Chi-City mavericks Kanye West and Common have unveiled their new videos for their singles "Can't Tell Me Nothin'" and "The Game," respectively. K-Wizzle's tune is the lead single from his highly-anticipated third disc, Graduate (due late August), while Com's kick-off track is from his set, Finding Forever (due July 31).
I'm not a big fan of Common's song "The Game," which was produced by DJ Premier. Yes, the song is a street banger but I prefer his introspective song "The People," which is more anthemic and soulful. However, I do love Com's video for "The Game." The black-and-white video pays homage to Raging Bull and 8 Mile and features the Chicago rapper throwing lyrical punches of empowerment. I'm in agreement with music video blog Obtusity, Com's video is a compelling look inside the [rap] game through the mind of a champion MC.
However, I'm puzzled by Kanye West and his choice of single and video.
On "Can't Tell Me Nothin'," K-Weezie raps, "it's so hard not to act reckless."
And I think its reckless to film a $1 million video for a song that is not enjoyable to listen to. The video, helmed by master videographer Hype Williams, is visually beautiful, but I don't think it will attract the short attention span of today's viewers. Music-video blog Obtusity writes that the video represent Kanye's symbolic meaning of being conflicted between "God and the allure of Earthly pleasures" (food, women, money and liqour). But, for me, this video means "no airplay on BET or MTV."
I know that Kanye is trying to stretch the boundaries of rap -- which is praiseworthy -- but I think 'Ye needs to just bring the boom bap, along with an eye-popping hot video (Gold Digger, anyone?). It's time for him to finally show the world why he's the most charismatic figure in hip-hop.
[EDIT 6/9] Kanye's Daft Punk-sampled banger "Stronger" is a much better song.