Kanye West Gets Lost In Translation

Jun 27th, 2007 // 25 Comments

After a run-up campaign that even included a premiere party, the megabudget video for Kanye West’s “Stronger” has finally made it to the small screen. The Hype Williams/Kanye-directed clip justifies its expense with robots, huge Japanese subtitles, anime explosions, and a chase scene–although it’s probably a sign of our attention-span-deprived times that near the end, we were concentrating less on the video and more on the fact that TRL actually managed to play all four minutes and 23 seconds of the thing.

Kanye West – Stronger [OnSmash]

  1. Ned Raggett

    Like the Hideo Nakata/Chris Cunningham homages. If that’s what they are.

  2. DavidWatts

    Kanye, really, could not be a more boring performer. He’s much more interesting on disc, or in a series of polaroids.

  3. The Ghost of Tom Gordon

    @ DavidWatts: Agreed, he makes every music video performance boring. You’d figure that he would have fixed that by now.

    From reading how expensive this video was to make, I’m wondering what record companies are thinking in still throwing a lot of money into videos – there’s barely any outlets that play the entire video, other than the specialty MTV channels, Fuse, and online sites. Maybe adjust promotional budgets and more people would buy the albums.

  4. thumper

    great video – love daft punk – kanye is dullsville though – wish we could hear the music without him mouthing off on top of it – zzzzz

  5. Tenno

    the akira reference didn’t have half the blood it required: failure!

  6. BleepBot

    @thumper:

    Here’s my music video where you can hear the music without kanye:
    [www.dailymotion.com]

    Daft Transformers! First full-length movie/album mashup between Discovery and the original Transformers movie!

  7. Halfwit

    Fine… I’ll be the guy to say it…

    It looks like Kanye stuck a banana in his boxers for that first shot of him on the slab (the one from the feet)

  8. The HZA. [member of the zombie nation]

    Videos like this make me wish there was still Pop Up Video.

    “Douchey sorta retro sunglasses; $850.”

  9. capn_guthrie

    I can’t tell if he’s going for MJ’s Scream video or KANEDAAAAAAA!!!

    regardless, hes completely floating on the SS. Daft Punk. He could have at least tried to rhyme something interesting enough to hold attention over the song, if thats even possible. I hope this album ends the love affair people have been having with Kanye.

  10. capn_guthrie

    “do anything for a klondike”??? stab me in the adams apple.

  11. Vitamin B12

    @DavidWatts: Oh come on now. The spazzing out in the “Gold Digger” video cracks me up every time.

  12. Julio Allison

    Very street.

  13. ens3000

    @Chest Rockwell:

    > Maybe adjust promotional budgets and more people would buy the albums….

    How does that work exactly?? Maybe the labels would be more profitable if they cut their marketing spends but I don’t see how that would motivate consumers one way or another to buy more albums?

  14. grizzlebizzle

    granted the song is based entirely on the daft punk sample – but am i the only one who realizes the aforementioned “robots” are actually the Daft Punk guys? seems like they’re pretty down with the sample.

  15. The Ghost of Tom Gordon

    @ens3000:

    I should have elaborated…I didn’t mean that an adjustment of promotional budgets would cause more people to buy albums, but if they would think of avenues other than music videos – which is a dying vehicle – then more people may be exposed to the music. What new methods are available that would create higher sales I don’t know, but music videos seems like throwing money into an already sinking ship.

  16. 30f

    I have also heard tales about the giant budget on this one. I am not saying it was cheap, but Hype also likes to talk up the budgets to show off his power. So take the biggest numbers with a grain of salt.

    @Chest Rockwell: By and large you are correct in questioning how much labels spend on videos. I have a whole blog about that, but Kanye is actually an exception to much of that. The story is (unconfirmed but reasonably likely) that Kanye pays for all the videos himself and then licenses them back to the label. This is what the US label does when it pays up front and the UK label owes a license fee to air a clip in the UK. Since Kanye pays he is the owner and he licenses to the US label as well as all the international properties. Not sure if this is profitable for the artist but it works with his Kanye-centric world-view.

  17. parkviews

    Between this and their involvement in the Ed Banger label, DP seem have their hands in a significant chunk of current music. And this is a good thing…..

  18. parish

    yo, I heard the rumor that Daft Punk doesn’t even appear in music videos, they just pay two guys to wear the suits…

  19. The Ghost of Tom Gordon

    @30f:

    Thanks for the insight. However I don’t believe someone with the ego of Kanye West would EVER pay for his own videos…

  20. ozacrot

    If you had told me two years ago that Kanye West was going to make a video around a Daft Punk song based on Akira, I would have immediately imagined some sort of futuristic utopia. Reality is boring, and so is this video.

  21. capn_guthrie

    @grizzlebizzle: yeah and Jimmy Page was also in video for “Come With Me” by (then) Puff Daddy.

  22. mackro

    Kanye is just all about Shibuya. First there was the Teriyaki Boyz collaboration earlier this year, and now this.

    Expect a full length Kanyanime feature in the theaters this fall.

  23. Anonymous

    @Tenno: True dat. I’m hoping for a director’s cut.
    On the real, I still dug that, plus the motorcycle light trails (another Akira ref) and the dramatic titles, but it doesn’t really hang together. Sure is pretty, though.

  24. Anonymous

    @mackro: That Teriyaki Boyz vid was hilarious! Fun little track, too.

  25. ens3000

    @Chest Rockwell:

    Not that it’s an every time occurence I’m sure, but Kanye’s been in the habit of paying for his own videos since the beginning when Rocafella/Def Jam didn’t believe in him as an artist so he had to pony up his own paper to make the “Through the Wire” video. It’s pretty well-known that he puts his own $ into videos so he can execute his vision for them excactly the way he sees it and is not beholden to the will of the label when they hold the purse strings.

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