What a character Kanye West is. Sometimes he comes off totally bonkers, other times he appears to be an artist of a caliber so high that we can barely keep up with him. But the best is when both happen in one instance. Take his little impromptu speech at Harvard University last month, in which he veered from incoherent to highly-conceptual in the space of a single sentence. Now comes video of a November 8th performance in San Antonio, Texas, where Kanye has clearly had enough from some audience members who won’t stop imploring him to remove his Maison Martin Margiela-created mask – part of his stage costume.
He tells the fans that they can see his face “every motherfucking day on the Internet” before stating his chief problem: “I came here, I open up a mountain…and you tryin’ to tell me how to give you my art.”
You do not fuck with Kanye’s art.
He goes back to a freestyle explaining why he wears the mask, taking it all with a little humor, but then one woman continues to shout at him to take off the mask. He then signals to security to have the woman removed, to the delight of the crowd.
“Do I look like a motherfucking comedian? Don’t fucking heckle me. I’m Kanye motherfucking West.”
Kim Kardashian has nothing to do with this story, but now that I’ve mentioned her, way more people will read this. Hi, Kim fans!
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.”
We used to have a feature here on the OurStage magazine called Watch This Wednesday, where we would round up the videos that had been kicking around that week for your viewing pleasure. Today, we have to institute a “Why Watch This?” Wednesday, in direct response to the time-devouring clips that have been put out lately.
Let’s start with no one’s favorite ego maniac, Kanye West. He and his famous partner, sex tape star Kim Kardashian, pretend to ride a motorcycle in front of a green screen, making us recall with fondness the Alicia Silverstone/Jeremy London pairing in Aerosmith‘s dumb “Amazing” video. Kanye and Kim are either masters of subtle satire or are the two least self-aware people on the planet. Place your bets.
Why watch this? So you can tell your grandkids that you saw and recognized the signs of the decline of civilization. This is the uncensored version. Don’t avert your eyes, coward.
Next up is Katy Perry, who is, as you know, the worst. This pusher of progressively bad music also fancies herself a ‘personality,’ and, not content to confine her creative output to music, she shows up on SNL, in commercials, and as the comedic heroine of her “Roar” video. Now she returns to her glam side with the official video for “Unconditionally,” which is what we in the smart-ass-jerk business call “pointless.”
Why watch this? Perry appears to be, literally, on fire at several points, which is something.
It’s that time of year again! Between the carved pumpkins lining doorstops, shelves of candy practically disappearing overnight, and costume stores boasting Dracula, Superman, and pretty pretty princesses, there’s no doubt that Halloween is just around the corner.
This spook-tacular holiday isn’t just for kids anymore, (I mean, who doesn’t love free candy and dressing up?), and to help you get into the holiday spirit, we’re bringing you a taste of how celebrities across the country are celebrating this year. Check it out after the jump. (more…)
As breaking news of the day goes, it’s not exactly groundbreaking. Still, there it was, in multiple variations, splattered across the online pages of E!, Us Weekly, Entertainment Weekly (which called it a hair break-over), People magazine and so many other websites devoted, in large and small part, to such trivialities. You’d think Samson had risen from the dead and taken up guitar.
But wait! Shouldn’t Delilah ” I mean, Katy Perry ” have been the star of this life (and a new ˜do)-after-love story? Traditionally, the celebrity tabloids and gossip websites pursue female celebrities about whom they date, whom they marry, whom they divorce, to search for baby bumps, and fashion dos and don’ts. Guys generally get in only when they’re dating one of them. (Why do you think Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger, who once went from long to short without causing so much as a media ripple and is now engaged to Avril Lavigne, is suddenly “newsworthy”?)
By those standards, John Mayer must be some kind of publicity-baiting genius. In the last several years, he’s made himself as much of a tabloid fixture as an A-list starlet by dating a succession of them: Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, and most recently, Katy Perry, his pop-star paramour of a few months. (more…)