Director of Young Thug ‘Wyclef Jean’ viral video responds to speculation that clip is a hoax

Ryan Staake is 'still waiting' to hear whether the rapper liked the clip

The director of Young Thug‘s viral ‘Wyclef Jean’ music video has responded to speculation that the clip was faked.

The video, directed by Ryan Staake, details how Young Thug failed to turn up for his own music video, with the clip itself becoming its own behind-the-scenes story.

Speaking in interview with NME, Staake denied that the video was exaggerated or a hoax, saying: “I think some viewers are recoiling in horror at the honesty of the video. Everyone is so used to being lied to by advertising, marketing and music videos that the idea of someone being truthful seems improbable, and they assume it was a plan from the start. I lived this nightmare, it was 100% true.”


Describing himself as “still waiting” to hear what Young Thug himself thought of the resulting video, Staake admitted that the very meta clip was better than his original plans for the shoot: “I am so thankful to him for not showing up, it absolutely made this video.”

Staake also recalled his feelings at the time of the shoot: “It was a gradient of positivity to full on negativity. I started out optimistic, then it got a bit bad when he wasn’t there for the first shot (the intro shot), then he wasn’t there for the girls riding the power wheels, then he wasn’t there for the cop car scene—it just got worse and worse. I was so sad while we shot the sausage scene, it felt like we were hitting rock bottom. Then during the final scene, with the 3 cop cars at night, it was just comically disastrous. He arrived, then he wouldn’t get out, then he left.”

Having previously worked on a promo video for David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ album, Staake also talked to NME about what it was like to be associated with the late music icon: “I didn’t speak to him directly, or have a chance to meet him, but we heard word that he loved the video, and it was a hugely gratifying feeling just knowing the eyes of the Thin White Duke himself had seen something I’d made. He passed a week after that, and I’m forever grateful that he saw value in my work and allowed me the opportunity to make a small contribution to his legacy.”

Watch the ‘Wyclef Jean’ video below:

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