“On To The Next One” Director Speaks On Video

Music video director Sam Brown, spoke to VIBE about the controversial imagery shot in Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One”.

There’s been a lot of talk about Jay’s video containing Freemason imagery such as the horned animal head, an eagle and skull. What are your thoughts about such talk and why do you think music fans are so quick to believe a conspiracy narrative?
I’m aware of the stir the video has caused and what people are saying. I think when you’re dealing in abstract imagery people are going to want to draw lines between things and make sense of it. However, I’ve always felt that the viewing public was, in general, extremely visually literate. They don’t always want or need things to be spelt out for them. One of the great things about music videos are they can be enjoyed purely visually—it doesn’t need to mean anything or make any sense. Conspiracy theory is another thing entirely, and seems to me to be about projecting pre-existing beliefs and desperately looking for things that confirm them. There is imagery in this video that is drawn from all over the place. None of it is owned by any one culture or belief system. You can connect anything if you try hard enough, and make it mean anything you want it to.

…So what was the overall direction Jay was looking for?
He gave me a very loose brief, and made it clear that we should be progressive with the video. All the imagery was thought up by me and was a response to the track itself. For those interested, the idea is actually about a funeral for old imagery and ideas, hence all the gothic and oppressive stuff. I was also trying to contradict the excess of hip-hop videos by making something brutally simple and claustrophobic.

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  • And f*ck conspiracy theories cuz we onnnnnnn…

  • Big Homie

    Illuminati want my mind, soul, and my body. Secret society, tryin’ to keep they eye on me.

  • Dashing

    The director seems to be making a lot of damn sense. People will see what they want to see though.

  • Big Homie

    ^ basically. If you look closely, you can see Nas bobbing his head to “Takeover” in the Jag.

  • givethedrummasome


  • So Icy Boi!

    First of all why would you put all Freemasonry shit and the video if you not a devil worshiper ?? so dey just came up wit random thingz like Jesus on the cross ? the Baphomet ? …dey know exactly what the video about …..just like when in body get in trouble wit something of course they gonna make excuses aint nobody gonna admit to being a devil worshiper

  • And people who steadily boast and rap about murder, assault, and corrupting women are staunch Christians…*cough*…that’s more worrisome than some symbols in a video…

  • k

    the truth always come out

  • While looking more closely, I saw Prodigy at the 1:48 mark of the video. He seems to have said, “…Can’t fuck wit Brooklyn.”

  • So Icy Boi!

    ^^^ Get ya bum azz out of here stop tryna copy what big homie said

  • Fugg the conspiracy, the video is wack.

  • “funeral for old imagery and ideas…” ushering in NEW imagery and ideas? a new world order? omg i better stock up on canned goods!

    he just had to slip that in there to keep the theories coming huh?

  • I got a mind of my own. I don’t talk dumb shit, Mr. Drake’s Getting His Album Pushed Back to 2011. Smh…

  • Drazen

    “He gave me a very loose brief, and made it clear that we should be progressive with the video. All the imagery was thought up by me and was a response to the track itself. For those interested, the idea is actually about a funeral for old imagery and ideas, hence all the gothic and oppressive stuff. I was also trying to contradict the excess of hip-hop videos by making something brutally simple and claustrophobic.”

    -so basically reach a large audience and use your skills to rake in tha money

  • So Icy Boi!

    ^^^ Nigga u sound DUMB Jay-Z already got a big audience…..Its a Freemason illuminati video point blank ..for a example and i repeat a EXAMPLE ….Trey Songz video invented sex say if he had high school girls in the video or young girls in the video dancing and he singing i invented sex to them …Key word WHY would you have a video like dat???? …[email protected] Lmao fuk boi you still mad because i said Drake album gonna be pushed back to 2011??

  • blaqscorpio

    Lol, just waiting on the stupid people. I’ve salready seen a couple.

  • @ So Icy Boi: Hahahaha mad? I found it funny. Anyway…

  • Will

    LOL its funny how people say jay is the freemason Jay-Z has never directed a Video ever So all these ideas are coming from directors video directors people wanna act like dude put that shit in his videos he has a director who does all that shit all dude do is rap to the music baccground

    motherfuccers need to grow the fucc up and let cuz coach You

  • mac DIESEL



  • So Icy Boi!

    @WhatsUpSon yea ne wayz on to the next one Lmao……[email protected] the directors and the artist know exactly whats goin on the record labels the ones who hired da director and they be apart of it too devil worshipers …………….im through talkin to yall slow mutha fukaz maybe one day you will understand “is it there or is it a illusion”

  • mac DIESEL

    @ So Icy Boi

    “I’m through talking to yall slow mutha fukaz”


    * R.I.P SO ICY BOI *


  • Pingback: Director of “On To The Next One” Explains Controversial Images « Media Outrage()

  • Kid C-A-L

    Externalization. He took an abstract thought or image from the past and made sense of it. Its no conspiracy theory, its a conspiracy fact. But, Jay-Z is just a distraction even though he wields more power than people may know. Jay is no typical rapper. But keep your eyes on the UN.

  • Wayne

    Yall Freemason dicks need to stop smoking weed !!!

  • King Jo

    So Icy Boi!

    I really feel sorry for you YOU ARE A TOY SOLDIER!!! aka Internet spammer about this free masonry shit. i’m laughing at you.

  • YEAH YEAH! WHATEVA!!! I still believe that their is some evil stuff going on with these videos and these ” SUPER STARS”
    No way you can tell me that you did not mean for it too look anti christ when you got bullets going towards the cross… Beleive what you want! That’s why we have freedom of religion but MY GOODNESS have RESPECT!!!! its really ashame!

    Check out: Vigilantcitizen.com

  • rap critic! (unbiased)

    If you listen to run this town jay-z says something about a mason in there. He named a song lucifer on the black album and in empire state he says something about Hail Mary to the city, you’re a virgin. And Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church end. I know there are people in this world that aren’t christian and there are people that are atheist and every other religion but if he isn’t a devil worshipper why would he talk trash about how Jesus can’t save cities. I don’t believe that anybody from any other religion besides devil worshippers down talk Jesus or any savior. Everybody should know that now we are living in the hour of judgment and I believe New York will give birth to the New World Order (United Nations aka Anti-Christ). To: Jay-Z… I don’t believe Jesus plans to save the city. He plans to save the people in it and his people everywhere on earth. And the only life that starts when the church end is the life of sin. Whoever opposes my comment is either deceived, blinded by the wrong in this world or living a life with the absence of God and I pray for you. And god bless all of you that read this comment. Yes, even the individual who decides to oppose this. I guess Jesus just spoke to you through me.

  • Pingback: Rap Radar :: Swizz Beatz Talks “On To The Next One” Video()

  • Behind The Word

    Very well said @ rap critic! (unbiased). I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Waisting Time

    I don’t WANT to call people dumb. But…I guess sometimes people just enjoy conspiracy theories. I mean I enjoy GOOD ones here and there. This one….not so good. I think wannabe stars and aspiring entertainers, people who envy that lifestyle secretly….. have created a great way to feel better about not being rich, famous and idolized.

  • rap critic! (unbiased)

    Money, attention and fame are worldly things that causes god’s people to be lead astray. We religious people don’t envy the life of the rich and famous. We also don’t strive for that life because all of our wants will be fulfilled once we make it to heaven so the bible tells us so. I believe there are rich people that are on the right path in life or aren’t totally consumed by evil. Take brandy for instance. She made a very positive cd. In return her album sales wasn’t that good. She is facing charges for manslaughter and everything. Do I believe she still has a chance to make it to heaven… Of course. I can see Lil Wayne making a complete change in his life. I listened to his song off of rebirth titled running; He’s fighting that same evil. Tiger Woods we all know what’s going on with him. I pray they all find there way but I believe it’s a little too late for some. The argument of whether Jay-Z is in a secret society doesn’t really matter to me anymore. I only want Gods people to be able to recognize the evil imagery in these videos. Whether they are doing it to branch out into something different, the images still have evil meanings. God gave us all a conscience. If you ever suspect something isn’t right do research on your own. Don’t listen to none of us including me. Go find out on your own. God bless you all.

  • Waisting Time

    Rapcritic? “We religous people”? Who says that? I’m all for positivity and moral conscieousness, but who says that? Religion is so broad, thousands of dominations….sounds pretty crazy to speaking for all ‘religous’ people. You sound pretty self-assuming and unfocused. But yes, God bless you also.

  • Waisting Time

    you believe it’s a little to late for some? Didn’t see that part, obviously a nutcase, no further comments from me neccessary.

  • H

    the director is full of ish…if any one really study and understand culture and symbolism, can plainly see what the video represents….aint no conspiracy, its spelled out visually….the directors detouring convo is because he’s either been instructed to speak that way or he’s apart of that culture and that would be the politically correct answer…either way its all some devilish [email protected]!%

  • rap critic! (unbiased)

    There are images that can be portrayed by society as evil are in this video. At the end of the day we come up with one fact whether waisting time agrees or not…. Evil is bad.

  • Frogger

    The Occult Semi-Subliminals of Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One”