No werewolves or dead ladies here, folks. Just a lot of lights. And we mean a lot of lights. In fact — all of ‘em. Two months after Rihanna tweeted a glimpse of herself with director Hype Williams on the set of “All Of The Lights,” the actual video has landed! It begins with a stark, solemn black-and-white shot of a young girl making her way through the snow-covered projects, set to the song’s downbeat instrumental opening. But if you think the ambitious Runaway won’t make good on his promise to turn on “All Of The Lights” and then some, you obviously don’t know Kanye West from Jane Austen. Check it out below.
As the video switches from moody B&W to a full-on assault of color typography introducing the artists, it’s clear that the immodest rapper has not turned minimalist on us. Then we get the lyrics in all kinds of crazy fonts and colors, like an acid trip at a karaoke bar. And just when we think ‘Ye might be content to just rip off Cee-Lo’s wordy “F*** You” video in an even flashier fashion, we get actual Kanye. Actual Rihanna. Actual Kid Cudi. And, still, a hell of a lot of lights.
Kanye West feat. Rihanna and Kid Cudi — “All Of The Lights”
Clearly Katy Perry’s home-phoning friend won’t be happy until he’s got Crayola working overtime trying to name all the hues on display here. His multicolored rapping from atop a police car can only be described in a few words, all of them synonyms for “epic.” And of course, we’ve seen Rihanna go Rainbow Bright before in her “Who’s That Chick” video, but we’re perfectly happy to see it all over again with a strobe-light effect that is just this side of disorienting.
There is, of course, no appearance from Elton John, Fergie, La Roux, or any of the other artists who (barely) appear on the track (other than a shout-out in the credits, that is). But we’re more than satisfied with what we get here — even if it’s obvious that ‘Ye & Co. have liberally “borrowed” from the trippy opening titles of Gaspar Noe’s French arthouse flick Enter the Void. Look familiar?
Naturally, we’re still wondering whatever happened to the “Monster” video we never (officially) saw — was the leak we previewed actually just a nightmare we had after watching “Thriller” and eating some bad Chinese food?
Ah, well. We say this vid more than makes up for it, and we plan to watch it at least a dozen more times — or until we get dizzy and need to lie down. Whichever comes first.