Arrad, a director who has over a decade of experience making music videos with artists like Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Brown, remembers Polo G reaching out through DMs in March 2020 and inviting him to the studio. “Literally from the day I heard it, I was like, ‘This is going platinum,” he says. “There was no doubt in anybody’s mind at the studio that this was going to be a hit.”
That night, they started coming up with the concepts for the video. “When he played the record, he said he wanted to really bring the lyrics to life,” Arrad recalls. “He told me he wanted to highlight some of the things that come with being a superstar. It’s not always about the good. There’s also a lot of dark things that can come with it, too. That night, we had a very brief convo and he allowed me to take the song with me, and I listened to it more. I wanted to create something that was very linear and brought the lyrics to life, but also highlighted multiple aspects of what it means to be a rap star.”
Working with production company Riveting Entertainment, Arrad planned out a two-day shoot that revolved around a bunch of custom-built sets for each scene.
“The sky is really the limit. I did this with a ukulele. F*ck. You can’t really tell me sh*t about what I can’t do.” – Einer Bankz
One scene, in particular, attracted attention from fans (and rap blogs) when photos surfaced online before the video arrived. During the part of the song where Polo raps the line, “They say I’m Pac rebirth, never put out a weak verse,” he is dressed as the legendary rapper, wearing a denim jacket with a white bandana tied around his head. Of course, any young artist who compares themselves to Tupac will receive some blowback from fans, but Stacia Mac points out the late rapper has long been a source of inspiration for her son.
“When he looks at Tupac, he looks at someone who is multifaceted,” she says. “Tupac was a great actor and a great artist. He was also in tune with political and social issues. He was somebody that anyone in our community would look to. In a lot of ways, Tupac was a blueprint when it was not OK to speak out on social issues and when it was not OK to talk about what we experience now with the overwhelming surge of police brutality and so on. Tupac was aware and conscious of those social issues, and he used his platform to speak as much, even if it was not popular at the time. So yes, he’s someone that [Polo] looks to for inspiration on many levels.”
Remembering Polo’s initial vision for the video, Stacia adds, “He knew that he wanted a lot of opulence. And one thing about Polo G, he’s going to put his family in those videos. So he knew that he was going to put his son in it.”