This is for the little Basquait or Frida toiling somewhere in South Africa, Brazil or Mississipi. We are ready for you.
I am not certain what to make of this.
Earlier this week, I had a long Twitter conversation with@BritniDwrites about this video clip of Kanye’s new Monster video trailer.
Britni was seemingly concerned with the presence of the White women models and she questioned why such a video would be made in the first place. She wanted him to be less “Van Gough” and more “Basquiat.”
I was concerned because the video is dark. Real dark.
There are White women hanging from the ceiling and Kanye hugs and maneuvers White women’s seemingly comatose bodies that are laying in the bed with him in one of the scenes.
Given this countries historical treatment of sexual imagery, and the IDEA of sex between Black men and White women, I don’t know if he is being provocative and attempting to exploit this history or just kinda imploding right before our eyes or a combination therein.
When I watch this video I think of how after Reconstruction (1865 and after) mainstream culture said that Black men wanted White women sexually and responded by terrorizing Black men (Birth of a Nation) and Black communities as a whole by lynching them. The reality is that Black women were being sexually assaulted by both White and Black men, frequently with impunity.
Bigger Thomas. (Yes, its fiction but it is timeless because of its treatment of gender, race and sexuality.)
Would Kanye make a music video with Black men hanging from the ceiling?
In this video, I see a man in pain. A lot of pain. Trust me, seeing Oakland turn from pretty west coast, mulitiracial, industrial city to the crack hub of the Bay Area, I learned to recognize pain at a young age.
Two years ago I wrote Why People Hate 808′s and Heartbreak and I talked about how in one year Kanye West lost his momma and broke up with his lady friend. I am concerned about him as I am concerned about the mental health of many folks.
A couple of weeks ago writer and mental health advocate Bassey Ikpi wrote about Kanye on The Root saying,
I want to challenge the idea that Kanye is just ego and boasting. When I look at Kanye, when I watch that painful “interview” with Matt Lauer, when I see this man seemingly unravel in front of our eyes and the talking heads poke and prod and needle him for every … single … misstep … , I don’t see a man with a big head and no redeeming qualities. I see a hurting. I see a man who loved his mother more than his very life and who is still dealing with the loss of the one person whom he knew loved him unconditionally.
As a mental health advocate, I’ve seen people crumble under lesser triggers. Losing your mother and your base and your support is the ultimate trigger. Yes, Kanye brags often about his riches, but I’m willing to bet my own baby boy that he would gladly give that all back just to have his mother for an hour, for a second.
Reading this video within the context of Bassey’s comments and within the context of the United States down right violent reaction to mixed race dating, something is amiss and I am concerned.
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