On Monday, August 6th, Burna Boy released the much anticipated visual to his hit record, Ye and what was supposed to be a befitting complement to an amazing song turned out to be an unappealing anti-climax.
Released off his last studio album, ''Outside'', Burna Boy's 'Ye' grew its own wings, such that it became one of the most played songs at festivals and concerts, and with every passing month, its influence grew as Nigerians even suggested it as the next national anthem.
A good video can make a decent song a hit, cue in 2face's 'Amaka', while a bad one can drain life out of a song, like it did for Wizkid and Olamide's 'Kana', but here, the song was already a major hit, a video was only required to further seal its impact.
So for the video to one of the biggest songs this year, it only makes sense that Burna sought the services of a veteran in Clarence Peters.
The cinematographer who for the last decade has emerged as the go-to name for top music videos that hit the screen, having shot award-winning videos for artists from every genre including the likes of Davido, Wizkid, 2face Idibia and more.
His entrance on the scene brought a new light to concept and effects, forcing you to pay attention to every detail of a music video just to make sure you take it all in, but in recent times, he has been more lacklustre than exceptional.
Burna Boy had released some behind the scene images of the video shoot weeks ago, heightening expectations for the final outcome, but what was supposed to be the right combination in making an already huge song, bigger and revive another glorious run failed to in anyway match its hype.
The opening scenes shows a set similar to a warehouse/store with bright lights fixed across the entire frame, then it progresses to unveil a number of girls half dressed in colourful attires, a scene, that Clarence has repeatedly used in numerous of his works.
What follows is like a loop as bland images of Burna Boy dancing/walking around, recreating Busta Rhymes signature moves from his 1997 hit song, 'Dangerous', alongside a couple of bare chested guys, with the presence of a Bentley serving as the only direct connection to the actual lyrics of the song.
For many, the only take away from the visuals was the predictable part where he waved a flag with the face of the late Abami Eda, Fela Kuti imprinted on it.
As at the end of the 3min 53 seconds flick, 'Ye' had offered nothing exciting, nothing visually compelling or worthy of holding your attention but a collage of many videos that reminds you that you have seen it all before polished by Clarence's penchant for darkness, which the many flashy lights failed to brighten.
Peep Phyno's visuals to his single, N.W.A featuring Wale, and shot by Patrick Elis, where an identical location was used, add that to the DAP directed video for Davido's Like Dat released in 2017, again which makes use of a similar setting, and spot the similarities even down to the transparent jacket worn by Davido, which was also used in the Burna Boy video for one of his girls.
This is becoming a rather too familiar cloud hanging around Clarence as in 2013, he came under fire when he ripped-off American rap group, Slaughterhouse’s visual to create a video for Ice Prince’s ‘VIP’.
Also in 2013, South African rapper Tumi Molekane accused the director of stealing the concept of his music video ‘Asinamali‘ to shoot Tiwa Savage‘s ‘Eminado‘ music video.
In 2016, he was accused of stealing Justin Bieber’s concept for Flavour’s new video ‘Dance’.
Music videos are usually deployed to tell stories, build brands, create memories out of a song and also serve as a connection between the listener and the creative mind of the artist, but on these counts, the video for 'Ye' achieved none.
Bottom-line, the amateurish light effects, absurd storyline (or lack of it), combined with the failure to in anyway represent the message of the song all combined to make this a lacklustre effort from one of the supposedly best hands in the game.
Just to be clear, Clarence has successfully delivered a number of stellar visuals over the course of the years, which made him not just the most sought after director but also the best around.
However, as the years have rolled by and the sheer volume of videos released every week bearing his imprint, he has given so much of himself and his works have slid into the realm of unimaginative, repetitive and uninspiring and he may just need to take a break.
All doors may still lead to Clarence Peter's studio, but it is time, he limits those he allows in and take time out to re-invent his craft.
Here are some of what the people have said about the video