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Witches' Brew: "On To The Next One" Director Speaks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"On To The Next One" Director Speaks!



Sam Brown, the director of Jay-Z's new vid "On To The Next One," is speaking out about the alleged "Illuminati"/devil worship/Freemason images that some claim are woven throughout the video. Brown spoke to Vibe magazine about the video:

VIBE: When you were first approached about directing Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One” did you feel you had to shoot the video differently considering it was hip-hop?
Sam Brown: It was important to ignore the fact that it was a hip-hop video, and simply make a video. It was going to be radical almost by default because the hip-hop video is an oddly conservative genre…it seems more stuck in its message than other types of music videos. But also, I wanted to make a video that appealed to hip-hop fans.


VIBE:There’s been a lot of talk about Jay’s video containing Freemason imagery such as the horned animal head, an eagle and skull. What are your thoughts about such talk and why do you think music fans are so quick to believe a conspiracy narrative?
Brown: I’m aware of the stir the video has caused and what people are saying. I think when you’re dealing in abstract imagery people are going to want to draw lines between things and make sense of it. However, I’ve always felt that the viewing public was, in general, extremely visually literate. They don’t always want or need things to be spelt out for them. One of the great things about music videos are they can be enjoyed purely visually—it doesn’t need to mean anything or make any sense. Conspiracy theory is another thing entirely, and seems to me to be about projecting pre-existing beliefs and desperately looking for things that confirm them. There is imagery in this video that is drawn from all over the place. None of it is owned by any one culture or belief system. You can connect anything if you try hard enough, and make it mean anything you want it to.


VIBE: Did Jay come up with the avant-garde treatment for the video? If so, do you think he (or yourself) was aware of the talk that some of the imagery would ignite?
Brown: [To] tell the truth, I wouldn’t speak for Jay. I know he really liked the video. He strikes me as a very intelligent and forward-thinking person and I have huge respect for him and his label for wanting to bring something different. As the man says, he uses his cojones.

So there you have it.  But, I'm sure the whispers will continue until there's actual video of Jigga catching the Ghost in church.

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