Hype Williams has revealed a hidden detail about his controversial clip for the Nas featuring Diddy single, “Hate Me Now.”
While speaking at Red Bull’s New York Director’s Series discussion panel, Williams revealed the video, which debuted on TRL on April 15, 1999, was originally supposed to show Diddy being crucified on the cross the way Jesus Christ had been.
“What you see here is the watered-down version of what went down. This is very important and I want everybody to know that this video was probably, for its time period, the equivalent to what Childish Gambino just did,” Billboard reported he said Friday, May 11 alluding to the “This Is America” video.
The final clip featured Nas in a crown of thrones dragging a cross to his crucifixion, where he’s ultimately bound on the cross. That drew controversy over its religious themes but Diddy — then known as Puff Daddy — got fired up when MTV aired the version featuring him on the cross. He reportedly stormed into record executive Steve Stoute’s offices and was charged with assaulting him with a chair, a telephone and a champagne bottle, MTV reported.
“The first edit of this video at this time had to be the greatest thing anyone has ever seen. Because of who Puff was and where he was going, he needed a release so he had no restraints filming this video,” Williams explained. “The things that he did and the things we filmed him doing were so radical when edited to this music, I couldn’t even describe it, but at this time, the greatest thing we’ve ever seen was Puff as a special effect, something that I feel is happening with Childish.”
Gambino’s clip similarily tackles the controversial, featuring visuals critiquing race and gun violence in America.
In response, a couple of Twitter users supported the comparison.
“Hype Williams is right…. ‘This Is America’ is a watered down version of ‘Hate Me Now,’ one person said.
“Hype Williams just put Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ video as a direct equivalent of the unedited, unreleased video of Nas’s ‘Hate Me Now’ video,” another tweeted. “Says the version of ‘Hate Me Now’ we did see is the ‘Bambi version,’ which is high praise for Gambino’s latest.”