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Deconstructing Kanye West's 'Power' video
In his new clip, a godlike West surrounds himself with religious imagery, including some sexy seraphim. Ego trip — or knowing self-deprecation?
 
A screenshot from the music video.
A screenshot from the music video.

Last night, Kanye West unveiled a grandiose, surreal teaser video for his song "Power" that manages to reference everything from M.C. Escher etchings to ancient mythology. (Watch video below) Opening with a close-up on West, the camera slowly pulls away to reveal a baroque tableau of apparently saintly and wicked women, few of whom obey the laws of gravity. Naturally, bloggers are pontificating about the deeper meaning behind this "moving painting":  

Kanye, reborn: It's a "statement about religion, the power of imagery, and the way our society idealizes things," says ToniFitz76 at Babble. Is this West's way of "beginning to deal with his mom's death? Or perhaps an apology for the 'VMAs' incident?" Perhaps he's realized that he had become "too high and mighty to understand" how his actions hurt Taylor Swift?

That may be giving West too much credit: "Reportedly inspired by Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel," says Sami Yenigun at NPR, the clip "fans the flames" of the debate over Kanye's ego. Is he "more self-aware than he is given credit for"? Whatever it is, this video doesn't resolve that question.

How fleeting fame can be: "With the feel of a slow motion Roman orgy, the visual clip appears to be a treat," says Goher Iqbal Punn at BuzzTab. "Then 90 seconds into the track, the painting’s gone...[It] might be a comment on the deceitful nature of fame."

Kanye's so narcissistic: "Besides being artistically innovative, the video is a perfect glimpse of how Kanye sees the world all the time," says Emmy Blotnick at The Frisky. "When he walks into Rite Aid or wherever, you can be sure that in his head he's surrounded by columns and getting air-fived by the very hand of God."

 

 

 

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