From the very beginning of his career, Kanye West has never placed a price tag on his artistic vision. You'd be hard pressed to name another emcee who would be willing to spend $750,000 on nude wax figures for a music video.
Thus it should come as no surprise that, in a new interview on the Best of Both Offices-presented Def Radio Podcast, hosted by Mazzi, JO, and Rossi, veteran producer Just Blaze revealed that Kanye West bankrolled a second "Touch The Sky" video—the video we all know and love—after he hated the original version that was paid for by Def Jam.
I remember him pulling me to the side when we were on the "Touch The Sky" video set and being like, 'Yo, I spent my last dime to re-film this video.' Def Jam paid for a "Touch The Sky" video that nobody has ever seen. He came back after the fact and specked out this whole movie deal that we know with the cannon and the Evel Knievel thing and whatever. And I want to say that was something like 700, 800 thousand dollars.
At the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards, despite being named Best Hip-Hop Artist, West famously crashed the stage after "Touch The Sky" didn't win for Best Music Video. In a classic, expletive-riddled Kanye rant, the rapper said the reason the video deserved to win was because it “cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons.” While Kanye would have probably had a hissy fit regardless, knowing now that he spared no expense in paying for the video himself makes his tirade all the more understandable.
Later that year, West was sued by Evel Knievel for trademark infringement, who claimed the handle 'Evel Kanyevel' was a direct rip-off. West's attorneys argued the "Touch The Sky" video was satire, which would cover him under the First Amendment. Ultimately, after meeting West in person, Knievel changed his mind and settled the lawsuit amicably.
To recap: Kanye hated the original video for "Touch The Sky" so much that he shelved the final product and spent (close to) a million dollars to reshoot a new video, only to receive no awards and eventually be sued.
Yup, sounds about right Kanye.
By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube