Music: Black Skinhead by Kanye West

Many people don’t know that Mr. West is actually billingual–expect a lot of French in this song.

I originally wasn’t sure if  I wanted to post this song because I think it’s often misinterpreted, but it’s about defeating racism, and since racism is still very much alive in this day and age, I wanted people to hear Black Skinhead, stylized as Blkkk SkkkN Head–the KKKs representing the Ku Klux Klan and the capital N standing for the n word, if it wasn’t obvious.

I like that West went ahead and stylized the title as Blkkk SkkkN Head. It’s a daring message, and as my English teacher has pointed out several times: an artist, whether a painter or writer, purposely puts every comma and every random dog right where it’s supposed to be. And the way that this song’s title is stylized is very purposeful in spreading the message that the whole “This is the 21st century; nobody’s racist anymore” is very false statement.

Though this song would be so much better without some of the filler lyrics, if you will, the paradoxial statements of the words black and skinhead together to juxtapose each other is quite jeanius. (It had to be done.) The music video is quite strange though too. There are parts of the video that are great, such as the hounds and the traditional KKK outfits(?), costumes(?), gear(?), but in black. There was a lot of potential to create a more provacative, more hard-hitting music video, but I guess dancing around shirtless in a gold chain is cool too. His music videos aren’t the best, eg. Bound 2, but for what it’s worth the bridge for that song is really good… Uh huh, honey. Except for that part. (Here’s a version of Bound 2 with just Charlie Wilson’s bridge.)

Enjoy.
-Jean

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