Kanye West – Bound 2

Year :
Lupe Fiasco / Jay-Z / Common

In the art of seduction, the key is to understanding what powers the drive one’s selected victim. The key for some women, for example, is their feet. (The secret to happiness: we want shoes! Also, let us off our feet for a while and clean up your own damn mess!). Seduction for the typical man, on the other hand, is all about his eyes and stomach. And for teenagers… the “forbidden” simply becomes their next obsession.

Open the first page of an advertising textbook. Read the line “Sex sells”. Close the book. Never find the book again. You know all you need to know.

We all understand this keeps us interested–it’s a bit of marketing and a bit of psychology. It’s that special combination of the what the product actually has, and the what consumers think the product has. Celebrities, in this sense are both people and products. They’re here for our entertainment, a more dignified sort of people watching. The difference between us and them is mostly a matter of exaggeration and sideshow business of entertainment. If you’re famous, hell if it’s because it’s beauty or talent anymore. The sideshow keeps us seduced.

When you’re in the music industry,  it’s honestly best to not give a damn about your bad reputation. Shock value is what keeps people interested, whether they care about your art or not. In my recent studies–small chatting like a southerner in the rude-ass New York City–Miley Cyrus and Kanye West are the keywords I hear most often cut though “bla bla bla” subway conversations. When you’ve replaced talk about the weather, I would say you did your job as an artist–you’ve made people react. But, have you made them think? The controversial video of “Bound 2″, the closer from Kanye West’s 2013 release Yeezus has definitely created a stir, but it hardly seems that anyone is pondering the source material much these days. Sad really–The whole aim of Yeezus is to be something of a wake-up call.

Unlike the rock-driven sound of the rest of Yeezus, “Bound 2″ kept to the basics, featuring the signature sounds of Chicago hip hop–vintage samples delivered via Chipmunk soul. As for the video, Kanye West is never one to disappoint when it comes to the cinematography of his videos… but the video of “Bound 2″ is another story. Visually, the video is so much terrible crap… More than enough to insult even the most loyal Kanye apologist. The Kanye we knew and loved would never let himself be embarrassed in such a way. Lyrically, the delivery seems weak at first, as Kanye is aging in verse. Looking back, the lyric are are like regressing from the AP class to 3rd grade. This is not the witty Mr. West we once knew. Sure, the man’s in love and now techincally technically Kanye Kardashian… but it’s not de-evolution or laziness. Yeezus is all about simplicity. And lemme just say, that excuse works well enough for me.

James Franco and Seth Rogan’s motorcycle bromance put a fine point on the typical first reaction to the video for “Bound 2.” It’s a hilarious spoof that calls out the seemingly oblivious goofiness of the video. The grand shots of nature, the galloping wild stallions through a rushing stream, the soaring eagle at dawn, the a lone ranger on a motorcycle blazing a path through the west. It’s the cheesy imagery of ‘Merica so many of us grew up with set against a low-budget backdrop. It’s enough to slay a child of the 21st century. All before you even get to the the softcore porn of topless Kim Kardashian contrasted with the expressionless Kanye… again, on top of a motorcycle.

The first time I watched this video I was embarrassed, uncomfortable, and disappointed. I had to fight the urge to join in America’s collective hair pull-out. But I chose to remember Kanye the artist (remember, that guy?). Here is someone who’s gone from ‘just a producer,’ to outspoken rapper, fashion designer, and business mogul within a decade. So I pushed my sympathy for future North West aside, shook off the shyness and watched the corny video of Kimye once again. And by Golly, I got it!

You’ve got shots of great American landscape, untamed–yet beautiful–animals, the stunning woman, the journey Westward, all within one video. The Kanye of “Bound 2″ is not just a lone ranger–he’s a Black Skinhead. Along with “Bound 2,” the rest of Yeezus emphasizes all-American stereotypes in loud, unsubtle way and reflects it back onto Kanye. He chose to premier the the video on America’s the Ellen DeGeneres Show of all places. His fashion line features the Confederate flag. Point of being? When you see a symbol of the civil war, the talk show, America Itself, think not of human rights, famous comedians, or national pride–think Kanye! Oh, and what is America favorite character? Jesus, of course. You get my point? It’s kind of romantic, in an odd way.

Older folks who aren’t even aware of the dashing world of the internet have even come to me babbling about the video for “Bound 2:” “Did you see that black guy and that famous girl doing it!? Is this what you kids these days find entertaining?!” Great work, Kanye. Thanks to Ellen, you even have granny panties bunching in a twist! The thing is, when it comes to Kanye, you can either be annoyed or sit back and try to enjoy it all. I love Kanye like a teenage girl in the 80s would love Madonna.

Kanye’s admitted in interviews that he’s trying to learn to control his impulsiveness. He can come off harsh, well, anytime he opens his mouth. As a broody muse myself, I see the man as a revolutionary, a muse, and a sight to see in a society of copy cats. I’ve got into many, many debates in the past for the sake of Kanye. What can I say –I’m a biased-ass chick. Kanye is as controversial as any artist could be and shock value is what keeps you invincible in the entertainment industry. He might be staying a while. And see, and if you can’t stand him, well I’m happy for you.

And with this debate, Imma let you finish. But hell, I gotta say, he’s the best entertainer of all time! He’s the best entertainer of all time!

*Kanye Shrug*

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(@JJoyceL) had her hips first shake to mainstream 80's music. Since then, she's developed an ear for many other genres, but still remains an awkward dancer.

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