I have to say that three small children riding in the front of an actual police car isn’t what I’d pictured for a music video when I first heard “Wyclef Jean,” the first track on Young Thug’s recently released No, My Name Is Jeffery. Then again, I also — given 500 guesses and, like, 100 hints– wouldn’t have been able to guess that Young Thug, the same guy who was performing on Fallon with his stringy, bleached dreads wound into tight Princess Leia buns, could’ve possibly had a given name as ordinary and pedestrian as “Jeff.” But everybody’s from somewhere, you know? Apparently, one of those three small children was flown in from his home in Mississippi for this $100,000 video shoot that Thugger himself never showed up for. That is, if we’re taking “co-director” Ryan Staake at his word.
For the next five or so minutes after this, pretty much everything goes to pot. Staake’s hilarious commentary gets spliced between all sorts of crazy Thug-less images; video honeys pushing “kiddie cars” down sunbathed residential streets to the song’s rubbery bass line, video honeys destroying the aforementioned adult cop car with rubber bats while actual cops look on, Thugger’s bodyguard arguing with said actual cops. As to whether any of this is actually true, I have no idea. But considering how Thug called some poor ladies at an airline kiosk “peasants” and “ants” for messing up his travel plans last month (his mother made him apologize; his mother is my new favorite rapper), Thug pulling up after the fact and then refusing to get out of the car because his Instagram got hacked doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Plus, it’s just more fun to imagine that it happened that way.
This is uncharted waters, as far as visual treatment goes for music videos. With all the fourth-wall breaks, this is basically Deadpool. But instead of Rob Liefeld, we have Ryan Staake. As the saying goes, “Behind every rockstar looking godly in a studded leather jacket, there are at least a dozen people fussing over him and one flummoxed director toiling along underappreciated.” Give this music video 100 Grammys and 100 Oscars. Nothing means anything anymore, anyway.