[artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist]'s new avant-garde video for [video id="469115"]"On to the Next One"[/video] — with images of ram skulls, black crows and a Joker-like clown — has some bloggers talking that Jay is dabbling in demonic imagery and Freemason symbolism. Hov thinks that's ridiculous.
"I got a lot of money," Hov told Power 105.1 radio host Ed Lover on Wednesday (January 13). "When people get a lot of money, they start getting those rumors like Tom Cruise, Willie Smith. That's ridiculous."
Hov is also the subject of a new independent street DVD that alleges he is "Hip-Hop's Master Mason" and the Blueprint pays homage to a secret society.
"That's crazy to me," Jay scoffed. "I gotta remind people I'm from Marcy Projects. I can't get into a golf club in Palm Springs."
[artist id="1161216"]Swizz Beatz[/artist] also denied rumors that the "On to the Next One" clip promotes devil worship.
"I don't think about that. I know that's a billion percent not true. The video displays another level of art and creativity from two great minds: the director and Jay — and myself, bringing the collaboration together. It's no satanic ways around me and that's for sure," he explained. "I'm with Jay — I never see none of that stuff around him unless he's hiding something, which I doubt. C'mon, man. That's silly stuff. That stuff you don't even comment on; we on to the next one."
"I'm aware of the stir the video has caused and what people are saying," the clip's director, Sam Brown, told Vibe.com. "I think when you're dealing in abstract imagery people are going to want to draw lines between things and make sense of it. However, I've always felt that the viewing public was, in general, extremely visually literate. They don't always want or need things to be spelled out for them. One of the great things about music videos are they can be enjoyed purely visually — it doesn't need to mean anything or make any sense. Conspiracy theory is another thing entirely, and seems to me to be about projecting pre-existing beliefs and desperately looking for things that confirm them. There is imagery in this video that is drawn from all over the place. None of it is owned by any one culture or belief system. You can connect anything if you try hard enough, and make it mean anything you want it to."
"It didn't look like we was worshipping the devil," Swizz continued, speaking on behalf of himself, Jay and Young Jeezy, who are all featured in the video. "It was easy. The song, the chemistry between me, Jay [and] Jeezy is a natural flow. When you put that in front of the camera, it's natural. Jay was on set, I think, for only two hours. I was on set for like, an hour. Same thing. Jeezy was there. It was real quick. The director took it and went on to the next one. ... I never expected the video to come out like that ... it's like a portrait. It's like a canvas he took, which was the green screen, and he took that canvas and really painted it Murakami, Basquiat style. There go the results."