New daddy Kanye West briefly released the video for “Black Skinhead” on his website and then before you could say “Black Skinhead,” it was gone. (Is it even OK to say “Black Skinhead”?) So why? Why did the rapper pull it? This video inspires several questions, so we’ve penned this thoughtful study guide in an attempt to provide answers. (Note: Video is NSFW.)
As we’re painfully aware by now, Kim Kardashian’s baby daddy doesn’t shy away from racial controversy. Even though this is a study guide, we’re going to be perfectly blunt: We have no idea what’s being said here. What we do know is this video is creepy. It opens with wolves and men dressed in KKK capes and hoods, only their trademark garb is black instead of white. We could take a stab at what that means, but we don’t want to stir up any racial controversies of our own, so we’re going to leave that alone. All we know is the content of Kanye’s “Black Skinhead” video would give baby North West nightmares.
Of more concern than racial overtones is the appearance of the white dude in the opening few seconds. He is faceless, has freakishly long arms and an alarmingly distended gut. Whatever that boy ate for breakfast is not agreeing with him. He needs to seek medical attention now. He also may want to be made aware of the pack of hungry wolves that is chasing him.
More racial commentary
OK, we aren’t quite done with the racial aspect of this clip. The entire feature is black and white, get it? Huh? Is this making any sense now? We also hear Native American chanting in the background. Uh-huh. And there is a frightening alien-esque individual present. So you see, folks, Kanye is trying to unite several races and a few wolves. Yes, this is about racial, alien and canine unity. It’s a lullaby, is what it is — a lullaby about peace and harmony that he obviously wrote for his baby daughter.
Kanye is expressing this theme of peace and unity by using his personal identity struggles to demonstrate discord and resolution. We can hear the angst of his inner conflict when he tells us he’s a wolf, he’s a king and he tosses in a little gladiator reference too. He’s already professed that he’s God and Jesus (the name of his new album is Yeezus, which is him plus Jesus). We learn through this video that only when one picks one identity does one find harmony. Or not.
As a sidebar from these heavy thought-provoking themes, Kanye flashes us his junk at the 2:57 mark of this video. Hello! I wouldn’t have even noticed (even though I watched it three times) had Gawker not pointed it out to me. No wonder Kanye has a God complex.
In sum, this is a catchy little tune that would have done just fine, if not better, without the video. For all the questions this study guide provides, one remains. Why did Kanye pull it from his official website? Did he realize that someone forgot to pay the power bill and turn on the lights during the video? Did he notice it was missing the writhing chicks and pricey SUVs that we see in many rap videos? Did he realize the barn door was left open and the horse got out?
In the lyrics for “Black Skinhead,” Kanye professes that this is the “f*** up your afternoon s***.” He was partially right. He did f*** up our morning when we tried to figure out this video.