Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" Could Make Music Videos Interesting Again
Back in our days, when we'd have to walk five miles uphill to school every day, music videos were fun. In the 1980s, artists like A-ha proved music videos could be as revolutionary as they were iconic, and, in the 1990s, artists like Britney Spears proved they could make bubblegum pop for the Total Request Live set.
But with the advent of original programming on the likes of Vh1 and MTV — and the downfall of countdown shows like TRL — the fun music video disappeared. No longer was Spears' or Madonna's latest release a must-see. Instead, the lack of a specific outlet and audience for artists' videos led to a lack of creativity — it's rare that we tune into a video from a Top 40 artist. (Instead, only virally minded bands like Ok Go have had success in the music video arena.)
But is Kanye West trying to change all of that? Not only did the rapper promote Yeezus with a viral-friendly American Psycho parody starring Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Scott Disick, but West's latest video for "Black Skinhead" invites the viewer to interact with the video itself.
In the video — which you can see streaming on West's site — viewers can slow down the pace of the song (hey, they might need to kill time while waiting for this royal baby) and capture images from the video using Instagram. The tools themselves aren't that interesting (why can't we speed up West to get through this faster?), but at least it marks a change in the medium — this is the most involved fans have been in music videos since Carson Daly clutched a microphone in Times Square. And that's kind of, yes, fun.
At least, "Black Skinhead" is certainly better than the leaked version that found its way online, much to the ire of West himself. Why didn't you let West finish, Internet?