“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.
“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?
“Could you be the Devil? Could you be an angel?”
Katy Perry is just getting a ridiculous kind of big this year. The media drool over every move her and Russell Brand make, she released a killer sophomore album last year which produced not one, but two of my favourite videos of 2010, and now she’s on some next level shit with the one and only Kanye West. Admittedly, E.T. wasn’t my next choice for single from Teenage – I would have probably gone either T.G.I.F. or Circle the Drain. Thankfully, the track has been kicked up a notch with some great remixing, new beats and the robo-rap genius of Yeezy.
As for the video, I believe the phrase “holy shit” was invented specifically for moments like these. Katy’s a freaking alien, ‘Ye is floating in some kind of space dimension and there’s a tonne of crazy sci-fi shenanigans for all. This is easily the most ambitious video Katy has put her name to, and it’s one that is sure to divide fans. For my two cents, however, I really love this video. It’s a bold expression to put forth – especially when she’s in a position to be easily able to play it safe. Interested to know what you think…