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i-Dee and DéLa Preme have a new music video.
i-Dee and DéLa Preme have a new music video.
Dylan Toon

Watch i-Dee and DéLa Preme's Animated Music Video for 'Hey Sensei'

Local rappers i-Dee and DéLa Preme came out with the Naruto-inspired EP Black Uchiha earlier this year, but it took a few months to release the music video for the opening track, "Hey Sensei."

It was uploaded onto YouTube on September 5. As you can see below, the visually stunning animated clip was worth the wait.

The video was directed by Ricardo Jimenez; Kevin Palmer designed the animation. It was edited by local filmmaker Matty Steinkamp with help from Kash Cole of The Stakes. The track was produced by Charlie Mumbles.

Because of the ambitious nature of the project, the video took over four months to produce

"I didn't know what I wanted," i-Dee says."I was trying to come up with something creative, and it became a lot bigger. I respect what [Palmer] does so much more."

i-Dee, whose real name is Jamal Ujania, says that this video is his way to share with the world his love of anime. The 32-year-old feels it was shunned by the hip-hop community until several years ago. As the popularity of shows like The Boondocks and Afro Samurai grew, Ujania (who also raps under i-Deezy) says he's felt more comfortable sharing his love of manga.

The track and the video feature an appearance by Raheem Jarbo, who is better known as Mega Ran. The popular local nerdcore artist contacted Ujania to collaborate on each other's projects. Ujania says the track not only pays homage to the rappers that came before, but feeds into who Jarbo is: a mentor who provides guidance. (Mega Ran was once a teacher.)

"He's really eager to teach people the tricks of the trade," says Ujania. "He is like a sensei."

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Ujania, who moved to the Valley in 2001, was named one of the 10 hip-hop artists to watch by Phoenix New Times in 2017. He made a name for himself by competing in local rap battles and putting out mixtapes, which helped him hone his craft. He says he didn't want to keep using his talents to disrespect his peers, so he decided to push himself further creatively by writing more socially conscious lyrics.

Ujania hopes the video does well so they can continue to do more projects like this, but this one might be hard to top.

"I think this project was more than we anticipated," he says.

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