Apparently, it’s very difficult to be compensated for creative work nowadays. At least, that’s what it’s like for Ridge Production. Founded by Tim Carhart and Patrick Ridge, Ridge Production specializes in shooting music videos, aside from an assortment of other visual media for their clients. Most recently, Ridge produced rapper Sheck Wes’ music video for his unreleased song “Gmail” but didn’t get paid a dime.
So, in an act of revenge, Ridge re-posted the video, only this time, the song is gone—replaced by a hilarious voice-over making fun of Sheck’s moves as he dances in military gear atop a jeep in the desert.
The new video begins with an explanation of what caused the production company to take matters in to their own hands. Ridge starts out by explaining “So, we got a cease and desist from Universal and Sheck was DMing me last night…if he would have just asked me nicely and been like ‘Oh, you guys didn’t get paid? Let me figure that out,’ I would have just taken the video down. But we recorded our own version.”
While Ridge explains the situation, screenshots of Sheck Wes’ DMs are displayed across the screen. Sheck says “With me not having this song out this is not cool bro at all, and it’s super unprofessional I don’t approve of this at all.” Ridge goes on to call out Wes “Bro what’s weak is how hard we went and your team didn’t pay us and ghosted us.” To which Wes replied “Paid for what.” See the video here for the full conversation and voiceover. Ridge Productions owns the right to the video, so the changes they made were their discretion. The video is titled “Sheck Wes Didn’t Like our Music Video, So We Made This.”
I’m not sure really what to think of the situation. One part of me sides with the creative team because I can’t imagine spending ridiculous amounts of time and money to not at least be reimbursed if the artist didn’t like the result. Is Ridge in the right, because they own the video and were uncompensated? To what degree is it okay to publicly make a fool of a huge artist? Also, will the public even side with the production team, or is this negative publicity only feeding into Wes’ popularity? Either way, I think it’s hilarious. Maybe you will too.