The only completely unedited version of "Levels" online. This IS the directors cut. Hype Williams is once again setting out to reinvent what is expected from hip hop music videos.
So this is an unusual one. Hype came to me and said, "I'm shooting a video with Meek Mill and Rick Ross for you to edit... and there will be zero performance."
Now as someone who constantly has to see the same cliche music videos with the same uninspired footage I was intrigued by the prospect. If people want to see an artist perform, they can go to a concert. Music Videos should always serve as visual artistic expressions of the track it supports and there is no rule that says that has to include a performance.
What followed from that conversation was Hype traveling from Miami, to New York to Connecticut shooting for 8 days or so. After its initial release some tried to claim stock footage was utilized, I assure you Hype personally shot every frame (Including the muzzle flashes. We had Uzis and AR15's full of blanks firing in our offices the last night of editing)
The resulting video is a giant metaphor both about the song and a commentary on the current state of hip hop music videos. People have said things like, "Its not a music video, it's one big advertisement" They're both right and wrong. Just about every music video in the last 6 to8 years has been an advertisement. No large videos get made without corporate sponsor dollars. Hype just decided why sugar coat it? Show it for what it is and the levels it represents.
So this is what we created in the editing room. A video we knew most would hate, but most people simply don't like change. (It should be noted the artist and label love it) Some call it different and generic in the same sentence. The ever popular, "I pictured something different for this track." is thrown around. I can say this, Hype only puts his name at the head of music videos he feel truly stand out, and he placed his name on this. So I ask you, watch with an open mind. Pay close attention, no image is random. You may not love it and thats ok... there are after all levels to this shit.