Jay Z wanted to mess with viewers’ heads in his new music video.
The rapper recently released a five-minute clip for his latest hit Holy Grail, featuring Justin Timberlake.
Director Anthony Mandler revealed how he and the star, nicknamed Hov, decided to put the chorus and beautiful footage “on the chopping block” to shock audiences.
“Jay’s committed to turning the rules upside down. He’s willing to push the boundaries, flip the concepts, and allowed me the ability to be really disrespectful to the track, to re-cut it and change the order,” Anthony told MTV News.
“It was a way to f**k with people’s heads, in a time when people don’t do that anymore.”
That wasn’t always the idea. The pair initially shot much more footage than they needed with another goal in mind.
“When we started the video, the idea wasn’t to re-arrange the track; that came along the process of discovery, during the edit, when we had this idea of, ‘How do we turn the medium again?’” the helmer explained.
“Yes, I could craft a nine-minute, cinematic video, or Jay and I could step back, put some footage on the chopping block, put a chorus on the chopping block, surprise people and make this an experience.”
Anthony’s proud of the final product, which opens with fast-cutting scenes of dark imagery and flickering lights as Jay spits a verse.
Justin makes his entrance later, surrounded by dancers moving under transparent cloth and later crooning in front of an inferno of red flame.
“I loved the long Justin intro, but it was like, ‘Let’s fool ‘em a little bit, give ‘em an abstract video, then jump right in,’” Anthony said.
The video has clocked over 235,000 likes on Facebook since its release on Jay Z’s official page on Thursday.
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