We thought Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" video was pretty great even before it was finished, as we wrote nearly two weeks ago. Now the clip has been completed and has been officially released on Kanye's website, it's even more impressive. Perhaps our old music industry pal Julie Farman said it best in her Facebook post, "New Kanye video is as great as Kanye thinks it is."
What Julie is implying is our man Kanye has an over-inflated ego and often comes off as a complete douchebag, but there's no denying that the guy makes great art. And, love him or hate him, he's usually always interesting. Hell, even Lou Reed thinks so.
And, there's no denying his impact on pop culture. Just this weekend we were at Cal State Northridge to catch our daughter's performance as a dancer in the Teenage Drama Workshop's production of Disney's Aladdin Jr. and we nearly fell out of our chair with laughter when the Genie dropped Kanye's famous Taylor Swift-bumrush in the middle of the show: "I'ma let you finish, but Beyond has one of the best video of all time!"
Now with "Black Skinhead," Kanye might be saying that about his own clip,which has been retitled "Blkkk Skkkn Head" for the video release. The use of the "KKK" hints at the racism the song tackles, with the clip opening with three figures sporting black KKK-like hoods.
In the stark black-and-white clip, 'Ye appears shirtless and ripped, wearing nothing but a huge gold chain and his "leather black jeans," hopping around like a boxer ready to jump into the ring. Aside from some brief shots of wolves and someone dressed as a weird sci-fi creature, it's all Kanye, all the time.
Aside from the fact that the video is visually stunning, the best thing about it is that it not only manages to capture the track's energy, it enhances it with the quick cuts syncing perfectly with Kanye's hard-hitting beats.
The video was produced by Donda, the creative house named for Kanye's late mother, in conjunction with noted photographer and director Nick Knight. It also features all sorts of interactive features that allow users to manipulate the sound and imagery and capture still photos from the clip. But we think it's amazing just the way it was produced. So, yeah, Julie, it is as great as Kanye thinks it is.