30 under 30: rik cordero

Rik Cordero
Age: 30

Why he's influential: Because he's bringing gritty guerilla filmmaking to hip hop. Hailing from New York, Frederic Joseph "Rik" Cordero is an independent film/video director who has quickly established himself as the go-to guy for bringing low-budget innovation and a non-traditional aesthetic to hip hop music videos. Hands down, he's one of the hardest working guys in hip hop.

With his production company, Three/21 Media, he's been downright prolific, directing independent music videos by artists like Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, The Roots, Q-Tip, Ghostface Killah, Talib Kweli, Beanie Sigel and John Legend, to name a few. Recently, he was nominated for Video Director of the Year for the 2009 BET Awards.

In July, Rik's second feature film Inside a Change will make its world premiere at the 2009 New York International Latino Film Festival. The film is an urban drama about a prison-bound young man who must re-examine his life and bring his troubled family together for his mother's birthday.

Praise for Rik's work is high, and all over the place. He's been called a visionary, a hustler, a rebel, a craftsman, a tastemaker, and "the only hip hip video director on the planet." He's all or most of these things, but also simply an artist, providing a provocative audio/visual soundtrack for this generation.

See the rest of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 here.

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