Young Thug Doesn't Show Up To $100,000 'Wyclef Jean' Video, Director Salvages Genius Visual
There are the familiar criticisms with hip-hop videos. They all have the same cliché's of gratuitous cars, money and women without so much as a thought of plot. In what was either a purposeful, genius marketing ploy or a director's brilliant ability to salvage a pretty bad situation on the fly, Young Thug's Jeffrey cut, "Wyclef Jean" is lesson on how to make the best of a bad situation with $100,000.
This is not your normal music video -- far from it. It starts with the director introducing himself to the audience like a character getting ready to narrate a movie. "Hi," the screen reads. "This is Ryan Staake. I 'co-directed' this video with Young Thug."
It becomes very clear from the start that making this video was a disaster. He walks through his various proposals, editing in what it looked like at each stage from the cars to the women and the points where Thugger's team would interject to say no.
The absurdity relies on the fact that Young Thug never showed up to the video shoot. Actually he did, but 10 hours late. When he arrived, his Instagram was hacked and then the rapper drove off. So Staake had to use b-roll of women and the mansion to fill the time. They had kids in a police car and had everyone else destroy that police car, while the actual cops watched off to the side. The cops would threaten to shut down the shoot towards the end of the night once Thugger's bodyguard decided to pick a fight with them. Staake uses this time to point out a few of the things that you generally don't notice in music videos like that they use rubber bats that bend in slow motion and editing can make the scenes go on forever.
Young Thug does make one appearance in the video, just not on the set. He sent in about 10 seconds of footage two months later of him eating Cheetos and rapping on a tarmac near a private jet. "I wish it was my idea for him to eat Cheetos, but that was all him," says Staake.
After everything, the bill was $100,000. Was it worth it? Probably, given how much attention this is getting. Ryan Staake better get bigger projects after this.