With both "Crown" and "Clap Back" garnering buzz on mixtapes and beginning to be embraced by radio, it was up in the air which track Ja Rule would pick as the official first single from his Blood in My Eye LP, due November 4.
Apparently, Rule has chosen not to choose. A little over a week ago in Brooklyn, Rule shot the first video from his upcoming album (see "Ja Rule To Drop Blood In My Eye LP In November") incorporating both "Crown" and "Clap Back."
"It's a little of both, so you get to hear everything," the clip's director, Benny Boom, said on Friday. "When I heard 'Crown,' I was loving it because I heard the Sizzla song [it samples] before. When I heard 'Clap Back,' it reminded me of some real hip-hop sh--, the way cats is just rhyming to the beat and you hear them spit. The beat moves you the moment you hear it. It's like the food without all the additives."
In the video, Rule looks like he's been eating a little more food himself. He's still chiseled, but appears to have beefed up slightly. He alternates between being grimy — rapping shirtless with a 40-ounce bottle in his hand — and playing the playboy member of rap's hierarchy, rhyming with gorgeous girls by his side. (Click for photos from the set of "Clap Back.")
"It might be a little special effects [in the video]," Boom spilled. "I don't want to give too much of the concept away, but we just see Ja in all of the forms that he's known for: as a performer, as a superstar, we see the thug image of him. We get a glimpse of every form of Ja. It's real cinematic, real gritty. It's some real street sh--. I love to do the joints that the streets is missing. Every now and then we gotta come back and smack people like, 'This is hip-hop.' "
Hitting fans upside the head, so to speak, was the main objective of the Inc. when the camp enlisted Boom.
"They just approached me like, 'Yo, we got this Ja record, we wanna bang cats in the head with it. We want that sh-- that you got, that street sh-- for Ja.' They're not concerned about making a comeback or having to make an impression like, 'Oh, we gotta win.' They don't think like that.
"[Irv Gotti] told me to do my thing. He let me come up with the concept. They had trust in me. They're family from way back when Hype [Williams] used to do their videos in '87; I was assistant director for Hype. When Irv first started directing, I was assistant director for him. I been around that camp for quite some time."
Boom says the video is still about a week or two away from being done, but he is already excited by the raw footage.
"It's sick," the lensman beamed. "People are going to be mad. Not mad in a hateful way, but like, 'Wow, [Ja] did it.' Word. He's right back to where he needs to be."