Sometimes his videos start a party; other times they cause seizures. Kanye West, hip hop’s resident art nerd, has crafted a sizable niche for himself based upon always pushing the artistic envelope in both his music and the visuals attached to it.
From his first video, 2003′s “Through The Wire,” West kept things high in art. He was in a near-fatal car accident a year prior (2002), forcing him to have his mouth wired shut. He documented that entire experience, filming it every step of the way. He then wrote and recorded “Through the Wire,” and by the time the clip was released, he had a video full of animated Polaroids detailing everything that happened.
Ten years later, Kanye is shutting down whole cities across the globe with residents gathering to watch his video “New Slaves” projected on the sides of buildings. It’s that level of artistry (and way of wild thinking) that has allowed Kanye West to continuously be regarded as one of rap’s forward thinkers.
Arguably, all of ‘Ye’s videos are artistic. From the minute-and-a-half video for “Power” directed by visual artist Marco Brambilla to the string of vids directed by Hype Williams, there is always something to take away from a Kanye West video. Some he even directs himself, and with multiple versions (i.e. “Jesus Walks,” “Heard Em Say,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” etc.). With West’s sixth studio album Yeezus dropping just around the corner, there will more than likely be several new videos to add to Ye’s visual arsenal. So let’s take a look back in time at five of Kanye West’s most artistic visuals. From metaphorical clips to straight up cartoons, Yeezy always has something up his sleeve. Check out the selections below.
“Flashing Lights” (2007):
There are three versions of the “Flashing Lights” video. The two latter ones are a little more overt to the song title. This first version, however, is full of symbolism. Directed by Spike Jonze and Kanye himself, this clip for “Flashing Lights” is one big metaphor. A model drives a car into the desert, strips down, opens the trunk to her car where West is gagged. Then she kills him with a shovel. It’s been said this video symbolizes Kanye thinking that fame is killing him. What do you think?