He's back folks...
11/21 - Pearl Jam - Viejas Arena
I'm liking the track a lot!
*based upon tedious fact checking.
Drake's new single sounds like an 808's throwaway
I'ma ball at the mall shuttin' down the sea wall
I don't know if this has been posted yet but it makes me happy:
"Well, first of all, if you look at all of Kanye West's output, he actually did a lot to bring back sampling and make it cool again, even though he's more of a mainstream artist...but his new album is strictly hard beats and rhyme. He's totally done with electro. You're gonna be surprised what you hear."
That quote and the fact that the mastered version of Power has been on repeat on my iPhone all week has got me wayyyyy excited for this record.
I am neither foxy, nor a lady.
Neil Young - Kanye West - Beck - PJ Harvey - The Knife - Basement Jaxx - Tom Waits - Shpongle (Live) - Flying Lotus (Live) - The Avalanches - Autechre - Eels - Fat Freddy's Drop - Liquid Liquid - OFWGKTA - Freddie Gibbs - Big K.R.I.T. - Phantogram - Christian Scott - Nosaj Thing - Gold Panda - James Blake
He is pretty much going the King Tut route here. Seems to be the inspiration.
so mad that he isnt calling the album good ass job
Youre turning into Kanye himself.....
Youre an hour late on that, watching Jersey Shore before posting it?
Power > The Way You Lie
I sense inspiration from this painting
The Damocles of the anecdote was an obsequious courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth century BC tyrant of Syracuse. Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority, Dionysius was truly fortunate. Dionysius offered to switch places with him for a day, so that Damocles could taste first hand that fortune. In the evening a banquet was held where Damocles very much enjoyed being waited upon like a king. Only at the end of the meal did he look up and notice a sharpened sword hanging directly above his head by a single horse-hair. Immediately, he lost all taste for the fine foods and beautiful companions and asked leave of the tyrant, saying he no longer wanted to be so fortunate.
Dionysius had successfully conveyed a sense of the constant fear in which the great man lives. Cicero uses this story as the last in a series of contrasting examples for reaching the conclusion he had been moving towards in this fifth Disputation, in which the theme is that virtue is sufficient for living a happy life. Cicero asks
"Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms?"
So what exactly is the piece?
Well, it's a video portrait of Kanye. It starts with a very tight shot introducing him that's kind of a reinvention of a neoclassical painting. It pulls back from the shot, without any cuts, and we reveal the video canvas, populated by all these characters who are depicted in various stages of undress and decadence. The iconography comes from Roman iconography, Renaissance iconography, and it connects to the sexuality of the music as well. As we reveal the setting for it, there's a feeling of a moment of transition for him. A fall from grace, if you will. It visualizes power, and him as the icon as power, and then at the end of the piece it challenges the power that I set up at the beginning. It's an elliptical piece of storytelling.
How did you guys end up using that kind of imagery?
He approached me via my gallery and he wanted to do something that wasn't a music video. He wanted a video work that would accompany the music. I said, "That's great, because I don't do music videos." I wanted to give it an epic feeling. The song feels very personal, but the orchestration and the production of the track is epic and I wanted to give it something hypersensational and exaggerated.
Kanye had laid low after the Taylor Swift incident, and I think people expected him to come back a bit humbled. Were you surprised that he wanted to do something this over-the-top?
That's exactly what I like about his music. It's the anti–Tiger Woods moment, you know? This piece is really about that. The new album is very personal, too, and the various tracks on the album suggest things that have happened to him. This is the most epic track. It was a really great opportunity to show a moment of defiance and a moment of self-awareness. It's that combination that he has as an artist that's very peculiar.
When did the actual production take place?
We started about a month ago on the photography. It took quite a long time in postproduction to put together. All the multi-layered imagery was very complicated. We used everything from 3-D graphics programs to this thing called "The Flame" that's used for feature films. It's basically a compassing tool; it's very much like how Photoshop works for stills. In fact, I put the images together in Photoshop first and we translated that to motion footage. We used every conceivable leading-edge tool that's at an artists' disposal.
How much input did Kanye have?
In preproduction, we had a lot of brainstorming sessions. Once we started production it became about how to execute it, so it was mostly in my studio and working with my postproduction people.
So what's Kanye like in real life?
He has a charisma to him which is really compelling. Creatively, he really wants to take chances. He let me go as far as I wanted to go. It wasn't like working with a music act or a video commissioned from a record label. He really thinks like an artist: The conversations were based on visual references, music references, and very little to do with the business side, the marketing side. As a musician, he expresses himself as an artist.
Have you been following his Twitter?
I heard he just started, recently. I heard it's really gotten an amazing following. What's it like?
He tweets about Persian rugs with cherub imagery and stuff like that.
Oh yeah, he told me about that one. That's very much how he is. He has a very kind of hyperactive thirst for things.
The piece is premiering tonight after Jersey Shore. Any thoughts on the association between the two?
I didn't know what Jersey Shore was until they told me. I guess whatever gets people to look at it. It's not like a gallery show; once I made it, I don't have control.
You've said you're expecting a bit of controversy from the piece. Are you gearing yourself up to defend it?
Look, I think it's a very honest piece. It's definitely larger-than-life and it's definitely a strong kind of statement, and it ties into his persona and it ties into his reputation and everything else that will be commented on will be commented on through the filter of how people perceive his persona ... he's brash, and uncensored, but it has a self-awareness. And it's not just constructed. A lot of very popular mainstream artists are products of record companies and marketing companies, and any time anyone can stand outside of that, that's interesting. He's one of the few people left that's making work that he believes in.
Do you have anything else planned with Kanye?
We're talking about it. We're talking about doing more projects.
And I understand you've heard that Dark Twisted Fantasy is the name of the album?
I've heard that's the latest name. I would say not locked-in, and it would probably not get locked until closer to the time of the album release.
Lastly, you directed Demolition Man. That is a great movie! What do you think about it now?
My personal vision isn't really represented by a big Hollywood movie like that, but technically I was able to learn a lot making more commercial work. A movie like Demolition Man, we broke a lot of ground at the time. Since, my focus kind of easily shifted to doing artwork.