What happens when an artist doesn’t show up to a video shoot? That’s the question director Ryan Staake tries to answer in the video for Young Thug’s “Wyclef Jean” off last year’s JEFFERY.
The clip is a mishmash of scenes Staake shot with models and commentary about why Thugger isn’t in any of it. “We never met each other,” he explains. “He never showed up for any of our shots.”
Instead, Staake relied on a recording of Thug explaining his vision for the visual in a meeting with his team. It included these instructions:
“I wanna do it in the hills,” says Thugger. “Manny said he wanted to do a lot of foreign cars, but I didn’t want to foreign cars. I wanted to do kiddie cars, like what you buy kids…cars that little kids drive. I want to buy like 20 of them bitches and I want like, a lot of bitches, bad bitches, a lot of hoes. I want to be in one of them.”
He also wanted children and models destroying a police car with baseball bats, which Staake was able to shoot, until cops intervened.
Although Thug was M.I.A. for Staake, Jeffery was able to send some footage his camp shot of him for the video. It included visuals of him eating Cheetos in front of a jet. “I wish it was my idea for him to eat Cheetos,” Staake writes. “But that was all him.”
According to Staake, Thug eventually showed up to the video set once the shoot was almost over. He wouldn’t get out of his car, however, because his Instagram account had just been hacked. Staake had to finish the vid without him.
“On my way home, I wondered if Young Thug would’ve liked the shoot we put together for him,” the director ponders. “But I guess none of that matters now. In fact, maybe that’s the moral of the story: None of this matters. The video cost over $100,000 and the artist never showed up. But you’re still watching…So I guess the video actually worked.”
Staake has previously worked on music videos with ScHoolboy Q, Vince Staples, Lil Wayne, and J. Cole. Watch what he was able to put together for Jeffery below.