"My Chick Bad" Director Talks Remix Video

Taj Stansberry is feeling the pressure. The affable video director, who has helmed clips for Rihanna (“Don’t Stop The Music”), Amerie (“More Than Love”) and Usher (“Lil Freak”), has the task of helping resuscitate the long-dormant female rap genre. But such high hopes are to be expected when you are the visionary behind Ludacris’ much-talked-about “My Chick Bad” videos, an all-star statement that features rhyme vets Eve, Trina, Diamond and hip-hop’s current it-girl Nicki Minaj. It’s nice work if you can find it. —Keith Murphy

VIBE: There is so much going in the “My Chick Bad” video, from horror movie references to high-end fashion. What type of early ideas did you have for the treatment? 
Taj Stansberry: I got the call from Ludacris’ people maybe about a week prior to making the video. It wasn’t like the normal conference call. We talked about the treatment first before they sent me the song. They were like, “Taj, we need this look. Nicki Minaj is on it and we want to do a remix the same day of Super Bowl weekend in Miami.” Early on, it was discussed that they were trying to get a “Flava In Ya Ear” type treatment. But I told them there’s some things you just can’t touch, man. I didn’t want to remake a classic. I wanted to do our own “Flava In Ya Ear.” We are dealing with new technology. We shot it anamorphic. Both [the original and remix] videos are fun and sexy, but street.

Nicki Minaj's look in the song's original video was, um, interesting. How did you come with up with her treatment? 
She brings a lot of things to the table, but I felt like because she is new, her animated personality hadn’t come across 100 percent yet. And that was my goal. I wanted to give her all four corners: the lighting, the stage, the props, and the wardrobe. Nicki had these lyrics where she was Jason and Freddie Krueger. She was purposely stuttering on the track, which made her sound like a psycho. And I wanted to play that up. We placed her in a straight-jacket and some chrome Freddie claws and had them painted pink like nail polish. We wanted to make her look crazy, but still feminine. It was a mix of 5150 with Vanity Fair

"They were all very courteous towards each other. I was like, “Thank you, God. No diss records are coming [laughs]"
With Eve, Diamond and Trina appearing in the remix video, there was the added responsibility helping resurrect the female rapper. Did you feel that added heat? 
Not a second went by on that set where someone didn’t come up to my left or right ear and let me know, “You know this is a big responsibility, right?” followed by a laugh. Chaka, Luda and everybody at DTP was saying it. Everybody was well aware that this was a big moment for female rappers. I put up screens everywhere. I had more monitors in my video village than I’ve had had. And I did that on purpose because I felt like this was something that everyone on the set needed to see.

At the end the original song's video, you teased the remix's guest cameos. Didn't want to hit fans from out of nowhere?
Originally we went back and forth with it. We wanted to surprise people with the second video. But we felt like the “My Chick Bad” video was going to have such a good response after our last cut that we had to let people know that there was more to come. It’s all about building up suspense. I’m glad the final decision was made. 

So were there any on-set cat fights? 
[Laughs] It can get really funny with women. But they were all very professional. When they showed up on set, you could tell that it was all good. They were focused on each other. There was a scene where they all had to come forward and we didn’t give them the order in which they had to do it. But they were all very courteous towards each other. I was just like, “Thank you, God. No diss records are coming [laughs].”



From the Web

More on Vibe

H.E.R. Brings All-Star Medley To Tiny Desk Set

Grammy-nominated singer H.E.R. appeared on NPR's "Tiny Desk" set on Dec. 12, to deliver a 4-piece-medley from her last four projects.

Tucked neatly behind her dark sunglasses, the songstress began her set strapped to a mustard yellow guitar with a host of back-up musicians accompanying the 21-year-old on her first solo journey with "Tiny Desk." She previously appeared on the performance series in June 2018 alongside collaborator Daniel Caesar to bring their single "Best Part" to life.

The singer began with "Going (Interlude)," a low-tempo song ushering a heavy-hearted feel into the 18-minute-performance. Keeping with the melancholy vibes planted by the first single, Gabriella Wilson – best known by her three-letter-moniker –  delivered a stunning rendition of "Feel A Way." With two-final transitions, the singer-songwriter concluded her act with "Focus," a throw back from the 2017 EP that gained her worldwide recognition, H.E.R. Volume 1.

Switching from strings to keys, Wilson sat peacefully before a keyboard playing the melody she crafted for the crowd favorite. Chaperoning the performance to a close, Wilson and her background singers played a vocal game of tag as the band jazzed up the slow beats until the set officially wrapped.

Watch as H.E.R. rocks the "Tiny Desk" set in the video above.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.


View this post on Instagram


Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

To say the least, we're sure the British talk show host and the newly minted Grammy-nominated rapper are going to have the time of their lives.

The 26-year-old's now estranged husband Offset, along with the other members of Migos were guests on the beloved show. Joining Corden as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles, the trio performed a slew of hits including "Walk It Talk It"  while also giving a nod of praise to past hits, including Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody."

With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

READ MORE: Cardi B Buys Her Mother's House

Continue Reading

Usher Releases "Peace Sign" Video Off Of 'A' Project

Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

Previously, the pair hit the studio for an eight-track project that pays respect to their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It was surprise-released in October and effortlessly fuses ATL's aura on the soundscape. Now, the "Peace Sign" video puts that decision into cinematic motion.

"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

READ MORE: Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

Continue Reading

Top Stories