Production company posts funny remix after rapper refuses to pay for music video

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Well that’s not fair! If the president can do it, why can’t I?


This might be the best thing I’ve seen in weeks. Kudos.


We cook your meals. We haul your trash. We connect your calls. We drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not fuck with us.

And in a business where image is everything, do not stiff your video production company.


I got about a minute in, and realised that even a parody of this guy’s music wasn’t for me.

“Kiss my gun” - a brilliant moment, but at the same time it highlights so much wrong in society. That was the point at which I realised the original was probably just fetish material dressed up as a music video, and I stopped playing it.


I’m not qualified to judge the music, the videos, the parody of the music and videos. It’s not for me. But, ah… not even close to Weird Al level of professionalism on any side of this thing, let alone on what they put out. Not. Even. Close.


Too bad, I lost it when they got to the “look at my white friends in my Jeep” bit.


Like it or not, it is sad to note that maturity is rare in the music biz.


This is hilarious!

Why is it hilarious? Because the video is so freaking bad! It’s horrible!

They posted it because the artist and their label elected to not pay them for their work. Watching their work, I can understand that decision.

The only thing less professional than their decision to post this video is their cinematic skills…


I know Rob mentioned him in the lede, but I think they were going more for “shred” style humour than Weird Al, joke-wise.


This is not how contracts work! If you hire someone to remodel your kitchen, you have to pay them even if you don’t like the work they do.

Hiring creatives to make an artistic product is always a risk, but that’s the name of the game. You have limited control over the ultimate product unless you really pay them well. On the production company side, you must. have. a. contract. BEFORE you do work and get a deposit if possible.

We’re only getting one side of the story here though - don’t know exactly when or how the relationship went south.


From their conversation it also reads like the artist/label chose not to release the song at all, thus not
needing the video anymore (in their view).
So it’s more like ordering a gym for your house and than saying “I won’t pay you because I won’t work out anymore”.
Besides that: Music Videos generally have a thorough preproduction, there will be a treatment, shotlist and storyboard.
The artist/label would have a had a pretty clear idea of what the video will look like in the end, before they set food on set.
Those people in the jeep with (toy)guns didn’t just magically appear and a camera crew happened to accidentally film it.


It is a pretty horrible video. I wonder if that was the actual production company product or if it was a purposefully horrible re-work. It could have also been the best they could do given the artistic direction they received from the artist, his management, the hired director, groupies, etc etc etc. Sometimes people hire you to make shit and you know it’s shit but the bank holding your mortgage doesn’t judge the value of your dollars based on the quality of the work produced.

As a live sound engineer I’m quite thankful that my compensation isn’t tied to the quality of the bands I’ve been subjected to mixing.


I’m torn. Going into it, I was initially on the side of the production company, because yes – they did the work, they should get paid.

But as I was watching it, I was thinking; how much of what ended up being recorded was the rapper’s idea, and how much was the creative director’s idea? (or whatever the title is, I don’t work in video production). Is the creative person not a part of the production company? Do they just point the cameras and film what they are told to film?

So when they were making fun of the choices in the video… were they their Sheck’s ideas, or the production company’s?

Is it possible that the things the client hated about the video were the same things they were making fun of?

I rewatched the beginning and paused on the messages so I could read them.

From what I can gather, they made the video for Sheck, weren’t paid, so they posted the video online before the song was available, pissed off Universal and the artist, got a CND letter, and decided to strip the music from the video, add a mocking soundtrack, and put that up instead. Because they do own the video, since the client didn’t pay them.

Contracts should have been made that included bail clauses and stipulations in case the client didn’t like the end product; one of which should have been that all video of the project be destroyed and never shown publicly.

Assuming I’m getting what happened.

In all, this is weird. I’ve been on the creative’s side where my work wasn’t paid for (I designed political mailers as a freelancer for an agency, and when the client didn’t win the election, she decided she shouldn’t have to pay, and therefor the agency didn’t have to pay me; yes she was a Republican, as was the owner of the agency, I had just been laid off in 2008 and really needed the money). Lashing out like children on a playground isn’t the solution. Better contracts and litigation are.

The sophomoric “humor” in the new soundtrack hurts them just as much, in my eyes. I would never go to them for video work specifically because of this video response (which is no big threat since I don’t do anything requiring video).

Based on nearly everyone else’s comments so far, I’m guessing I’m in the minority with this viewpoint.


Don’t sell yourself short. You’re absolutely right that this sort of action can be very detrimental to a business. It’s largely childish even if it feels good.

I’ve also learned (through the experiences of others) to always get paid up front for political work. Bummer that you got stiffed. I’ve gotten stiffed once for about $1300 of work and I really could have used that money at the time. Funny thing was their lawyer came to me for help when they were re-organizing their business. I brought up the unpaid invoices and never heard from them again.

As far as your questions around how much creative control they had and how much they were just hired as technicians. It depends. Things could have swung really hard in either direction. Impossible to tell without more information.


I was in an absolute “beggars can’t be choosers” situation. I saw she was running again in the 2018 election. I was happy to see she lost again, and hoped whoever made her materials had better luck than I did.

It sucks you went through a similar experience, and I’m not shocked they approached you again. Some people have trouble keeping track of who they’ve screwed over.

I’m leaning toward the idea the creative person wasn’t one of them because of how lame their attempts to be funny/insulting were. That, or the creative isn’t very… creative.


Maybe I am simplifying this too much…but when I did design work there was a contractual pay structure in place. So I was going to get a certain portion up front, then the bulk in the middle, and the final amount at the end (usually a 25%/50%/25% arrangement).

That way if they refused to pay at the end, I had gotten paid for my time if not for the product.

Not sure why they didn’t have something in their service contract too.


Right. The problem was, I was a freelance designer for the agency for whom she was the client. Work-for-hire, as it was. I never even met the client, much less was able to set terms in a contract.

And the agency most certainly wasn’t going to make a contract with me. Maybe if I was in a position of bargaining power I could have protected my interests. But it was 2008. A lot of designers were being let loose from agencies around the city, and Colorado Springs isn’t a huge market, like Denver.


and then “Stanley Kubrik!” this is funny! But it does expose something sad. Why are you making these sad tropes if you know they are sad tropes… I mean the thing is it really is a shitty video apart from some of the color schemes being effective to me insofar as looking like what they’re aiming for. I guess I just mean: it’s funny because the video is also laughable, but they made the video.

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Seems like a charming person.