“We all self conscious, I’m just the first to admit it…”
Last week marked ten years since Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout. It’s an album that remains one of my all-time favourite records, one that I continually revisit and sporadically obsess over. Although it wasn’t my first Kanye album – that honour went to the following year’s Late Registration – this record remains my pick of the litter. With this milestone – as well as the exciting news that Yeezy will be back here in May – I thought I’d look at one of my favourite Kanye videos from this era.
Yes, the imagery of Jesus Walks and the blunt-hammer satire of The New Workout Plan are fantastic in their own right. I could have easily written about either of them – but there’s something about the video for All Falls Down that I have always been drawn to. The point-of-view camera work is exceptional, as is the audio tweaking depending on where exactly Kanye finds himself. Even though they don’t really speak in the video, the relationship seems to explain itself between Kanye and the woman he’s dropping at the airport. On top of that, Kanye putting himself through the airport scanner remains one of my favourite moments in 2000s music videos. It’s a very clever and very striking video, one that hits the emotional nerves of the song. It’s a perfect complement – and a relatively simple clip that contrasts with the grandeur that comes with Yeezy these days. Not that I have a problem with that, of course. It’s just that sometimes I like to kick it old school. Maybe you will, too.
Ben Britton is an Australian musician,
best known as the vocalist and guitarist of the band Strangers.
His favourite video is Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins.
I was in year five when this album was released (around 11 years old). I used to think that Billy Corgan was some sort of supernatural being, like a vampire or a circus ringmaster after seeing this video. This song introduced me to “dark pop” songwriting and completely changed my view on music all together. The clip itself has a silent film style influence, which has always been disturbing yet interesting to me. The song, the look of Billy Corgan and the band, the artwork and this film clip has always seemed to fit together… almost like it was meant to be. It was an exciting time to be a young music lover. From a kid growing up in the 90s, I personally believe we haven’t seen a band make this much impact on a generation (except for Nirvana) since. Even now, as I watch it again. It’s timeless.
Strangers‘ new single, Persona Non Grata, is available now.
The band are currently in the middle of two residencies – every Wednesday at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne and every Thursday at the Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney. For more information, like the band on Facebook here.
“Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy laid beats…”
Happy Thursday, boys and girls! Can you believe we’re nearly over for yet another week? Absolute insanity! It’s been an incredible comeback run – and it’s about to get all the sweeter. A huge video from hip-hop conglomerate The Throne – better known as Jay-Z and Kanye West – dropped just yesterday and it’s already destined to be one of the most talked-about videos to involve either’s music – and let’s not forget the controversy surrounding Yeezy’s Flashing Lights and See You In My Nightmares clips.
It also could not come as a greater contrast to their previous clip – while Otis was a fun-loving ego trip where a literally not a second went by when the twosome weren’t on-screen, No Church in the Wild features neither of them at any stage. Rather, the video focuses on rewriting a page in the history books, with a clan of black people oppressing their white slaves. It’s often quite confronting in its imagery – I certainly wouldn’t take my chances trying to load the clip at your workplace, for instance – but in a manner that more or less means that you can’t look away. It’s also beautifully shot, with much of the lighting coming from fire-lit torches, bringing that very dark vibe throughout the whole thing. It’s a pretty full-on experience, but that’s essentially why this is the video you should be watching and talking about with your friends right now. I can’t wait to see if or when shit hits the fan on this one.
“Love, I don’t get enough of it, all I see is these vampires and bloodsuckers…”
Well, here we are. It’s taken six months, bannings and a general humdrum of controversy, but it’s finally here. Kanye West, along with his counterparts Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj, have unleashed the Monster video. So, after all that talk of how great it was going to be (classic Yeezy), has it lived up to the standard? Sweet Jesus above, yes. Classic Yeezy, right?
The warning should definitely be out there that this video is not for the faint at heart. It features some horrific and downright disturbing imagery at times, and will seperate the squirmers from the pack almost immediately. That said, it came together brilliantly. Kayne’s zombie escapade, Jigga looking stylish as ever, Rick Ross doing not much at all apart from puffing on a cigar in slow motion and the divine Miss Minaj getting all vampiric on her own Barbie ass. Just like her to steal the show, right?
This will probably get a lot more talk coming towards it, but let me just say that I couldn’t be happier with the end result. There are some really great ideas coming through the mainstream of American hip-hop and it’s quite stunning to see them visualised. I’m interested to see where this goes, but for now I’ll just kick back and enjoy the severed heads a little more…that’s not wrong of me, surely?