For a man clearly obsessed with visuals as much as music, we've seen an almost shocking lack of videos from Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album.
There was the "Famous" video, which I felt was far more a work of celebrity-provocation than a work of art, and we can give half-credit for Desiigner's "Panda" video, which first vaulted to fame via TLOP and featured both a cameo and "creative" work from Kanye.
Add in a couple SNL performances and almost six months since the album release and that was the sum total of Pablo's visuals, until today. In coordination with Balmain, a high-fashion label that I'm assuming is very fancy and expensive but I'd never heard of because I wear whatever's clean that day, Kanye's now also unveiled visuals for "Wolves," itself a song that's been well over year in the making.
But while I'm not sure whether to call this a music video, a commercial or a music-commercial, and it's not exactly saying much that "Wolves" is now the best visuals off TLOP considering that it's some of the only visuals off TLOP, the video's still outstanding.
Frankly I'm a little surprised I found myself rewatching this video so many times considering it's often a highly stylized runway shot and I have a near-complete apathy for fashion, but on a purely visual level it's hard to look away - it doesn't hurt that it also has cameos from Vic Mensa, Sia, Cindy Crawford and, of course, world renowned Taylor Swift exposer Kim Kardashian. (Am I looking at it too deep to make a connection between their tears and the tears of Christ?)
While "Famous" felt like a publicity stunt disguised as art, this feels like a pretty genuinely pure glimpse into the mind of Kanye West right now, and to get a glimpse of that mind is to look at truly one of the most creative forces of our generation. Despite my initial reservations, I have only respect for the "Wolves" video - I'm still gonna need some visuals for "Waves" though. Let's make it happen Kanye.
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube