YOUNG THUG - "WYCLEF JEAN"
THE BEST & WORST HIP-HOP VIDEO?
Young Thug (or JEFFERY) came out with one of my favourite albums of 2016. I really like his style and avant-garde persona - rapper in a dress, why not? This week he came out with visuals for his track "Wyclef Jean", off the JEFFERY album. And it caused a blast! Why? Because the singer didn't show up on time for his video shoot, so the director made it without him...
The director Ryan Staake was supposed to direct the $100,000 video with Thug. He received instructions on how he envisioned the video and then, on the day of the shoot, the rapper didn't show up throughout the day. He arrived later in the evening, just to refuse to get out of his car. The result is a mixture between mockery and the best non-conceptual concept video.
Personally, I think it's pretty amazing. Although originally planned to have a basic, every-other-rapper-video script, the absence of Thugga is probably the best thing to happen to it. Staake told in an interview that first he was really pissed with the missing singer and lack of plan, but afterwards realised he had nothing to lose - he could play with it and turn it into something fun, risking the disapproval of the label. He created a narrative, explaining the fatality of this shooting day, and it's incredibly funny! Somewhere during production he received footage from Young Thugg, to be incorporated in the video. The co-director says he wishes he thought of that Cheetos' scene...
Commentary quickly emerged regarding the authenticity of the story behind the video. It could really be the idea of a very creative and willing-to-risk-it-all team, and the presence of VICE on the day of the shoot and the following material they published hints to that. Even if it really is a marketing stunt, it doesn't make it less amazing and the 6 million and counting views on YouTube prove it. It's new, controversial, engaging and, quite simply, awesome. I read an article on FADER, where the author states that the video is "wrong" for Young Thug, as he doesn't respect his fans enough to show up for his video shoot. A bit overrated, I think. Actually, if he ever did show up for the shoot we wouldn't have had such a cool result at the end, as Ryan Stakke himself states. The director also uses the video to touch upon the problems his colleagues have in this field and how hard it is sometimes to work with artists. The ending titles of the video are everything!
"On my way home I wondered if Young Thug would've liked the shoot we put together for him.
But I guess none of that matters now.
In fact, maybe that's the moral of the story:
None of this matters.
This video cost over $100,000 and the artist never showed up.
But you're still watching...
... even though the song just ended.
So I guess the video actually worked.
THINK LIKE AN ARTIST... AND LEAD A MORE CREATIVE, PRODUCTIVE LIFE
By Will Gompertz
I am always on the lookout for books that stretch beyond my professional field, that inspire and boost the creative processes in my head.
I stumbled upon this book at Tate Modern's book store. It's written by Will Gompertz, the art director for the BBC and former director of Tate Media. Quite an impressive guy. He creates a go to manual with artists' best practices, which he has collected throughout the years through his work, and advises that anyone can use those to progress in his field of work. The practices range from how important it is to think about money, how there's nothing new under the sun - but you can still evolve an already existing idea, how it's important to think of the big picture and fine detail, and others. He uses examples of artists' work - both classical and modern, which means you don't only get these cool advises, but you get to know more about artists' work and their motivation behind it.
You can get the book on Amazon (or I can lend it to you if you are a nice person). I'm leaving you with a picture of the author. This guy is amazing!