10, 2020
Also appearing are organizers of the Tokyo Black Lives Matter march, Jaime Smith and Sierra Todd, and Ayana Wyse, who helped organize the Black Lives Matter march in Osaka. The Black Lives Matter march in Tokyo attracted more than 3,000, bringing to light continued misrepresentations of Black people in Japanese media, particularly an irresponsible segment released by NHK attempting to explain the Black Lives Matter movement.
Darryl Wharton-Rigby is the second African-American to make a feature film in Japan. His film Stay, now available on Amazon Prime, was filmed in Tokyo and won multiple accolades including Best International Feature Film at the Baltimore International Black Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award at the Royal Starr Film Festival in Detroit.
It feels good when we are seen. It feels greater when we see each other, especially when we're behind the camera. Thank you @whartonrigby for including me in this video retort and expansion to Pharrell's "Entrepreneur (ft. Jay Z)." https://t.co/P5tYCrOpi8
— The Micro Giant (@themicrogiant) September 11, 2020
Feature photo by Ed Thompson