Reporting Scott T. Sterling
UPDATE: Kanye West has taken to Twitter to respond to the video leak, insisting that it’s an unfinished version. He also had a direct message to the person(s) responsible for revealing the new clip ahead of schedule. West’s statement in its entirety:
“The ['Black Skinhead'] video that leaked yesterday was not the official version. Me and Nick Knight have been working on this video for five months and for creatives it’s heartbreaking when something like this happens. The final version will be ready within the next week. So any website that may have the unapproved / unfinished ruff. I ask you to please take it down. Allow me and Nick to give the world what we’ve been losing sleep over. And to who ever leaked the video… FUK YOU!”
After his much-anticipated Yeezus album leaked online five days before its official release date, a CGI video for first single “Black Skinhead” seemed to suffer the same fate yesterday evening (July 7) before being yanked as suddenly as it appeared.
The video seemed to have been made public mistakenly while on a Universal Music Group staging site, which has become password-protected. But it did give bootleggers a chance to grab the NSFW clip, which has since been removed at the request of the RIAA.
The black and white video, shot in grainy CGI, features West stomping around to the aggressive track, alternately shirtless in black leather pants and a single gold chain, or sporting a stylized suit of what appears to be armor, complete with a spiked head covering. At one point, his pants fall to the ground, revealing private parts that grow as the video goes on. Hence the NSFW warning.
The video also highlights some of the same images West used during his May performance of “Black Skinheads” on Saturday Night Live, such as a trio of dogs barking at the camera and a shot of three men in what appear to be black KKK hoods.
The video was originally scheduled for released last week before the 4th of July holiday.
The clip comes after West reversed his original decision not to release any videos or radio singles from the Yeezus album, with Def Jam announcing earlier this month that they would be officially taking “Black Skinhead” to radio, and that a music video was also forthcoming.
The news of “Black Skinhead” receiving a traditional single/video release came after Yeezus debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 327,000 copies in its first week of release. The album took a massive tumble in its second week, however, dropping 80 percent in sales, the fourth-largest drop for a No. 1 debut in the Sounscan era behind Madonna (MDNA), Lady Gaga (Born This Way) and Mac Miller (Blue Slide Park).