How Phife Dawg ended up filming rap video at American Junkie

Phife Dawg's music video for "Dear Dilla"

It’s not every day a hip-hop video films in the River North area.

A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg shot part of his music video for “Dear Dilla” – a tribute to rapper and producer J Dilla, who passed away due to a blood disease in 2006 – at American Junkie’s upstairs club, Attic, in November. Phife can be seen performing in front of a crowd at Attic near the end of the video.

“We knew we were going to shoot in Chicago because my team and home studio are based here,” said the video’s director, Konee Rok, over email Thursday. “ …I considered a few different places for the concert scene. I had filmed a show at American Junkie for Lollapalooza that summer, so I was familiar with the layout. And as it turned out, I knew the person in charge of booking well (Chris Calip). That made negotiations fluid and gave us a lot of freedom and comfort that we’d be able to achieve what we wanted for the shoot.”

In addition to Chicago, the video also filmed two days in J Dilla’s hometown of Detroit. “Dear Dilla” is the first single off of Phife’s “MUTTYmorPHosis.” The full-length studio album, which will be Phife first solo album since 2000’s “Ventilation: Da LP,” still doesn’t have a release date.

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

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