Typically, if an artist doesn’t show up for their music video shoot, that usually means the clip doesn’t get made. But after Young Thug failed to appear for his “Wyclef Jean” shoot, the clip’s co-director Ryan Staake of Pomp&Clout (ScHoolboy Q’s “Dope Dealer,” Lil Wayne’s “Nothing But Trouble,” J. Cole’s “Wet Dreamz”) wasn’t having that.
Brilliantly, Staake’s “Wyclef” features him speaking directly to the viewer through title cards interspersed between the video’s b-roll. All of it was shot on set without Thugger. Recordings of the rapper describing his concept for the video and footage Thug later supplied get mixed in. What could have been easily abandoned or a complete mess, Staake turns into one of the most innovative and eye-opening clips of the year.
Does Thugger approve of the final product? While he hasn’t tweeted about it, or made any other social media acknowledgement that it even exists, it does look like it came out on his YouTube channel, so there’s an off chance it’s an elaborate prank. Either way, it’s an amazing clip and our front-runner for best music video of 2017.