Reporting Shannon Carlin
Kanye posted the video on his website with a warning that looks similar to those you would see featured right before a movie trailer introducing “Black Skinhead,” here spelled “BLKKK SKKKN HEAD.” We’ll assume the triple K’s are a nod to the songs racially-driven lyrics. The note reads like a press release explaining that the video was directed by Nick Knight, the visual artist who also created the worldwide art installation Kanye used to promote Yeezus, with design help from DONDA, the creative house founded by Kanye and named for his late mother.
The video offers an interactive experience that “allows users to adjust motion speed and corresponding sounds,” or, to put it in layman’s terms, speed up or slow down the audio and visuals of the clip. Fans can also “photograph” still images from the video and share them online with others through social media. Kanye wants his video for “Black Skinhead” to be bigger than your average rap video. This interactive concept, which has previously been used before by artists like Arcade Fire, continues Kanye’s attempt to blur the line between the music world and the contemporary art world.
Instead of the white pointer finger that usually directs you where to click, Kanye’s site features a black hand holding up its middle finger. The black and white video keeps with the imagery we saw in the previously leaked clip, including the barking devil dogs, men in black hoods and a super buff, CGI-ed version of Yeezy.
Currently, the user experience is a little glitchy. A slider tool on the side allows you to slow down the video, which turns it slow-mo (a menacing effect) but causes the clip to pause or even worse, leaves the viewer waiting for it to re-load. Photos can be taken of the clip, but only when it is stopped completely. It makes you wonder if the leak had an effect on the release date. Maybe the video needed a few more days in beta before being officially released to the world.
Check out the video for “Black Skinhead” here and try it out for yourself.
Or watch the plain old non-interactive version below.
In other Kanye news, over the weekend the rapper got into a scuffle with a paparazzo outside a Los Angeles airport after he reportedly grabbed the photographer’s camera. According to Los Angeles Airport Police (via Us Weekly) the victim was taken to a local hospital for medical attention. “A police report was taken by the Los Angeles Police Department and the investigation is ongoing.”