Find out what it means to 'Do Durham' right

A new video promoting Durham was released Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 and features local rapper Joshua Gunn.
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A new video promoting Durham was released Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 and features local rapper Joshua Gunn.
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Durham County

‘A love letter’ to Durham. A local rapper’s take on the Bull City goes viral.

By Joe Johnson

jjohnson@heraldsun.com

September 06, 2017 06:03 PM

DURHAM

If you want to do Durham right, there’s a new video featuring local rapper Joshua Gunn that shows what it means to “Do Durham.”

The video, which promotes Durham, was released Monday night. It shows scenes around Durham and has Gunn, who also goes by J. Gunn, belting out rhymes about the city.

“This is a love letter to the city of Durham,” Gunn said.

It is a new take on an old project that Duke Real Estate associate vice president Scott Selig uses to promote the city. About two years ago Selig commissioned the original video project which he incorporates into recruiting presentations he gives around the country. That video ran about two minutes and was a little stodgy, he said.

“We’re trying to explain what Durham feels like to people who are not from here,” Selig said.

Selig was approached by the Storyboard Media Co.’s creative team several months ago about the possibility of redoing the video, he said. With the update, Selig is hoping to reach a whole new audience.

Selig said Gunn’s contributions to the project were phenomenal.

“Working with Joshua was fun because he is so passionate about what he does and where he lives,” Selig said. “He is a rising star and not just in the music world but in the business world.”

Gunn was chosen because of his connections with Storyboard Media producer Justin Plant. Gunn said he was excited to participate in the project.

“I’m really proud to be from Durham,” Gunn said. “I’m really proud of what this city stands for.”

Gunn rewrote the words from the original video and provided a soundtrack.

“They wanted something a little younger, a little more hip,” Gunn said. “It was sort of a reboot or a refresh. They wanted something that reflected the cool culture of Durham something that wasn’t quite captured in the first one.”

Durham has changed so much in the last two years since the first version was completed, Plant said.

When Plant received Gunn’s take, he said he was blown away by the new version.

“We decided we needed to update it and make some changes,” Plant said. “So we really switched it up and brought in Joshua Gunn, who is a good community leader and he really knows this town. It was amazing what he did.”

It took about two months to finish the project, according to Plant.

The video has taken off online, which was a pleasant surprise for Selig. He said he planned only to continue using the video as a part of his presentations. But after seeing the finished product he said he knew it had to be shared on the internet. In only two days, the video has received more than 102,000 views and has been shared over 3,000 times.

“Most people who have seen the video seem to like it because they’re sharing it,” Selig said. “We didn’t have any expectation on how it would perform but after we saw the finished product we knew it would have a wide audience.”

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews