Passport Addiction: Interview with Chicago Music Video Director Tracy Gardner.

Most people don’t understand that the Rap game isn’t just filled with rappers. You have the stylists, the producers, the a&r’s, music video directors, and countless others. I am trying to showcase all aspects of the game on this blog, which is one of the reasons I reached out to Tracy Gardner. Tracy is a popular director in the Chicago music scene and I was able to score an interview with him this week. Below you can find some of the videos he has directed as well as get to read about his process, what equipment he uses, and a lot more.

Quick stats:

  • 500 Music Videos on YouTube
  • 22, 934, 324 views
  • 45,225 subscribers
  • Credits include videos for: I.L Will, Lil Chris, Mikey Dollaz, ChellaH, Sasha Go Hard, Lud Foe, D-LOW, Breezy Montana, Bekoe, Stunt Taylor, Bo Deal, Cago Leek, Romiti


How old are you? 


Where are you from?  

The Westside of Chicago, IL.

How did you get in the game?

I started as an audio engineer. I’m also an artist, dj, and producer. I got into film because i wanted to keep the money circulating in-house. I bought the equipment, it was supposed to be for someone else in the clique to learn. That first camera collected dust for a year before i started messing with it.

What kind of camera do you use?

I started with the Canon T2i, then I upgraded to the Canon 6D, now I use the Sony a7sii. I still got the 6D but i mostly use it for photography.

How long have you been shooting videos?

5 1/2 years.

What has been the most fun music video to make?

MoneyDudeTazo’s “What If I’d” video. I co-produced the video, engineered the song, and directed the video. We Flew out to Utah, then drove 6 hrs to the filming locations. Then we drove to Colorado for extracurricular activities lol.

Who are your biggest influences? 

Missy Elliot, Hanna Lux Davis, Eif Rivera, F. Gary Gray, Hype Williams, Director X, Chris Brown also has directed some dope work.

Want to give any shoutouts?

Yeah, shoutout to I.L Will, Mikey Dollaz, MoneyDudeTazo, and Kwatro. Those were the first  artists to let me put them on the other side of my camera.

What is something about you people would be surprised to know? I quit my day job to focus on the music industry. It was a good day job, lol. Also i could be just as successful in any field I chose, as a DJ, I still produce, and I still engineer.

How much do you charge for your services?

My starting rate is $400.

Who has been your favorite artist to work with? I.L Will, MoneyDudeTazo, Lil Chris, WesDog Luciano, and Breezy Montana.

How many music videos have you shot in your career? Maybe 550ish. I got 500 uploaded on my youtube channel. Thats not including all the other projects i shot. (Short Films, Weddings, Dance Choreography, and more.) I think i enjoy filming weddings more than anything, each one is always different, and I have to adjust on the fly.

Tracy Gardner Links:


If you want to learn more about Hip Hop and all of its levels, keep reading and check out the other interviews we have on the site.

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