WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — Typically, when a video director says "action," it quiets the set down.
However, when Raul Conde said the magic word while shooting the Terror Squad's "Take Me Home" on Tuesday at a $15 million mansion in the Hollywood Hills, it tended to get Fat Joe and his crew cheering.
"She's killin' it," Joe yelled as Remy Martin shot a steamy scene with New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury.
"Touch his chest," Tony Sunshine suggested as the cameras rolled.
With the Squad in constant uproar as scantily clad ladies sipped champagne around an infinity pool, it was hard not to kick back and party. A typical video set this was not.
For years, Fat Joe was afraid of flying and thus never made a video in Los Angeles (although he did make the drive to shoot a few movies), but now that he's back on airplanes, he decided to venture out west.
"In my verse I'm like, 'I got this chick from Cali, profilin', she's whilin', she's gangsta,' which is LL [Cool J's] 'Going Back to Cali,' " Joe said. "So we thought we'd bring it back to Cali. It's amazing. We're having a great time, great experience. I wouldn't rather do it nowhere else. The vibe is so beautiful here."
While Tuesday saw the TS enjoying a fine view of Los Angeles, from downtown to Long Beach, Monday's shoot took place on gritty Crenshaw Boulevard. That scene was also inspired by a lyric in Joe's verse: "We was drivin' on Crenshaw and cruisin' for food."
"We shot all day on Crenshaw, you know, where 'Menace II Society' was filmed," Joe said. "You know, Fat Joe, he's the realest cat doing it, so if I came to L.A. to shoot a video, I had to take it straight to the 'hood, vibe with my people. Get that Cali love. Rub elbows with everybody. Bunch of 'hoods over there and everybody showed us love."
"Take Me Home" has the tough assignment of following up the Terror Squad's biggest hit, the #1 single "Lean Back." Joe, however, is far from worried.
"It's a hit record, a huge song," he said. "I love it so much. It's real sexy, I love performing it."
The track is about having — to quote Joe's verse — "a different chick beggin' me" to take her home in each city the Squad visits.
"Or in my case, a different dude begging me," Remy interrupted.
"I got a group of chicks begging me," Armageddon said.
"Take Me Home" will be the last single from the Terror Squad's True Story, as the group will spend the rest of the year and the first part of next year focusing on solo albums. The most anticipated, Joe's Things of That Nature, is due in November (see "A Boastful Fat Joe Shows Off His Things Of That Nature"), followed close behind by Remy's There's Something About Remy.
"This guy right here," she said, putting her hand around Joe. "He has yet to be in the studio [with me], so he believes that I'm just partying, leaning back everywhere, doing a bunch of photo shoots, having fun — which I am — but in the process I been workin' on my album. And give him another two weeks and I'll allow him in the kitchen. Right now it's a little too hot."
Armageddon is also recording a solo album, The Journal, for next year, as is Tony Sunshine, whose record will be released on a new Jive Records imprint overseen by producers Cool & Dre, who manned several tracks on True Story and are working on all of the Terror Squad's solo albums.