Vinnie Hobbs is the wizard behind some of this year's most iconic music videos, including Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" and Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda."
Born and raised in Okinawa, Japan (his parents worked as Instructional Systems Specialists for The Department of Defense Education Activity), Hobbs spent his teenage years shooting skateboard films and editing them the old school way with two VCRs connected together. Now with an updated Adobe platform at his fingertips, Hobbs has become one of the most talented music video editors in the industry.
While still a college student in Seattle, Hobbs was already in the market of making viral YouTube videos. These days, megastars such as Nicki Minaj (he edited the infamous "Anaconda" video), Chris Brown, and Cheryl Cole, have him on speed dial. But it's his recent work on Kendrick Lamar acclaimed “Alright” music video—the most nominated music video at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards—that has garnered him international attention.
The now-famous video, which took Hobbs three days to edit, shows Lamar as a superhero figure, flying around Oakland and San Francisco, rapping atop a traffic light, dancing at Lake Merritt, and ultimately, meeting his end. The song was undeniably the anthem of the summer, and Lamar was the hottest artist at Outside Lands.
What made the video so great? "I personally love hip hop so I like to bring subtle nuances into the editing process," said Hobbs. "For instance, in the beginning of the “Alright' there is an intro before the song starts. I was able to integrate clips from some lesser-known Kendrick Lamar songs and die-hard fans took note of that and loved the video even more."
What's next for the young editing wizard? Hobbs makes his feature film editing debut this year with, Licks, which was filmed in Oakland by Rob Witt, the same cinematographer that shot the Kendrick Lamar video. It was accepted by SXSW 2013 and is slated for international release later this year.