After taking the floor for a few minutes for an off-the-cuff speech at last night’s VMAs, Kanye West used the platform to premiere his “Fade” music video. Kanye and the song collaborators Ty Dolla $ign and Post Malone are notably absent from the visual; instead, Teyana Taylor is the sole star. It’s all sexy, sweaty Flashdance homage…until the last few seconds, when she inexplicably emerges with a cat face alongside fiancé Iman Shumpert and their daughter, surrounded by sheep.
Thankfully, one of the video’s choreographers/art directors, Jae Blaze, explained the jarring ending.
“I think the vision behind that was how amazing Teyana is, and how she’s been on the rise, and how she’s working, and you are now seeing her blossom into this fierce lioness, this fierce cat,” she told Pitchfork. “You know, the lioness always protects her baby. I think it really is about her coming into her fierceness. And that’s where she is in her life right now. She is blossoming.”
My first reaction was that it was some sort of allusion to the “Wolves” line “Cover Nori in lamb’s wool, we’re surrounded by the fuckin’ wolves,” but either way, the takeaway seems to be “protecting the brood.”
Blaze also spoke on the Flashdance imagery:
“That is a great conversation to be in because the movie was epic. I mean, she just took Flashdance to 2016, if you want to put it like that. She brought it to a generation of some people who many not have even seen the movie before! She made it relevant and current right now. Her body is amazing. Her dancing was amazing. She’s just a beast. All in all, it just came together really well.”
Read the full interview here.