Jay-Z felt that Hype Williams was trying to take advantage of him with a high quote for the "Sunshine" music video.

Jay-Z was angry at Hype Williams for charging him $1.8 million for the "Sunshine" video.

October 20th 2023.

Jay-Z felt that Hype Williams was trying to take advantage of him with a high quote for the
When it comes to music videos, there was a time where one name would come up more than any other - Hype Williams. The go-to director of the 90s, Williams was the “It” guy for great visuals. So, when he got the opportunity to work with fellow New Yorker Jay-Z for the single “Can’t Knock the Hustle” off his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, it was a match made in heaven.

However, things weren’t so smooth sailing for their second project together, “Sunshine,” from the album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. Williams pitched an amazing idea to Jay-Z, one that included elephants, but it came with a hefty price tag - close to $2 million. This didn't sit well with the rapper at all.

In a discussion with Complex, Jay-Z recalled his reaction to the proposed cost. He said he got mad and thought the director was trying to play him. Understandably, with Roc-A-Fella Records still an independent label at this time, the budget for Hype Williams’ videos was generally between $750,000 and $1 million.

The pair eventually worked on the video together, but it wasn’t quite what Williams had originally envisioned. Jay-Z took away a valuable lesson from the experience - never condense brilliant ideas. He said, “Either shoot the brilliant idea or move to another idea. Don’t take a brilliant idea and make it less and then expect brilliant results.”

The video was eventually released and it looked nothing like Williams had originally intended. But as Jay-Z said, “The visuals are priceless.”

Williams also directed the video for the Jay-Z and UGK hit record, “Big Pimpin.” It was clear that his relationship with the rapper still remained strong despite their differences over “Sunshine.”

Together, the two have created some of the most iconic hip-hop videos of all time. It just goes to show that when two creative minds come together, the results can be amazing - even if they don’t always agree on the budget.

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