How Have We Not Seen Diddy Crucified in "Hate Me Now?"
Adding to the confusion of "Hate Me Now" is that, not including the pulled crucified-Puff edit, there's two versions currently in circulation. The first, which is the one immediately aired in the controversy's wake, opens with the credits in a Old English font. The second, which is the most commonly seen one, is Hype Williams' "director's cut" featuring some backwards lettering in the opening titles, and that's mostly it. Both versions feature the confusing "Nas believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and this video is in no way a depiction or portrayal of his life or death..." disclaimer, both versions have the moment many cite as the peak of video excess where Puffy spits Cristal at the camera, and both versions feature only Nas on the cross.
It's interesting to consider that now, fourteen years after the controversial video's airing, there's absolutely no sign of it online. For such a heavily promoted event with an even more bombastic fallout, not even an image of Combs on the cross has at any point made its way into cyberspace. Its complete vaporization has caused members of the generation of hip-hop fans born after the controversy question whether or not the clip itself ever existed to begin with. As recent years have seen religious iconography and stations of the cross reenactments becoming much more common in hip-hop videos, Nas pushing more boundaries and buttons with each album and Blair Underwood reading the story of Jesus at Disneyland's Candlelight Processional last December, one would think by now the original cut of "Hate Me Now" would have resurfaced. But with Combs having patched things up with both Nas and Stoute (who Nas fired following the controversy) before the year ended and Hype Williams not including it on his hand-picked music video DVD compilation, it seems all parties would like to see this video never resurrected.