Cardi B spared no expense when it was time to bring the video for her new single with Megan Thee Stallion, “Bongos,” to fruition. In fact, her label shelled out $2 million for the colorful, beachy visual, which was directed by Tanu Muino. It was released to the public after some well-timed teases on Friday (Sept. 8).
Throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, artists were known to have massive budgets to artfully create a visual experience for their big hits — think Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson’s iconic “What’s It Gonna Be?” video, which cost a reported $2.4 million and was directed by Hype Williams.
“I feel like this video is just very beautiful; like, it has choreography, but it’s a location video,” said Cardi in an interview for “Way Up With Angela Yee,” where she broke down some of the aspects that pushed the video’s budget to seven figures. “I always do inside production, so this is more of, like, a location and just like really the little things,” noted Cardi while confirming that the visual was largely filmed in Malibu, California. “Little things like that, that’s why it just… the video be so expensive. Of course, the video looks very expensive. It was very expensive to do,” she reiterated.
She went on to detail that she initially wanted to film outside of the US, but hurricane season thwarted those plans, hence the “Bongos” set being in the quiet beachside Southern California enclave. Cardi said between 15 to 20 security personnel were hired to guard the location and that geofencing was implemented to prevent paparazzi and others from taking photos. As explained by an off-camera member of the diamond-certified rapper’s team, a person on set snapped and posted an image on social media, and because of the technology, they were able to identify exactly who the culprit was. As a result, the individual lost their job.
“Stuff like that costs a lot of money,” said Cardi. The New York-bred artist further explained, “We also did things like when we do videos, we hear the song out loud; we did these things, like, with our ears, where we would hear the song clean in our ears only… So, that right there cost a lot of money,” as well as multiple days of rehearsals.
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