Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” video opens to beautiful black and white footage of an urban snowscape with a little girl trying to find her way, as a piano and string interlude gently lull us into thinking all is okay in the world.
What were we thinking? Before you can say “Im’ma gonna let you finish,” the peaceful image explodes into a kaleidoscope of color and controversy.
[More after the jump...]
Borrowing liberally from the opening of director Gasper Noe’s “Enter the Void” with brightly-colored words flashing quickly on the screen for opening credits and lyrics, the frenetic clip gives way to a clearly tortured West, who’s returned from prison after beating his girlfriend, only to explode again when he returns home to find her in bed with another man. Now, there’s a restraining order keeping him from his girlfriend and his daughter, who he’s afraid will grow up in that “ghetto university.”
Smartly directed by Hype Williams, the video’s quick cuts and strobe lighting brilliantly match the chaos going on inside West’s troubled head, especially when he’s standing on top of a police car in an alley. The flashing colors are enough to induce epileptic seizures, so it’s almost a relief when they stop for the verses featuring Rihanna —the better to focus on her nearly naked top half (talk about an artist who’s suffering from overexposure—literally and figuratively) and for Kid Cudi, decked out in a Michael Jackson “Thriller”-era red leather jacket.
Then we return to the “Enter the Void”-type neon graphics before ending in a rainbow of color like a detonated test pattern. (Williams took the song title quite literally, it would seem.)
Missing in action is Fergie, who appears on the track, the latest single from West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
What do you think of "All of the Lights?"
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