Director Howard Ross reveals how 2 Chainz, Offset, YG made mommas "Proud" in new video
“Being a part of a visual like this was special to me,” he tells REVOLT.
Mother’s Day arrived early this year, thanks to the premiere of 2 Chainz’s already iconic music video for “Proud.” The record, which is one of four songs from 2 Chainz’s recent EP The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It, finds the rapper and guest artists YG and Offset looking back at their respective journeys, while honoring the women who got them here: Momma.
Directed by 2 Chainz himself and Howard Ross, the video sees the trio get eclipsed by their respective mothers, who all deliver scene-stealing performances. Ross spoke to REVOLT about the sentimental value and the creative process behind what we’re already calling one of 2018’s best music videos.
There’s always a fun, eccentric element to your videos, especially when I think of visuals to records like “Bounce” and “Good Drank.” For “Proud,” what was the creative vision going into it?
The creative vision was to have the artists Mommas perform the song like their son. 2 Chainz, YG and Offset are very successful men, and I’m sure they made their Momma Proud by choosing their current career path. We showed that by placing each momma in settings to fit a breakthrough moment for each artist. 2 Chainz’s “Spend It” was a big song to help catipult him to another level, so we put him and Momma in a nice old-school, and gambling. YG has always stood strong on his gang, so we put his Momma in a Blood set. One of the Migos’ breakthrough songs was “Bando,” so we placed Momma inside a real Atlanta bando.
How did the concept of getting the mothers of 2 Chainz, Offset and YG come together?
Honestly, it was 2 Chainz. I sat down with him and his managers Tek and Al, and he already knew he wanted his mother to play him in the visual.
In each of their respective scenes, Mama Chainz, Mama YG, and Mama Offset respectively embodied the personas and swagger of their sons. What was the process like in making that happen?
The first step was to make sure they all had the lyrics in advance. Next came styling, but that was easy. Each artist’s stylist stepped in and had the mommas looking like it. Arriving to set, I didn’t know what to expect. But, they surprised me. I don’t know why, they were portraying their sons. Who knows these artists better than mommas? Nobody. And they proved it. The swagger, the mannerisms — they had it all down pat.
What was the biggest challenge in the making of this video?
Going into the video I knew we would have the challenge of getting everyone together on set at the same time. 2 Chainz, YG, and Offset are three of the biggest names in music right now, so I can’t imagine their schedules. On top of that, we are adding in their mommas. But once we got a date, everything ran smoothly. I also expected the momma performance scenes to be a challenge, but they were the opposite. I mean the mommas put on a show. They handled their performance scenes like this is what they did.
You mentioned that this was the “dopest video” you worked on. What was it about this video that stands out amongst your others?
Personally, it was the experience. I lost my mom at a young age, so I’ve always honored the mother-son dynamic. I love when people honor “Momma” because she’s the most important person in our life. So being a part of a visual like this was special to me. That’s why I consider this to be the dopest video I’ve worked on, hands down. That plus the creative idea and the way it was delivered. I loved every minute.
What was one of your favorite behind the scenes moment during the making of this visual?
I don’t know if I have a favorite behind the scenes moment. The first time Momma Chainz stepped out the black truck looking just like her son, swag and all was definitely classic. I think that’s what set the tone for the shoot. Then we called “action” for Momma YG, and she went in and killed it first take and lit the set up. That and YG’s auntie unexpectedly pulled out a pistol during the performance [Laughs]. Offset showed up to set with a Goyard bag full of cash for his Momma scene — yeah, the day was filled with good times.
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