Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Mozart of Hip-Hop Strikes Again

On May 4th, Kanye West premiered a music video for the song "Lost In The World" from his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The video is a collaboration with film director Ruth Hogben, who has also collaborated with fashion designer Alexander McQueen and super-star Lady Gaga. What's really interesting, is that neither Kanye or Hogben gave any notice of the video's release when they had been working on it since last year.
Before I continue, I want to say that I found this video incredible. It is extremely artistic and captures Kanye as an artist of many mediums -- music, film, and fashion. Below is a short video of the director commenting on Kanye's vision of the film along with the collaborative process.

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According to an article on (here), "fans are supposed to come up with their individual interpretations of the clip. Even the dancers in the video were given the creative freedom to let loose. 'It was actually their interpretation of the song,' Hogben explained. 'Kanye didn't say to them, 'Dance this way.' We wanted an interpretation of how they felt about the song.'"

I found this to be very interesting because it seems to bring hip-hop into a whole new artistic realm. However, there was a surprising amount of comments on YouTube bashing the film. One of the comments states "his ghetto pass has been revoked." But when was Kanye ever ghetto?

Anyway, what are you thoughts on Ruth Hogben and Kanye West's mesh of hip-hop and interpretive art? Do you think Kanye's "ghetto pass" has been revoked?


  1. As more and more videos are being produced with rap tracks, I think artists are seeing the popularity of including dance in their clips. The inclusion of this artistic flair makes the video more dynamic in my opinion. Any rapper could have pranced around with their individual "swag" and the fans would love it. However, Kanye takes a chance by accepting this inclusion of dance in the video, maybe detracting some of the audience that may be looking for that "ghetto" side. With the slight decrease of this audience, though, Kanye attracts a whole new group of people to his music. Personally, I enjoy dance very much, and loved rap before this joy came around. Thus, in my case, Kanye ties me even further into his exploits, to see what he shall produce next.

    So, in conclusion, the mesh of hip-hop and interpretive art is a very smart and enjoyable move on Kanye's part, attracting a larger audience to his whereabouts (and hopefully keeping them). Yet that's where my question may arise: Once this new crowd is drawn to his music, will they be detracted if they witness the other aspects of his career (a.k.a. the "ghetto pass" he supposedly had)?

    For the "ghetto pass" reference, I very doubt it has been revoked. He can just as easily make another video that shouts out to this ghetto side, but he goes up and beyond that. After all, this is a business. Kanye's just one of the first strategically approaching this business in this fashion, and those deep-rooted in his old ways will certainly dislike his detraction from those roots.

  2. This may be a blunt answer, but who cares? Who cares if he differs slightly from what the norm in hip-hop is? Hip-Hop fans have this notion that if something is different it's bad. For example, earlier on in Kanye's career he released "808's and Heartbreak" which was met with mixed reviews. Many purely disliked it because they felt that it wasn't "rap". Who cares? Kanye West has a creative mind and we should appreciate any of the music he makes. We can't generalize any of his music as "ghetto", first of all, because he is not even FROM a ghetto.

    I enjoy Kanye's artistic side. Want to know why? Because he is an artist first, and a rapper second.


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