I just finished watching Young Thug’s “Wyclef Jean” music video, and I should be mad. No, I should be pissed. The 4:52 video features Thugger for a whopping 10-seconds—separately shot footage on his own accord that was sent after the fact. But considering that I’m a pretentious Hip Hop purist, I shouldn’t like Young Thug to begin with. And yet, I constantly play his music, and I’m borderline worried about my Jeffery addiction (kudos to you if you got that Get Him to the Greek reference). So, it shouldn’t come as a shock that even though I should hate the “Wyclef Jean” video, I can’t—it’s actually wonderful.
300 and YSL (Thug’s new 300 imprint) teamed up with the creative production company, Pomp & Clout, to bring Thug’s vision to life. To say they teamed up is a stretch—Pomp & Clout structured the video shoot around Thug’s idea, but had to improvise because, well, Thug didn’t show up. After arriving to the shoot 10-hours late just in time for one of the final scenes, El Jefé refused to get out of the car due to someone hacking his Instagram account. So what did Pomp & Clout do? The Brooklyn-based collective tested their imaginations by weaving in the storyline of how the video fell apart, all while ostensibly honoring Thug’s video proposal. The same production team that produced ScHoolboy Q’s “Dope Dealer” visual is using their supreme artistry to quickly corner the Hip Hop market.
Young Thug’s music video proposal dictation opens “Wyclef Jean,” but it quickly becomes apparent that Thugger wouldn’t be available for the opening scene—or any of them. Director Ryan Staake rolled with the punches to produce a hilarious, fun video equipped with Hip Hop staples (bad bitches and dope whips—sort of) that understands its situation and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It takes a special talent to make an artist’s music video without ever actually meeting the artist. Ryan Staake and Pomp & Clout have a special talent.
Thug not showing up to the shoot might’ve ironically been the very thing that saved it. It forced Pomp & Clout to create an awesome alternative that adequalty fits Thugger’s narrative: We shouldn’t like him, but we can’t stop listening. We shouldn’t like this video, but we’re not going to be able to stop watching.
Enjoy the creative masterpiece above.