Just like there’s never been a rapper quite like Young Thug, there’s also never been a music video quite like ‘Wyclef Jean’. This is owed less to the man himself, more to co-director Ryan Staake, who turned a difficult situation on its head and created a mad, ultra-meta, hilarious clip.
To cut a long story short, Young Thug came up with a wild concept, but he never showed up for the shots he was due to star in. This is explained in perfect detail by Staake, whose director’s notes appear in-between glitzy glimpses of Hollywood hills.
“Hi, this is Ryan Staake. I “co-directed this video with Young Thug,” his notes begin. “But we never met each other.” He then plays a recording of Young Thug explaining the video’s opening shot to his team — he wants “kiddie cars”, not “foreign cars”, and “a lot of hoes” (charming). Problem is, as Staake points out, “Young Thug didn’t show up in time for that shot… In fact, he never showed up for any of our shots.”
Instead, we’re left with the fragments of Young Thug’s original concept, coupled with incredible footage that he filmed months later, consisting of him munching on Cheetos while standing outside his private jet. If this made up the entire video, that would be enough. But the end result is even better, a perfectly honest account from the co-director (“I don’t have anything close to what I’d planned to film.”) about how the whole thing “fell apart.”
Fair play to Staake, he makes the best of bad scenario. On a $100,000 budget, he gives a bunch of kids some baseball bats and allows them to smash up a police car, and makes the whole thing as lewd as Young Thug would have wanted. “The artist never showed up. But you’re still watching, even though the song just ended. So I guess the video actually worked,” he finishes. It’s a sassy send-off for a weird, ingenious plan that won’t be forgotten about within a week, like most videos.