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Monday, June 6, 2011

Kanye West's "Monster" Video: Not Gonna Do Kanye's Public Image Many Favors

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM

"Monster," indeed.
  • "Monster," indeed.

The new final clip for Kanye West's "Monster" -- or what may become known as the dead-model orgy video -- makes the rapper look every bit as conceited and shallow and tone-deaf as his detractors say he is. And the disclaimer at the beginning doesn't help one bit. Maybe decorating a video set with the supposed corpses of skinny beautiful women would be less cringe-inducing if it served some larger point. But it doesn't here -- and as Eric Harvey and others have noted, West essentially shrugs off any statement the video could make by slapping that awkward disclaimer on the front of it.

Most of the video is spent simply demonstrating the monstrosity of its main characters -- West, Nicki Minaj, Ross, and Jay-Z -- which is accomplished almost solely through the presentation of various dead bodies. Nearly all of them are female, and all appear to have meet their end violently (is that death-by-sofa-cushion in the Jay-Z part?), so we're talking a rather garden-variety horror aesthetic here -- not anything freshly chilling or transgressive.

One highlight: Minaj dominates a pink-haired version of herself for the song's best verse. Cool.

But what we really get from this is more of the feeling that West is a less-brave version of his own monster alter ego -- a being obsessed with appearance and attention, willing to do all kinds of sick and ultimately senseless things to get it. And didn't we kind of already know and/or fear that?

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