Most Expensive Rap Videos Ever Made
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The 11 Most Expensive Rap Videos Ever Made

Way back before Soulja was shooting DIY videos and Chief Keef was filming under house arrest, rappers were spending millions of their budget dollars on music videos.

Here are the 11 most expensive rap videos in history. Check out how many times Hype Williams’ name pops up.

Wu-Tang Clan – “Triumph”

Cost: $800,000

Released: February 11, 1997

Album: Wu-Tang Forever

Director: Brett Ratner

Was it worth it? Yes, this was Wu-Tang’s final stand before it all came apart. Five years after bringing the ruckus, Wu-Tang were on top of the world: they were touring packed-out stadiums around the world, they had dropped a bunch of classic solo albums – they were international rap stars. Wu-Tang Forever and it’s lead single, “Triumph” was a flex to the industry – “we’re going to drop a 6-minute rap video, all bars, no hooks and we’re still going to move a ton of units.” Spoiler alert, that shit worked.

Drake – “God’s Plan”

Cost: $996,632

Released: January 19, 2018

Album: Scorpion

Director: Karena Evans

Was it worth it? Absolutely! Drake went around giving away almost $1 million to random strangers. Drake’s fourth Hot 100 number-one song, over a billion streams (t was the most streamed song in 2018), nominated for three Grammys: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rap Song (it won Best Rap Song). I’d say the return on this investment was pretty good.

Kanye West ft. Lupe Fiasco- “Touch The Sky”

Cost: $1,000,000

Released: January 1, 2006

Album: Late Registration

Director: Chris Milk

Was it worth it? Yeap. With the soaring “Move On Up” sample, courtesy of Just Blaze, “Touch The Sky” has become one of Kanye’s most beloved songs, thanks largely to the accompanying visuals. I mean, the video has Pamela Anderson in it, how could it not be worth it?

Kanye West – “Stronger”

Cost: $1,200,000

Released: July 31, 2007

Album: Graduation

Director: Hype Williams

Was it worth it? Yes. “Stronger” wasn’t Kanye’s first number one single, “Slow Jamz” and then “Gold Digger”, but the song and accompanying music video showed Kanye was on a different level to anyone else in the rap game. This was stadium rock music

MC Hammer – “Here Comes the Hammer”

Cost: $1,300,000

Released: December 1990

Album: Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

Director: Rupert Wainwright

Was it worth it? Not really. “Here Comes the Hammer” was the fourth single released off MC Hammer’s seminal Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em (hip hop’s first diamond selling album), and it wasn’t close to touching the success of “U Can’t Touch This.” It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance, so I guess that’s something.

Fugees – Ready or Not

Cost: $1,300,000

Released: September 2, 1996

Album: The Score

Director: Marcus Nispel

Was it worth it? Yes! This video had helicopters flying, explosions, sharks, chase scenes, it was straight out of a movie. This was one of the best songs of the ’90s and was equally successful on the charts.

Will Smith – “Miami”

Cost: $2,000,000

Released: November 23, 1998

Album: Big Willie Style

Director: Wayne Isham

Was it worth it? Yes. “Miami” was the third single off Will Smith’s debut solo album, Big Willie Style, so he had to make a statement with it. After the success of “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It” (which topped the Billboard pop charts) and “Just the Two of Us”, Smith doubled down on the budget for “Miami.”

Missy Elliott – “She’s a Bitch”

Cost: $2,000,000

Released: April 20, 1999

Album: Da Real World

Director: Hype Williams

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Missy Elliott is one of hip hop’s greatest performers and it’s her commitment to put on the best possible spectacle for the audience is what makes her a living legend.

Busta Rhymes ft. Janet Jackson – “What’s It Gonna Be?!”

Cost: $2,400,000

Released: March 9, 1999

Album: E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front

Director: Hype Williams

Was it worth it? Kinda. It’s one of Busta’s most successful singles ever, but for the price tag of third most expensive rap video of all time?! Not sure if it was totally worth the price.

MC Hammer – “2 Legit 2 Quit”

Cost: $2,500,000

Released: September 5, 1991

Album: Too Legit to Quit

Director: Rupert Wainwright

Was it worth it? For sure. Too Legit to Quit was the follow-up to MC Hammer’s diamond-selling Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em so he was given a blank cheque when it came to creating it. The album didn’t sell as well (comparatively speaking), but still managed to move over 5 million units.

Puff Daddy ft. The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes – “Victory”

Cost: $2,700,000

Released: March 31, 1998

Album: No Way Out

Director: Marcus Nispel

Was it worth it? Definitely not. “Victory” was too hard a song to achieve the type of success as preceding singles; Puffy could have saved his money and used archival footage of Biggie, and it would have produced the same result.

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