Inside A$AP Rocky, Kanye West and Joe Fox’s “Jukebox Joints” with Director Shomi Patwary | Listen Up!
Images courtesy Shomi Patwary
Music video director and friend of the Nordstrom blogs Shomi Patwary previously brought us behind the scenes with Ty Dolla $ign and Mark Ronson. Now he’s giving us rare glimpses at the creative process of the fashion killa himself, A$AP Rocky.
Patwary directed the video for Rocky’s song “Jukebox Joints” with Joe Fox and Kanye West, a highlight off Rocky’s album At.Long.Last.ASAP. West produced the track, which floats on a sample from an old Smokey Robinson jukebox joint.
Patwary’s video is purplish, smoky and the video and language in the song are perhaps NSFW. Know that and consider turning young kids away from the screen as you watch it.
See exclusive photos from the shoot below, and learn which Spike Lee movie inspired the video’s vertically stretched-out look.
Nordstrom blogs: How are you feeling about this video?
It’s cool. We shot it a long time ago, before Kanye was even on the record. So that’s why he’s not in the video. A lot of people ask why Kanye isn’t in it. He didn’t even have a verse on it when we filmed.
The minute-longer version of the song with Yeezy on it
Was the video inspired by Kanye’s beat?
Ah, I wouldn’t say Kanye’s beat, but the song does have an old-school vibe and that was what Rocky was feeling. Rocky always has some bit of vintage inspiration. What Rocky did was orchestrated something where he got a record that had that feel, and the video has that feel, too. With him, everything’s very thought-out. Everything he’s rapping about, there are are a lot of throwback references.
You shot in New York City, right? Is that what I’m seeing?
We shot the first section in Berlin, actually. It’s hard to find a classic American diner in New York that looks like that. And it’s hard to get the A$AP Mob together, but they were all in Berlin at the same time. So you’ll see A$AP Ant, A$AP Bari, A$AP Nast. They were all on tour together. So Rocky happened to be in Berlin and we found a team to shoot the intro part. Then we shot the barber shop in the Bronx and the house party in this crazy art gallery in SoHo. And the bedroom scene was shot in a studio, because you can’t shoot with a projector in a bedroom. There isn’t enough distance to project the image big enough.
What’s projected, the candles?
The candles are real.We actually shot Rocky and the girls in a bedroom. Then projected that in the studio. We could have done that in post-production, but we did it live to get that vintage feel.
What did Rocky tell you about his hopes and dreams for the video before you began working on it?
He’s had a motif of projections in all his videos. So we’ve been doing that. We’ve done it a few times. I felt that was the best way to keep it going. We actually shot the initial video with no plan, just as a house party. It was a crazy house party, New Year’s Eve, A$AP Yams was there. The party got so insane. People crawling over people. None of the scenes got used and we lost the hard drive with the files on it. That was the last time I saw Yams.
What’s the deal with the stretched out look of the video?
Rocky had this idea of stretching the video vertically, trying to replicate the look from this old Spike Lee movie “Crooklyn.” The whole thing was stretched, as opposed to stretching it horizontally, anamorphic. It was the opposite. It gave a different feel to the video. At first I thought people were going to say, This director messed up, he probably exported the video at the wrong aspect ratio. It’s funny, though, nobody thought that except one comment on YouTube. It was intentionally vertically stretched to get that Spike Lee movie feel. It’s an obscure reference, and was a spontaneous idea by Rocky.