Kanye West "Kanye West: Animation Aficionado" - A Timeline of Kanye's Collaborations with Animators

Started by Ordinary Joel, Oct 8, 2015, in Kanye West Add to Reading List

  1. Ordinary Joel
    Posts: 27,489
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    Location: South Australia

    Ordinary Joel

    Found a new way to flow

    Oct 8, 2015
    Good tumblr piece talking about Kanye's collaborations with animators.

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    Article Source: Skunk & Burning Tires - http: //skunkandburningtires . tumblr. com/post/130698138944/kanye-west-animation-aficionado-over-the-past-ten

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    Kanye West: Animation Aficionado

    Over the past ten years, Kanye West has created an amazing collection of animated music videos. Hand-drawn, CG, stop-motion, puppetry — you name it, he’s done it. The list of animators he has collaborated with is equally eclectic. We’re talking capital-G Greats like Bill Plympton, Michel Gondry, Takashi Murakami and The Jim Henson Company. You may not care for Yeezy’s music, but you’ve got to give him credit: Dude’s a one-man MOMA when it comes to curating cartoon talent!

    As a fan of both Kanye and cartooning, I thought it would be fun to make a quick list of all his animated work, tossing in one or two of his more candid cartoon-related quotes for kicks. Silly me. What started out as a brief time-killer soon morphed into an entire evening’s affair. Turns out Kanye has done a lot more animation work than I was aware of. A LOT MORE.

    So here it is, in chronological order, and with the appropriate links. I may have missed a few, so if you know of any others, please let me know in the comments section. I’d love to add them to the list!

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    Oct. 2005: Kanye releases the first video for Heard ‘Em Say. It’s a live-action/stop-motion combo by Michel Gondry. The two had previously worked together on Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. The plot involves Kanye taking a group of kids on a magical, overnight trip to a department store. It’s cute, but apparently NOT what Kanye was hoping for.

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    Nov. 2005: Kanye releases the second video for Heard ‘Em Say. This one is a traditionally animated video by Bill Plympton. In a 2013 interview with Notes on the Road, Plympton described the experience:

    “I got a phone call late at night. A guy came on the phone and said, ‘Is this Bill Plympton? This is Kanye West, I need a music video.’ I knew who he was. I’m not a big hip-hop fan but I actually liked his music. He really has something to say. So we met and he played me the song. I had a week to do it because they were supposed to premiere on MTV. So we worked for five days drawing this thing. […] It was fun working with Kanye and we did a book together, Through the Wire. […] It’s a pretty cool book.”

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    June 2007: Kanye premieres the Hype Williams directed video for Stronger. Like most Hype Williams videos, there are a lot of colored lights and shiny surfaces. Unlike most Hype Williams videos, West name-checks Akira as its inspiration. (Check out Black Otaku for a freeze-frame comparison.)

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    Nov. 2007: Jonas & François’ video for Good Life is released. It features the fancy font animation of French graphic designer/animator So-Me. The text-based cartoons are a pulsating, perspiring, bubble-lettered nod to hip hop’s early 80s graffiti roots, as well as a tip of the beret to So-Me’s video for Justice’s D.A.N.C.E.


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    2005-2007: West collaborates with artist/cartoonist Takashi Murakami on the cover art for Graduationand its accompanying singles. Murakami also designs a special ‘Jesus piece’ for West, and creates a series of high-priced statues depicting West’s teddy bear alter-ego. Seeing all of this stuff released at the time, I had a pretty good idea what it must’ve felt like for Andy Warhol/Velvet Underground fans back in the 60s/70s.

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    2008: Kanye and fellow Chicago rapper, Rhymefest, film a pilot for a live-action/puppet show titled, Alligator Boots. Kanye calls it “a Muppet Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Billboard describes it as “similar to the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers” and “a hip-hop Muppet Show.” Apt description, as some of it was filmed at The Jim Henson Company in LA. Alligator Boots was not picked up, nor did the pilot ever air. Ten minutes of promotional footage can be seen online.

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    Aug. 2008: More Muppets! This time it’s via NEON’s silly video for Champion. The vid tells the inspirational tale of puppet-Kanye’s fight to enter, then win a marathon. Whenever people accuse Kanye of being a humorless prick, he really ought to show them this video. It’s proof positive that the guy is a goofball.

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    Aug. 2008: Takashi Murakami’s video for Good Morning premiers on iTunes. It’s a super cute day-in-the-life of Kanye’s teddy bear alter-ego. Keen-eyed observers will spot just about every piece of pop iconography that Murakami has created thus far, not to mention the flying DeLorean from the Back to the Future films. Every time I see this video, I wish it was the first in a series.

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    Nov. 2008: Hype Williams’ rotoscoped music video for Heartless is released. West declares it a “love letter” to Ralph Bakshi’s American Pop. The video also shows the interior to one of West’s homes that is decorated with large, pop-art portraits ofThe Jetsons.

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    Feb. 2009: Nabil Elderkin’s video for Welcome To Heartbreak drops. It is a smorgasbord of pixelated imagery and random (yet intentional) CG glitches. It brings to mind the wonderful work of David OReilly and every shitty experience you’ve ever had with a slow modem or smashed cell phone.

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    June 2009: Kanye releases Javier Longobardo’s video for Streetlights via his website. It’s basically a ride through Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, minus all of the shady stuff that made the game so engaging. While that sounds like a diss, I actually believe the flashy monotony is intentional. Listen to the song. You’ll see what I mean.

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    Aug. 2009: Okay, so this next one wasn’t Kanye’s idea, but it IS him and it IS a cartoon. South Park s13 ep5, Fishsticks. The show’s premise is that Kanye fails to get a joke that the whole country finds hilarious, but he can’t admit it because he believes himself to be a genius. Kanye’s all-caps reaction?

    “SOUTH PARK MURDERED ME LAST NIGHT AND IT’S PRETTY FUNNY. IT HURTS MY FEELINGS BUT WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM SOUTH PARK! […] AS LONG AS PEOPLE THINK I ACT LIKE A BITCH THIS TYPE OF SHIT WILL HAPPEN TO ME. I GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF ME TO MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE I’M NOT ACTUALLY A HUGE DOUCHE BUT I’M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE.”

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    Aug. 2010: Kanye releases a 1:42 mini-video for the 4:52 song Power. Directed by video collage and installation artist Marco Brambilla, it is, in West’s words, “a moving painting.” Beginning on an extreme close-up of Kanye’s face, the camera pulls back slowly to reveal an ever-expanding animated collage. The live-action/CG hybrid references everything from tarot cards to Renaissance paintings to Greek mythology, creating a foreboding mood and an unforgettable video.

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    Feb. 2011: West releases Hype Williams’ strobe-heavy video for All of the Lights. Let’s just call it what it is: A big-budget American remake of BUF Compagnie’s animated opening titles to Gaspar Noe’s film, Enter the Void. If fonts took acid, this is what they’d see.

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    Jan. 2012: During a late-night Twitter rant, West recalls a recent phone call “discussing becoming the creative director for The Jetsons movie.” It would later be revealed that “the producers at Warner Bros. working on the movie had spoken to West, but merely in an exploratory manner because the musician had been contacting them about the project for years.” (Source: Pajiba)

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    July 2013: West releases the interactive, CG music video for Black Skinhead. Directed by fashion photographer Nick Knight, it’s a mixed bag. Some of the stuff is insanely creepy. The darker the images, the better. But the close-ups of the CG Kanye? Yikes. They’re Taiwanese News-level ugly, uncanny valley animation. The ‘interactive’ part is pretty lame, too — viewers are able to speed up and slow down the graphics. Still, despite its flaws, the video is both evocative AND provocative. Strong, strong stuff.

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    Sept. 2013: In an interview with BBC’s Zane Lowe, West compares himself toWreck-It Ralph‘s Vanellope von Schweetz:

    “It’s in my code. Have y’all ever seen Wreck-It Ralph? Remember how that girl in there—the people that was racing—she was the glitch. You tellin’ me they don’t look at me like the motherfucking glitch? You tellin’ me people don’t look at Kanye West like the glitch right now? And she was on the side of the videogame the whole time. It’s in my code.”

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    Nov. 2013: Talking to Hot 107.9, West compares himself to Walt Disney:

    “I’m mentally like Walt Disney. And I know you’re not supposed to say—compare yourself to other people. That’s the only way I can describe it…So, now when I say where I’m at in my life and what I want to do I’m like it’s sort of like Ralph Lauren meets Howard Hughes meets David Stern meets Walt Disney meets Steve Jobs meets Kanye West.”

    While it’s incredibly embarrassing to hear West repeatedly refer to himself in the third person, it is DELIGHTFUL to see him referencing and collaborating with such a wide range of AMAZING ANIMATORS.

    Not only that, but hearing him compare himself to Vanelleope von Schweetz is nothing if not endearing. Seriously, how many men (ESPECIALLY in hip hop) do you know who will compare their personality to that of a cartoon character, let alone a little girl? To me, that shows more than just a general interest in the art form. It shows a genuine love and understanding.

    (Kanye/Vanellope mash-up by Art Vogt, Kanye Mouse by BSKA
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
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  2. Koolo
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    Koolo

    SAS IS THE NEW KANYE

    Oct 8, 2015
    jesus christ the effort invested in this lol
     
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