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Monday
Jan032011

Kanye West Lynches Women in Latest Video- A Desperate and Sick Display

 New Year same old lame crap out of the Hip Hop industrial complex. 

So Kanye West finally released another work of "art" the video for his song "Monster." As is his theme lately, everyone is out to get him. Poor Kanye West. Yeah yeah. Apparently he's concluded that since he has experienced tragedy  he's entitled to engage in self-destructive and predatory behavior in perpetuity. We all know that an essential ingredient to  "artistic expression" in hip hop  is violence against women. What else is new?yeah yeah yeah.

You know what would be REVOLUTIONARY? If these vile little creatures could manage to be creative WITHOUT misogyny. Now THAT would truly be cutting edge.   I won't display it on my blog but here is a still accompanied by a  summary of the video.  Yes, I took a still because surely some corporate entity is going to say "Hey, we're down with the whole misogyny thing you Hip Hop folks have got going on, but we feel its a bit MUCH."

 

 

  • The video opens with the rotound Rick Ross lounging in a chair as women who have been lynched dangle lifelessly from their necks. I know that historical ignorance is a prerequisite for sucess in the modern rap world, but surely there was somebody over the age of two that might have said "Um hey. This kinda looks like a scene out of the Jim Crow south."  
  • We are next greeted by Mr. West engaged in an act of implied necrophilia, in bed with two dead women. 
  • Then Beyonce's drug dealing husband dancing in front of a naked dead woman in the background. NO. I'm. Not. Making. This. Up. These idiots actually made and distributed this video. 
  • Then Kanye West  Is lounging against a wall holding a severed head. A Man's head? No. Of course not. Only women can be the objects of hip hop's violent rage. 
  • Oh wait. Its not all men. Theres Onikka or Nikki Minaj and she's there torturing someone. A man? OF COURSE NOT. Only women can be the objects of hip hop's violent rage.
  • Then the video concludes with  a dead woman falling across Kanye West's lap. I guess that's implied necrophiliac fellatio. The end.

 And what was the media's response?

The Rolling Stone's Mathew Perpetua compared the video to Michael Jackson's thriller. 

The video for Kanye West's latest single "Monster" is like the rapper's answer to Michael Jackson's classic video for "Thriller" — but instead of dancing zombies, he gives us undead, barely dressed and occasionally dismembered models.

Notice how the violence against women just rolls off of Mr. Pepetua's tongue. I guess he thinks they deserved it because they are models. 

Really? Don't remember women being tortured and killed in Thriller. 

For those who thought my necrophilia reference was a stretch, I'm not alone. The folks over at MTV noticed too:

West and company appear in some pretty gory scenes. 'Ye raps alongside a lifeless body, spitting the words to his rhymes while trying to romance a pasty corpse.

Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly has a clue:

These are intentionally ghastly images, meant to disturb. In addition to being a fantastic posse cut, “Monster” is all about ugliness. West’s chorus proclaims that “Everybody knows I’m a motherf—ing monster.” Now you can see that metaphor played out quite literally. But to what end? Images of models who look like they’ve been murdered are nothing new in the fashion world. America’s Next Top Model centered a whole episode around this morbid theme in 2007, drawing deserved criticism from feminist commentators. Jezebel.com elaborated on“The Problem With Fashion’s Obsession With Death” (link contains NSFW images) over a year ago. Glamorizing violence against women this way as we enter 2011 isn’t just potentially pretty offensive to a lot of people — it’s played out and boring. I expect better from an artist as boundlessly creative as Kanye West.

 

YAAAAAWN! Kanye, we get it. You're a poor tortured soul and its all Taylor Swift's fault that you stormed on stage as a drunkard and broadcast your ignorance to the world.  . blah blah blah.  You need attention so you are intentionally courting controversy. Blah blah blah. poor Kanye.

As I stated in my Blackvoices piece, Kanye West, Heal Thyself, this is a man in crisis. He's in a death spiral at the end of which somebody is going to end up dead. Most likely a woman. This isn't "art" these are the public musings of a sociopath and y'all are too intoxicated by the cult of celebrity to realize it. 

Sometimes art is art and sometimes art is  a public expression of a sociopath's inner thoughts and a signal to RUN not walk  in the opposite direction. 

Just know that if a White male artist made a video with Black people dangling from ropes and chains from the ceiling ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOOSE! No don't expect the civil rights industrial which has a long history of opposition to lynching to speak out about this.  Afterall, only women are lynched in Kanye's video and apparently that's A-okay with some of y'all! 

Happy Freaking New Year! 

Reader Comments (96)

This video is more disturbing than you described. I sure wish I hadn't sought it out. I could understand if he was trying to do some homage to a horror movie, but he's not. And Nikki Minaj, why she is torturing and seducing herself in this video? Why do women rappers (and some singers) have to be the "ho" in their own video? Kanye is definitely a troubled, troubled, troubled man. He needs to sit down and get his stuff together. I used to laugh at rumors that Jay Z was the devil/satanist and that he was trying to corrupt Kanye, Rihanna, and Beyonce. Now, after watching this video, maybe he really is evil. *smh* (I can't believe I just said/thought that outloud.)

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklynShoeBabe

This video is so horrible and pointless. Have you listened to what Jay Z was actually rapping, He was talking about raping villages, etc. They are devilish , Not of GOD, I wish people would OPEN THEIR EYES

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSMH

This video is truly disturbing. If anyone still needs a reason why they should completely forsake mainstream rap, then they are a lost cause. Kanye, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nikki Minaj are boldly putting their psychosis and depravity on display. This isn't about art. Kanye West and his crew are simply people who love anything vulgar and unseemly. I never understood people's assertion that Kanye West is a conscious rapper. So what, he wrote a few "conscious" songs. The rest of his music is rife with materialism, misogyny, and ignorance. People need to wake up and stop buying this garbage!

I'm glad you addressed the video and broke down why it's so disgusting for those that may be a little slow.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAPA

Sigh.

I havent' seen the vid yet so I'll wait to comment on that. But art can be plenty disturbing so just b/c u find it disturbing doesn't mean it's not art.

*shrugs*

Will view vid and come back with a more well informed opinion.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Satanism that's all I can say..evil evil! As much as we love them and we are in denial that these "likes" are practising evil occults.its pure evil

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermottomotto

Happy and productive New Year to your all,

I will see the video later at home, I'm at work now, but dammit! A new year and the same old %^&* from Kanye West and crew?

AFRICAN WOMEN HANGING FROM ROPES? Is he serious? OMG!!! OMG!!! :( :( :(

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

Could it be the use of the lifeless women is being used to highlight the pointlessness of the dancers in so many other videos? I thought it was interesting that the woman Nikki Minaj is torturing is herself. One hopes that may be a comment on the her own image and how much control she feels over the way she portrays herself.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterberdawn

See. I've never been a Jigga fan and while Kanye has some talent, I've always thought he was an arrogant show up who takes himself way to seriously. Meanwhile Nikki is just taking an already exploited image of black women and cashing in.

I do think they are very well aware that they and the rest of hip hop now days is peddling a horrible image of black people in general and all women and a total disregard for human life and they are saying so what, I'm selling my soul to get my slice. It doesn't make it right but you have to ask who is sicker, these so-called artists for making this trash or the larger society for being so accepting of these images that not only can they get it on the air but it is celebrated.

I just see it as the sick evolution of hip hop, an art form that started out as a legitimate expression of the ups and downs of urban life. Instead of going toward the positive, or political or spiritual, the soul of hip hop has been sold to the devil. First there was the gangster rap celebrating violence, but we said okay that is just an expression of the real life trauma some of these rappers have lived.

Then there was the era of celebrating booty and bling and we said okay that's just poor urban youth celebrating getting their slice of the American dream and poking a finger in the eye of western materialism.

Now West, et al, are continuing a trend really started by eminem, rap as an outlet for socipathic rantings. I guess it's sort of like when rock and roll took its satanic turn. So next it likely will be raps about actual blasphemy.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBee

JJ:

I know art can be disturbing. I went to a performing arts school for high school and minored in art in college, so I am aware that art, even good art, can be disturbing. What I don't like are shock jocks, who use "art" as an excuse for their vulgarity.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAPA

Why can't Kanye be challenged about his misogyny? The sad truth is that there are many Black women who will see nothing wrong with this video and will defend Kanye's right to make "art". We should express our outrage to VH1 and other outlets that play this garbage on tv. In fact, I plan to send this post out as it sums up what is sick about Kanye's so-called musical expression.

Please stop buying this crap -- it apparently is less popular and hopefully will die out completely.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kayden

this has to be one of the worse acts the women that said that they would do it should be ashamed of themselves . the women that done this video should have more self respect smh. and who ever did the post production for the video is an idiot for doing the video and the person that did the video idea was a racist hanging black women they have mentel issues. kanye talked about bush didnt like black people doing stuff like that you dont like black people smh WAKE THE HELL UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermalik helms

Some of y'all give these "artists" entirely too much credit. Arsonists think fire is "pretty" that doesn't mean they don't kill people or end up in jail.

@patricia please review our archives, we don't boycott television networks over the content they broadcast. They people who pay for this garbage are the advertisers. In addition, I don't see this version making MTV. I think it will be recut.

Now people are running round trying to argue that this is symbolic? Symbolic of what? Its as clear as day that he's raging... about White women in particular because of the whole taylor Swift mess.

He did this intentionally so the video would be "banned" so he could whine some more.

January 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Oh FFS Kayne West. No no no no no no no NO. Dammit. Although I don't like the idea of saying he has mental problems/sociopathy because that's really stigmatizing (I know I wouldn't want to be associated with people like KW if I had antisocial personality disorder), he is indeed an awful person. He's just reveling in it, because he knows he can get away with it. F**k him and John Mayer and all the other bigoted creeps in the music industry (and, well, everywhere else).

@JJ: Yeah, what APA said. As someone who's defended a lot of things from being called "not art" or "art-in-quotes", I'm telling you that argument is irrelevant in cases like this. If it's violent and misogynistic, not to mention invoking historical violence in the most disrespectful way possible, it does not matter if it's art or not. It may be art, but it's unforgivable.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternumol

Here's what I never understood about the excuse "Well, Kanye lost his mama and he's just acting out":

PLENTY of adults lose their parents, with whom they are close, unexpectedly. Myself included. And, glory be, they manage to go on living, working through their grief without resorting to petulant, disrespectful behavior. Not to mention that Kanye was darn near 30, if not 30, when she passed away. If he was in his late teens, MAYBE early 20s, I could maybe think about trying to understand (if I squint really hard) that her death compelled him to act out in self-destructive ways. MAYBE. But, that's not the case, so......

I remember watching him on an episode of Punk'd years ago, way before the death of his mother, and I thought back then that he was a manchild. I haven't watched the video, so I can't comment on it, but as far as I'm concerned, he's been cut a lot of slack from early on, I suppose because he wasn't trying to thug it out as a rapper or something. His antics have been steadily escalating over the years, and his whining is because he doesn't feel accountable for his actions. Whatever, Kanye.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

Kanye is just doing that because hes just a po' fatherless boy------this is what happens when THERE ARE NO REAL MEN around teenage boys that raise them to adulthood----this is a symbol of this mess coming to a 'head'-(money aint everything)--although many boys don't do this, it shows that they had a bad relationship or never knew their dads(all rappers are BOYS not MEN--same with many rockers)

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjubilee

I was actually just shocked he got away with this using WW. If this is relevant to the media going off on him about the Taylor Swift incident then I can see the symbolism in the video. I don't find it offensive, its not violence for violence sake. Just like I wasn't offended by MIA Born Free b/c she was making a point.

Isn't Nicki attacking her alter ego in the video, not really another woman per se.

He is not that creative, that whole death models look was in the fashion mags a couple of seasons ago. Kanye is into high fashion now, and he will copy anything they do to seem "artistic" (look at the way he dresses now).

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

JayZ Kanye Beyonce Jay Electronica Nikki Minaj Rihanna PDiddy etc. Are the scions of YOUR HipHopR&BMusic in the 21st century. The way women are presented; women empowered by the male gaze; men empowered by the backhanded exploitation of black women; black women reduced to a limited image of limited acceptance by white media/black media, music and film; black women still at the bottom, but its okay because Beyonce is truly a 'good role model', Jay is a sure mogul model, Kanye is the new Basquiat, Nikki is the new lady Day, etc.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdelmar

He need to grow up and get a life, He is so boring.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterL.Higgins

Okay so clearly none of ya'll watch True Blood right? Cause that's what the video is inspired by - it's very TrueBblood -esque - Sexy, dark and twisted vampire imagery. No more or less.

As far as his white women issues - yeah - so - most artists use whatever their pain angst, anger is and write about it - Kanye isn't particularly special in that category.

The vid is awesome. Sorry.

Completely missed the ball on this one.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

First of all, it's Nicki Minaj. A simple Google search could have told you that. Secondly, there was no need to bring up his mother in this article. Also, "Jim Crow South" didn't lynch white women., I'm pretty sure you didn't even watch the video. There's men being dragged across the floor & various ethnic models. At the end, Kanye shows religious statues, and says how he'll "let God decide."

The song is called Monster. He wants to show you how he's a monster. You write this blog article. Kanye Wins.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralice

@jj @numol, re: the question of art as validation, I am personally against censorship generally, but at some point society has to draw a line, after all, we would recognize nazi propaganda advocating violence against jews as being incitement to hatred / violence, and it would be a punishable offence if it were posted publicly anywhere today. Nonetheless, propaganda can be considered art and evaluated as such, but where is it's proper place? probably in text-books or museums, but on prime-time? as entertainment? I don't think so. Violence as entertainment may be nothing new, but if we're to remain a "civilization" we've got to figure out when to say "that is too far, you're cut off". There's a reason triumph of the will is not available your tv, despite it's historical and artistic value.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreyWanderer

it's also an attack on femininity. Minaj is a ****...

We live in an age where lesbianism and bisexuality are intertwined with womens rights. Being either of the two doesn't necessarily equate to being righteous for the sake of womens rights, in total, and feminism. I stated in a post long time ago that you have to watch out for some women (friends, peers, family members, etc..) as they, as women/natural born females, won't have your best interest in mind as a woman/natural born female. I found that just because a bunch of women will organize for the sake of 'sticking together' that all won't respect each other's rights as women in regards to men and womens roles in society.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercapa

@jj I'm SHOCKED you think I missed the ball on this one. Usually you and I are so in synch on our artistic preferences [SIC]. Show me the episode of True Blood where they lynch everybody.

You could argue that every violent hip hop song is inspired by Scarface, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

@alice no, the way it works is you leave a comment. I win. Because if my critique was meaningless and worthless surely someone whose time was valuable wouldn't pause to register their opposition to something inconsequential.

Anywhoo. Again, you folks give Kanye entirely too much credit. Its a temper tantrum. Again, if someone made a video with three Black men hanging from their necks... ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOOSE! Period. End of story. Because its women its okay.

January 4, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Is Kanye West still hanging with Amber Rose? I wonder what she thinks of this latest "artistic" expression.

The female models hanging from ropes are certainly light-skinned . . . .

hummmmm-mmmm-mmm . . . . . :( :( :(

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

But..Gina...it's NOT three black women hanging from their necks. It's a white woman, a black woman, and some feet of indeterminate race. And it's NOT just women. A man is dragged across the floor by a woman, and then a stiletto heel is pushed into his chest. Another man has his chest eaten out by what looked like a woman and a man. The first man is black, the second white...if I'm remembering correctly (the "leaked" video has since been removed). I'm not going to argue the merits of the video, but honestly, your objections just don't make sense.

For the record, videos can and have featured women abusing men. Here's Pink stalking, beating, and going all Kathy-Bates-in-Misery on her boyfriend in one of her recent videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eocCPDxKq1o

Anyway, Kanye has fallen off in my opinion, kinda not worth the debate. So there's my two cents.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPecola

Um...I can show you an episode of True Blood where they do all manner of horrible things - and no the imagery isn't of a lynching - but of trussed up dead bodies waiting for eating - like you'd see at a slaughter house.

THAT's why you're missing the point. You often miss the concept of context. SO no - if a bunch of brothers were trussed up in the same manner I'd think the same thing considering the rest of the vid.

You kill me with this temper tantrum accusation. You like to say it a lot - but I'm trying to figure out how wrong/strange is that an artist has a temper tantrum? Seriously - you don't deal with many artists do you? Worked in theatre for a lOOOOOONG time temper tantrum is what they do.

Like I said Kanye isn't particularly interesting or special in his temper tantrum-ness.

@GreyWanderer

We've long accepted vampire imagery. This vid falls right in line with the vampire imagery of the time - dark, violent, sexy - hypersexual and hyperviolent.

Simple.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

So you are now posting about something you clearly only observe from a distance? Your post is misinformed, and like a lot of critics, only take things at superficial levels. Your entire perspective is dated, played out, and boring. Your post is a "desperate and sick display" in itself. You are clearly too old to understand what is going on in present day culture and the real social dynamics behind each of these rappers. Your lack of research and interest in the superficial surface is ironic considering your ignorance is just as glaring as the so-called ignorance of the very artists here. The other woman in the NIcki Minaj scene is a version of herself. She is widely known to have "alter" personalities and this is the Barbie with the pink hair. Did it ever dawn on you the significance of the barbie being tortured? That seems like a pretty powerful statement - an image you should be supporting. Nicki Minaj, a female black rapper, is on a track next to hip hop powerhouses who are both men, and her verse is not shorter, she is not dancing around naked, she is not rapping about sex, she is rapping about power as an equal to man. Her verse is praised as being the best on the track. It seems that you should be posting about that considering the ridiculous long-winded title and subtext of your blog. As for models dead in a video- that is not new at all and not just limited to hip hop culture. Lady Gaga already did this, and countless others before. Why this has an relevance to what you are attempting miserably to articulate is beyond me. You spend time putting down artists instead of finding examples of what you desire. It's easier though isn't it to not do your homework and just look at things that you quite obviously could not be less informed on and attempt a witch hunt. There are plenty of videos of women abusing men as people have pointed out. There are plenty of videos that exploit men. There is the whole other side that you completely ignore. What do you know about hip/hop culture? You should stick to what you know, which is nothing that you write about.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGio

I watch True Blood, and I can see where he might have been going with that imagery. Despite race or gender, hanging/lynching can leave a very bad taste in your mouth if you're black because of our history in this country. Even if it where equal opportunity (gender/race) hanging, this video would still give me the heebie-jeebies.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklynShoeBabe

This video is actually a commentary on the media reaction to Taylor Swift which was largely based on race and value of blond and white womanhood, I am surprised the readers of the blog don't see that.

Is the video a temper tantrum? Yes, its his music to express himself. Kanye always used his music to tell his story. One reviewer called Kanye's 30 minute video Runaway "masturbatory" LOL.

Kat Williams walked the red carpet with a noose on, there was no backlash.

Kanye lost a lot of money over that incident (that he clearly caused himself). Lady Gaga dropped him from her tour over the bad press. A tour with Gaga was a great opportunity lost and he is still mad about it oh well, but that's his right. I would rather hear a rapper tell his story than make up some fake drug dealer persona ex. Rick Ross.

Is that video on the net the final version? I hear its not.

I was actually more bothered by his European/white worship that he has going on, especially in that Runaway video and this current obsession with morbid images in pop music that Kanye, Rihanna and Lady Gaga have embraced.

Is Kanye going through an emotional breakdown yes, there is nothing the public can do about that, his friend Jay Z needs to help him but seems to be enabling him as long as Kanye can give him a hot beat.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

@blkchk

i get that. The lyrics and title depict that - and the imagery falls right in line with the todays popular "Monsters."

And while I'm not still convinced Gina has watched the whole video then you'd see the damage being done to men - and Minaj killing off "Barbie."

So her critique falls flat.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I am so tired to these videos, they are just awful!!!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterValerie Smith

Reading comments about this video on other websites suggests that some view the women being lynched as White and feel that this is an anti-White video. Just found that interesting. Perhaps that will generate more controversy than if the women were perceived as Black.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kayden

I am actually one of the few that actually liked his short film and loved his creativity and the music and I was really looking forward to getting his CD (and this is the first time I have actually thought about getting one of his CDs) but I have recently started to ask myself whether he is troubled and in crisis especially with the Monster video which I refuse to watch.
This only reason that I have been having second thoughts about getting his CD is that I am concerned that I will be supporting his downward spiral and I cannot with all good conscience do that. I think that they are all in a bad place (Kanye, Jay, Beyonce, Rihanna, Gaga, etc) and simply masking it as being "artistic".

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

@patricia actually the opposite is true. If all of the women were Black, no one would care.

@jj oh I love how any disagreement with your artistic sensibilities is based on ignorance or lack of context. Of course I watched the whole video. I have screen captures of the entire thing. And yet you gloss over the main point of the post, Kanye is going to get a pass for lynching women. Anyone with critical thinking skills and knowledge of history would recognize the loaded nature of that kind of imagery.


@blkchik which part of "this is all about taylor swift" didn't you understand.

To everybody coming up in here saying that I'm not entitled to MY interpretation of art. Hypocritical much?

January 4, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Unless there is an artists' talk where the artist explains the meaning of his/her work - art is usually left for individual interpretation. What you see and the way that your interpret things is often a reflection of yourself. If I am constantly looking for a reason to hate or complain I will find nothing but negativity in whatever is placed in front of me. If I am open-minded and in search of understanding I would be more willing to see beyond the surface and try to understand what the artist is trying to convey.

Regardless of what your intent was for posting this rant - you exposed more people to this video. If this video is so horrible and so demeaning why would you want to expose us to it? Are you not doing the same thing as Kanye?

A musician that decides to step into the limelight has one purpose - get his music heard. What if there is no meaning to this video? What if Kanye and crew thought of all these outlandish things to do in this video because he knew he could get a rise out of folks like you and you would assist him with publicity and getting this song heard without him having to pay you a dime. Could be just as true as all the things you are assuming now couldn't it?

If you were so concerned about 'our daughters' - I'm sure there are a plethora of other things you could have delievered rathered than jumping on the bandwagon of promoting this video. I guess Yeezy taught you well....next time get a check.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCommonSense

You are entitled to your interpretation of art and I'm entitled to tell you you're wrong.

I thought I'd deleted the comment about u not watching the vid - so my bad. Anywho you're not that much older than me - at all - so my "young sensibilities" aren't the issue - I just value contest. And I'm well aware of history - but in this case is ultimately - just some vampire ish - and your lack of basic pop culture understanding mars your critique greatly.

And once again complaining that an artist is having a temper tantrum is like complaining about the sky being blue - duh.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I haven't seen Kanye's video and don't plan to. Black women are Queens of the planet Earth. We, Black men should try to show as much for Black women as they can. Our sisters, mothers, daughters are ALL Queens no matter what the video showed.
Maybe he needed closure for the loss of his mother. Be proud Black women! Your men are vanishing but you can save our boys.
Let's celebrate the lives of Black women instead of tryin' to destroy them. Black is forever because God made it and whatever He makes has His likeness.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephan Bennett

Please do all music lovers a favor. Please refrain from using popular artists, musicians or otherwise as the representatives of an entire group or entity (the whole one good apple spoils a bunch thing). They don't speak for an entire genre, but from their own point of view. No, ignorance is not the essential ingredient for hip-hop. Experience, imagination, courage and the desire to express those things, in a manner that connects with the listener, is (quite frankly, seeing these men are in fact black, living in a country that has sat and waited for them to falter or fail for centruries, I doubt they are ignorant to any history related to people of color). And please do those of us mourning the loss of a parent a favor. Do not at ANY time minimalize it (the hurt is amazing;it is vast and intricate;like nothing you could ever anticiapte or imagine). Do NOT degrade the pain, the sorrow or the things that manifest as a result of it. Each of us has been created as a unique indivivual. Therefore we can NOT judge the next person's pain. I can understand not agreeing with another person's point of view. I can see disliking how that view is exhibited. But what I can't understand is why a whole group of folks are being indirectly insulted and penalized for what they do creatively, because of what someone else has said or done. Take some time to observe the full picture, not just bits and pieces of it.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhmm

The media did overkill with the Taylor Swift incident, so he used exaggerated images in the video. He is basically saying if you saying I am a monster, I will show you what a monster is and does. And its way worse than jumping on stage at an awards show that's bordering on irrelevancy anyway. I mean a channel that doesn't play videos hosting a music video award show.

Have you seen M.I.A's Born Free video? And did you think that violence can be used to make a point? Youtube banned her video so she just put it on her website.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

Hanging is not lynching, rap is not hip hop, and An entertainer is not an artist. You don't like the video, that's cool, but how is what you've done here in your blog any different than the video? You wanted to get a point across and you used disrespect, humiliation and degradation in the guise of opinion as your medium. He wanted to get a point across and he used monstrous images. Seems to me that by slamming an entire genre, lifestyle and group of people (because hip hop is not simply a genre it is a culture with it's own customs, language, attire and ceremonies) you aren't any better. Shall we excuse you because it's an opinion? Any life tragedies we fan minimize?
Btw, I'm a black woman. I don't condone kw's behavior or like this video, but instead of tearing him down I simply choose not to participate in buying his products, listening to his music or watching his videos. There are plenty of positive artists to watch, read and listen to every day.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWelldang

Gina, I never even said your blog is worthless. All I suggested is that you do your research.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralice

@JUBILEE Kanye is not and has never been fatherless. Sure his parents were divorced but Kanye's dad didn't just up and disappear. This video, plainly put, is just awful. There's nothing creative about it. The song is hot but the video just isn't. And yes, it's evil.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGB

The more I see the senseless defenses of Kanye, the more I realize that we as a people are actually lost, with out any moral compass whatsoever. For everyone defending this as "art", I mean... what basic underlying premise do you have to disagree with Gina about the violence against women that was shown in this video? And who is still young, dumb, and stupid enough to go with the "don't judge" defense!?! God Lawd ya'll, even DOGS & CATS judge people. Please don't confirm that the educational system in this country is so poor that Fido now has better reasoning skills. I JUDGE. I judge who and what I allow into my life, and for anyone who doesn't, thank you for making that clear so I know to stay away from you and your poor judgment skills.

And for several of the commenters who always disagree with Gina, or wouldn't know misogyny if it slapped you across the face and sent you rolling down the stairs by a boot in the throat, then... (ebonics) why you up in here all the time arguing with someone who you fundamentally disagree with? Ya'll are obviously benefitting from reading this blog, otherwise you wouldn't be here all the time.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

I felt a sense of relief reading this post. Thank you for articulately covering an example of the insanity that is pop culture. The music video left me speechless and I cringe just thinking about younger and more impressionable viewers who will accept it and likely become more and more numb to what they are exposed to. We have got to do better.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterelleRaquel

Blog mother, I have not always agreed with you on some minor details, but on this, Kanye West nonsense, yep you're on point!

Clearly most people don't spend a lot of time analyzing images of our people, our sisters in particular. I watched the video twice and I listened carefully. To those defending Kanye, Jay Z, etc., ARE YOU PEOPLE SERIOUS?

I don't care who the women are in the video that are lynched from ropes, laying dead in a bed with Kanye (what that suggests is simply nasty!),etc., the video is violent; just what is its artistic, redeeming purpose? Yes, he lost his mother; when I lost mine, I made a huge donation to the American Cancer Society!

What Kanye did to Taylor Swift was wrong, period! What Jaime Fox said about Miley Cyrus, again, wrong and un-called for! What purpose does a grown man have making such comments about a young girl, even if she is White?

Have any of you seen the videos some of these young Aryan Nation types have? Wrong is wrong and right is right, no matter who it is! Clearly, like someone said, some of us have lost (or threw away) our ethical, moral compass! :( :( :(

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

@delmar: What do you mean, "YOUR HipHopR&BMusic in the 21st century"?

@alice and Pecola: I agree with BrooklynShoeBabe -- it's the invocation of lynching AT ALL that's the problem, in addition to the fact that it's just more glamorized violence against women (there's a lot of that in any "manly" music genre). It's still a problem when the women are not all Black (and like Gina said, there would be LESS uproar from the mainstream if they were).

@GreyWanderer: I agree. I was not saying that nastiness is validated if it's art -- I was saying that it does not matter if it's art or not when it's so vile. I just do not care about the question of whether or not the video is art; the bottom line is that it's violent and woman-hating and exploits an awful history for shock value.

@capa: Yep, you can't automatically trust women to have the best interest of other women at heart. Sad but true. I don't get what you mean by "natural born females", though -- were you talking about being wary of transphobia from cisgender women (because if so, I agree with that, too)?

@Everyone talking about "but men get tortured too!": Men are not oppressed solely for their gender the way women are.

@Everyone acting like Gina is just a "complainer" or "ignorant": Grow up. She DID watch the whole video and she is NOT "ignorant of hip-hop culture" just because she doesn't like the video.

@DailyLattes: "God Lawd ya'll, even DOGS & CATS judge people. Please don't confirm that the educational system in this country is so poor that Fido now has better reasoning skills." THIS! Oh how I HATE that "don't judge" argument -- thank you (and elleRaquel) for injecting some reason into this thread.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternumol

@jubilee Being fatherless is not an excuse to act ignorant. I'm a fatherless child. Yes, it sucks. But we can't use that as an excuse anymore.

I'm an artist, but anything with lynching in it makes me sick to my stomach just because of the historical context behind it. I'll have to push aside my uneasyness to watch ths video in order to give a proper review. BRB.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMesaATLien

You people really should go out and get a life instead of arguing about a music video. You don't like the video? That's okay, but please don't say that Kanye makes no art, he's one of the few geniuses left, that are relevant to the mainstream and to pop culture. Why is it okay for Lady Gaga to have half naked black men dancing around her like some kind of sex slaves? Maybe because she's white?! For me as a person who lives in Europe - in Germany to be exact- this whole debate is ridicolous and proves me that America still is this prude and unprogressive country that it always used to be. You're country is broke, you're fighting two wars that you can't win and you're talking about a music video?! Are you serious?

And if anyone has got a right to make a video like this, it's Kanye. He's still that guy that made "Jesus Walks" "All Falls Down" or "Diamonds From Sierra Leone", he was the only person who spoke out loudly what everybody thought about hurricane Katrina. And he still says what white supremacist America doesnt want to hear with lyrics like "face it, Jerome get more time than Brandon" or "I treat the cash the way the government treats AIDS
I won’t be satisfied til all my n-ggas get it, get it?"

Great art iswas and will always be provocative. Remember Nirvana? Remember John Lennon? Remember Public Enemy? Remember Basquiat? Remember Madonna? Your problem is, that your thoughts are to limited, to acknowledge the power behind Kanye West's art.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternasirjones88

@nasirjones so in other words because we don't agree with YOUR interpretation of art WE'RE the limited ones.

I love the hypocrisy dripping from the fingertips of Kanye worshipers. You didn't address the post. He's using lynching imagery, something we wouldn't tolerate if it women weren't the ones being targeted.

I swear that Kanye West supporters are about 3 times loonier than the Chris Brown apologists. At least the Chris Brown apologists come in, misquote the bible and move on without making me read a treatise.

January 4, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

@Gina The problem is, that you don't have got the right to decide what art is. Why do you even care? If you don't like the video I've a got a pretty easy suggestion for you: DON'T WATCH IT!! People can decide on their own if they want to consume Kanye's art or not, nobody gives a damn about your opinion. But what do I except from someone who lives in a country where people are arguing about if it's okay to show an exposed female nipple on television?!

And by the way, have you ever heard about something called "metaphors"?! The music video doesnt glorify the lynching of people IT IS JUST AN IMAGE!, to help dump people to get the point.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternasirjones88

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