Before director Jim Taihuttu shot his first film, he was a DJ. Ever since teaming up with Nizzle to form Yellow Claw, his music career has taken off in a big way. Many fans around the world have no idea he is also a film maker.
Jim comes from a musical family. His father Gino has composed and performed the score for several of his cinematic projects. Jim plays a few musical instruments himself. Spinning mostly R&B and hip-hop, his main musical outlet however had always been to DJ. For years it was a nice side-gig to his writing and directing. Until he hooked up with fellow DJ Nizzle and MC Bizzey to form Yellow Claw, and putting out their first singles in 2012 featuring various Dutch rappers. These were all big successes, and as Yellow Claw developed a more electronic-oriented, international sound, the clubs and festivals that book them have grown bigger and bigger.
Yellow Claw is now a huge act, with fans around the globe who have never seen Jim’s movies Rabat and Wolf. They are two totally different careers, worlds even. But they do intersect, in Yellow Claw’s music videos. Here are some of them, in reverse chronological order (newest first).
Love & War
A giant planet is on a collision course with Earth. There are four hours left. What can you do? You could loot and riot, you could hold your family, return to the sea, meditate. Or go to a Yellow Claw gig and dance like there’s no tomorrow because there is none. In a globe-spanning video featuring singer Yade Lauren, director David Eilander pictures the end the world as a metaphor for heartbreak.
After having been discovered on YouTube, Dutch singer Yade Lauren makes her debut appearance as a featured performer on ‘Invitation’ (2016). She plays a platinum-blonde model in the video—which was shot in Paris by Jim—starring alongside Yellow Claw’s Nizzle as her photographer and love interest.
In My Room
Just how many hot women is it possible to cram into a music video? Yellow Claw decided to find out with ‘In My Room’, the video for their collaboration with American producer DJ Mustard, singer Ty Dolla $ign and rapper Tyga. The answer is: a whole lot, and still there’s room for a few panoramic rooftop scenes overlooking the Los Angeles skyline, a shot of Bizzey in the garage with a white Lambo and some Blood For Mercy product placement.
‘Techno’ was not directed by Jim (indeed, none of the Yellow Claw members appear in the video) but by his longtime creative partner and Rabat co-director Victor D. Ponten. With an intricate storyline, the video is really short film about a girl (played by award-winning Dutch actress Sigrid ten Napel) and her father, who agrees to rent out his barn to an ecstacy laboratory. Don’t do drugs, kids.
Till It Hurts
Also featuring a beautiful Dutch singer, Jim’s video for ‘Till it Hurts’ is in many ways similar to ‘Shotgun’. It again combines performance footage with a little storyline with rapper Bizzey and the song’s featured performer, Ayden, and—just like in some of Jim’s short films—a twist ending.
Another Top 10 hit in the Netherlands, the R&B-tinged ‘Shotgun’ was Yellow Claw’s first shot (sorry) at an international crossover song. With some 84 million views, you could say that they got there. Jim directs featured singer Rochelle and his fellow band members in a brutal revenge story – in between partying hard, obviously.
‘Thunder’ (2013) was Yellow Claw’s last Dutch single, a collaboration with popular local rap duo The Opposites. Taking some of its musical inspiration from Rotterdam’s 1990s gabber sound, Jim directed this one in the city’s famous harbour and the abandoned former swimming pool Tropicana. Featuring big trucks, flamethrowers, flag waving and kissing girls, this one is not for fans of nuance and subtlety.
Het Allermooiste Feestje
Yellow Claw’s first Dutch hit in 2012 features rappers Mr Polska and Ronnie Flex. Jim directed the video himself, with the members of Yellow Claw viciously murdering a field hockey team, as a metaphor (hopefully) for ‘killing it’ in the club. The girls seem happy to party anyway. There is some product placement for Jägermeister, a longtime YC sponsor, as you can tell.