Kanye West’s pair of videos for “Flashing Lights” has inspired a great deal of thoughtful, almost academic discourse online: Consider clapclap.org’s analysis of the “hyper-stylized” first installment. (That’d be the one where Kanye is repeatedly whacked with a shovel.) The new, dismayingly inferior clip has also gotten quite a reaction, though this time it’s largely negative—far from answering the many unsettling questions raised by the original video (why Kanye is being whacked with a shovel chief among them), this new cut is blunt, boring, melodramatic, profoundly anticlimactic.
For more on this topic, we turn to Brandon Soderberg’s blog No Trivia, which offers a harsh but clear-eyed appraisal of the situation that runs 1,517 words and includes five other YouTube clips for reference, all under the title “Race & Gender Devolution in ‘Flashing Lights’ Version Two.” And you thought Kanye flipped out when Entertainment Weekly gave him a B+.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 28, 2008