“My money doesn’t shake, don’t shake, it bends.”
Featured in Amelia Dimz’s “Chicken Shop Dates,” British-American journalist Louis Theroux had no idea what a sensation he would cause with just one line. As Louis sat across from Amelia on the popular YouTube series which features rappers, musicians and celebrities, the host told Louis she knew he could rap and well, he was. turns out he could.
As Louis remembered and performed the lyrics to an episode of Weird Weekends he once did, the YouTube video featuring his rap has been viewed 9.6 million times, remixed by Duke & Jones on TikTok and , as a result, has become a viral social media sensation – you couldn’t open an app without hearing the song and watching the custom choreographed dances. Now it’s been released as a song and music video featuring Amelia, Duke & Jones and American singer-songwriter Jason Derulo.
Playing on the differences between the two musicians, the music video features Jason as he sits in American restaurants and Bently cars, while Louis visits a local British chip shop and drives around in a classic Fiat 500. Dreamlike and surreal, the video captures late night takeaways while reflecting on the global impact the song has achieved through social media trends.
Speaking to LBB’s Alex Reeves about the surreal location, video director Stanley Brock.
LBB > Clearly, Louis’ rap has recently become an unexpected sensation on TikTok. What was the idea for the music video when you got involved? And what were your biggest priorities to make sure it was as iconic as possible?
Stanley > I think for me the track and its origin and journey is such a celebration of humanity and global connection, it was about creating something that incorporated that feeling, both a wink eye to the trend and dance that blew up this remix, while creating something that exists in itself. It is unique and shareable.
I didn’t want to complicate the video too much, the track is dreamy and flowing, and the talent is so charismatic, it was about creating these worlds that were authentic to them, that they could play in in a way that was true to them ( let Louis Theroux be Louis Theroux), that way you get the human element that’s at the heart of the track. Around our key characters, we recognize the virality and global influence of the song through the different vignettes of normal people who have been affected by the trend; the man mopping the floor in the hallway, the twins brushing their teeth and the woman working in the restaurant. I then wanted a moment for this video to really stand out, something fun and shareable to do justice to the original trend, this came in the form of a skit in the middle of the video. I think it’s a good way to break it up a bit and make the most of the amazing cast.
LBB> Of course, there are plenty of very carefully selected locations to represent both sides of the Atlantic. What did you think choosing them?
Stanley > I wanted it to be quite understated and fun, juxtaposing and celebrating the two cities and their unique cultures, to really show the international impact of the track. Jason at the restaurant, Louis and Amelia at the fish and chips, driving through downtown LA and central London. There are a lot of different personalities and places in the video, so I also wanted to make sure there were ways to bring it all together and allow them to live in the same world, contrasting the groups of the different ` ‘Late night takeout’ outlets allowed us to achieve this. And then for the final collage, I wanted to put those scenes together and create a mashup, a surreal street collage that represents the connection that this trend has made across the world, a scene where we can control all the elements, involve everything our talent and add beautiful and iconic elements from different cities/cultures. I also managed to slip into a few places that were special to me. In the first chorus, the car circles around the beautifully lit and oddly iconic Holloway Odeon, which is the cinema where I grew up!
LBB> Tell us about the beautiful Fiat. You must see this! What was the selection process for this specific car?
Stanley > Ah it was a decision taken very early, between the label, the talent and myself. It felt like it was a bit of a no-brainer. The car is iconic and matches the vibe of the track so well. It’s also the car my mom said she’d want to get married in if she ever gets married again, so that’s a little nod to her.
LBB> There is something quite classic in all the shots of Louis and Amelia at the wheel. What do you think of how these elements should look like?
Stanley> I wanted these shots to be dreamy, fun, a bit surreal and romantic. Driving through iconic London feels like they’re in their own world, not showing off a bunch of other cars and life on the roads, but metaphorically ‘spreading’ the trend as they drive past the cleaner in the block and the children brush their teeth. It’s also kind of funny seeing them both in the little car, and I love the times when Louis looks at Amelia and completely forgets he’s “driving”, especially with the 60s car, it reminds me of those old movies where they are so clearly in the back of the truck and never looking straight into the road.
LBB> How will you keep a souvenir of the shoot? It must have been quite different from most music videos working with Louis! How was he on set?
Stanley > Louis is one of my real heroes, along with just about everyone else. Documentary is how I got into filmmaking and is central to my filmmaking, so it was really special to be able to work with someone you looked up to and were so inspired by. It’s everything you expect and more! He’s so himself it’s amazing – charismatic, kind and funny and a pleasure to work with. There were some really special moments for me, including a group of people spotting him and becoming ecstatic, shouting the lyrics out loud to him. While most people might hide behind security, he walked up to them so calmly and had a great chat, took some pictures and got back in the van. He is good and genuine with people.
LBB> What is your favorite moment from the finished video that you would like people to watch?
Stanley > I think for me, these are the moments that celebrate human connection and spreading the trend, the housekeeper dancing in the hallway, the kids brushing their teeth, and the woman behind the counter jumping on Track. I think they’re a nice counterpoint to the lead talent’s charisma and sophistication.
LBB> Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about the video and the filmmaking process?
Stanley > I think the whole process is a bit like a dream. It’s been a very intense month, I’m extremely lucky to have been able to work with such amazing people, both cast and crew, and I’m happy to have had my say on this crazy and brilliant trend.