Childish Gambino’s music video for “This Is America” has been the topic of discussion since it was released. Racking up over 100 million views in just under 10 days, this visual has sparked a dialogue unlike anything we’ve seen in a while, and that has people wanting to know what everyone’s stance is on the epic video.
Legendary director Hype Williams weighed in on why he thinks the video has become so popular, and also compares it a classic of his own, the extremely controversial original edit for Nas‘ “Hate Me Now.”
According to Billboard, Williams explained the video’s contents at Red Bull’s New York Director’s Series discussion panel. He explained, “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.”
At the time of his explanation, Hype was pointing out a scene where Diddy re-enacts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ–a scene that was ultimately cut from the final version of the video. MTV did, however, originally air an unedited version of the video .
The director, known to create masterpieces for everyone from Kanye West to Ol’ Dirty Bastard continued on in his explanation of the video comparisons. He elaborated, “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. 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.”
You can peep the final edit of Nas’ “Hate Me Now” here: