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17 January 2017

Wyclef Jean

by Syd Briscoe

Young Thug: “Wyclef Jean” - 4 mins 52s

This is not your typical music promo, to put it delicately. It consists of director (sorry, co-director) Ryan Staake explaining - in intricate detail - how the promo he'd planned to make fell apart spectacularly... mainly because the artist never showed up.

Young Thug's only contribution (in spite of his insistence on a co-director credit) is a voicemail played to explain his creative vision: "kiddie cars... and bad bitches, a lot of hoes". Oh, and of course some mobile phone footage of him miming to 'Wyclef Jean' and eating Cheetos.

Staake, by not attempting to stitch together a promo from the footage he shot of background performers and instead adding in text screens to explain exactly what happened on the shoot, has miraculously managed to create a hilarious and extremely engaging piece of work. One that many in the industry are sure to find relatable.

The whole shoot sounds like a mess: the crew are repeatedly being told that Young Thug's arrival is imminent and they should prepare immediately - only for him to still not show up, a cop car is destroyed with rubber bats while real cops watch the carnage, label reps scream at the crew over shots they consider more risky than risqué...

Then - just at the thrilling climax of Young Thug's arrival (only 10 hours behind schedule) - he refuses to get out of the car because his Instagram account has been hacked! At this point, it would have been disappointing if he'd actually appeared, instead of taking off into the fading light to fight the internet.

Director: Ryan Staake Ⓦ (Riff Raff Films Ⓟ Ⓦ)
Cinematographer: Trevor Wineman
Editor: Eric Degliomini

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