Music Video Review: ‘Wyclef Jean’ challenges conventions, reaffirms rap image
Young Thug’s known for the outrageous shit he does. He wears women’s clothing. He doesn’t eat, like, anything. He takes molly regularly. Etc., etc. The dude just doesn’t care. And apparently, he didn’t give enough to show up to the filming of his “Wyclef Jean” video. But that didn’t stop director Ryan Staake from making one anyways. And, while the end result isn’t necessarily a music video, that’s kind of what makes it the greatest music video ever.
The video opens on a black screen that features text through which Staake introduces himself to us: “I don’t have any of what I planned to film. So, I’ll just explain how this video fell apart,” the screen reads at one point. He goes on to humorously chronicle the day’s events via this text on the screen, where we’re told they continued shooting without Thug, under the impression he would eventually arrive. We see shots of girls in bikinis, shots of girls smashing bikinis, shots of girls eating hot dogs, but not shots of Thug. And this does not go unmentioned by the director.
He tells us, too, that his only interaction with Thug was via an audio recording sent to him, in which Thug details the premise for the video. This recording goes on to narrate the entire video. For example, over the audio sample Thug says, “I want like, police cars. I want kids in the adult car,” and we see a shot of just that: kids dressed in police uniforms sitting in a police car. This continues throughout. And the humor is not subtle, as Staake adds his own little quips throughout. One scene features “bitches” hitting the police car with bats, in which he comments: “This scene actually worked out pretty well. It even feels like a real video.” There’s commentary on artistry, and wealth and celebrity, as well, with Staake concluding: “Maybe that’s the moral of the story: None of this matters. This video costs over $100,000 and the artist never showed.”
But this is a rap music video, and we don’t have time for that shit. Just keep the girls in the bikinis coming.