NEW YORK CITY, NY – The December 2 Oakland warehouse fire, which claimed 36 lives, was a tragedy that affected the entire nation but it obviously hit closer to home for many. One of those individuals was tenured MC Skyzoo, who recently took to social media to mourn the loss of his friend and longtime music video director, Alex Ghassan, 35, who succumbed in the blaze alongside his fiancee, Hanna Ruax.
Over the weekend some news broke about a close friend of mine that had myself and others close to him trying to remain optimistic about but fearing the worst. Today I sadly learned that my man, acclaimed video director Alex Ghassan, was killed in that Oakland warehouse fire that’s been all over the news. Him and his fiancé Hannah were both at that party and missing for days, with news coming this morning confirming his death from the coroners office (via news reports).
If you knew Alex, you knew his bold personality, constant laughter, his extensive use of the word “bro”, and his incredible talent behind a camera. I’ve shot a ton of videos in my career and Alex has been responsible for at least half of them. “Spike Lee Was My Hero”, “Range Rover Rhythm”, “Give It Up”, “Blue Yankee Fitted” with @torae, “Meeting The Presidents” with @seantaylor1987, the behind the scenes documentary for A Dream Deferred, and tons more that I’m sure I’m forgetting, not to mention the work he did with countless others throughout his career.
Anytime I mentioned working on an album, he’d call me as soon as he caught wind: “yoooo bro, I need in on these videos for the new album. Send me some rough mixes so I can brainstorm. Wassup bro”? He’d always hear my new shit months before most others did, because his lens was that mean, I wanted him involved one way or another. Beyond the visuals tho, that was my man. Wasn’t afraid to step into any hood, shoot in any projects, eat heroes in any hole in the wall corner store I brung him to, he was ’bout it all, and had jokes for the whole experience. Endless love and strength to his family, his fiancé’s family, his twin daughters and their mother Lesley. Here for y’all 100%.
Salute to my man Alex Ghassan. Easily my favorite director to work with, and more importantly a fantastic friend. To everyone reading this, make sure you tell your people how you feel about ’em while they can still hear you. It counts. And Alex, shoot the best scenes up there for the heavens that you ever could. And don’t charge God too much for it, you know how you was always about that bag. Smh x lol. One love bro. #AlexGhassan #ripalexghassan
(ps, that’s me, Sil who was the DP for the day, and Alex with the dreads, scouting scenes for my “Spike Lee Was My Hero” video at Spike Lee’s office the day before the shoot).
Sky also shared the YouCaring link to support the couple’s twin four-year-old daughters. As of press time, the crowdfunding page has reached more than $34,900 of its $50,000 goal.
While the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, a new report has revealed that the building had not been inspected for the better part of 30 years.
Ghassan’s other credits include visuals for Masta Ace and Tanya Morgan. Check out his work with Skyzoo down below.