Amid the avalanche of criticism aimed at Kanye West’s over-the-top, obviously green-screened, naked Kim Kardashian-featuring, fake motorcycle-riding new video for “Bound 2,” is one common complaint that just keeps recurring: the video is too damn cheesy.
And, yes, it is. Yes, it’s the visual equivalent of a romance novel you’d find in the supermarket checkout line, or a drunkenly ill-conceived artistic partnership between Lisa Frank and Thomas Kinkade. But, of course, when a video is this incredibly kitschy, it’s usually a signal that the people who created it must have done so intentionally. Other than a basic lack of self-awareness on the part of the director and star, how else could you explain why an idea so cheesy is executed so gleefully and without restraint?
And if you look at it as intentional, then maybe it’s possible to see the the video as a deliberately corny ode to the feeling of falling in love, to the understanding that the cheesy and stupid emotions that you never thought would ever possess you can be both surprisingly real and frighteningly in the driver’s seat when it comes to your decision-making; that the cheesiness of those emotions actually isn’t fabricated, but real, and might in fact be the only thing really worth championing in a world where so much else is fake and manufactured. This might explain why cheap green-screening takes the center stage in the video: as the visual equivalent of the inherent corniness that real, uncool, stupid-looking human love entails.
But, of course, according to Kanye, that’s not what he means. In an interview yesterday with The Breakfast Club on New York’s Power 105 FM, Kanye stated straightforwardly that his intention with the video was “to show you that this is The Hunger Games. I want to show you that this is the type of imagery that’s being presented to all of us, and the only difference is a black dude in the middle of it. Admittedly, this is a pretty vague statement, but his remarks later on in the interview clarify his position a bit, as he goes on to say: “We’re enslaved by brands¦We’re controlled by peer pressure. We’re controlled by the desire for a particular car.”
Just in case you thought that James Franco’s string of shoddily“recorded pop music ad-libs earlier this year was a joke, the actor has decided to make a real foray into the music world. And this time, it’s without cornrows and Rihanna sing-alongs. Under the name Daddy, Franco will be releasing the MotorCity EP, a collaboration between the actor and his friend, composer Tim O’Keefe. Supposedly, the inspiration for MotorCity came during Franco’s time spent in Detroit while he was filming Oz: The Great and Powerful, the upcoming prequel to The Wizard of Oz. While some Motown influence is definitely discernable in the first single “Love In The Old Days,” the track sounds more like a generic indie pastiche than any soulful Berry Gordy Jr. production. Plus, the accompanying video tacks on the Instagrammed nostalgia of a Lana Del Rey video just for good measure (and hipster bonus points).
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