It's no secret I love me a good horror film. But what about a short horror film set as a music video based on a song designed to tell critics of an artist's public persona to mind their own business? Kanye West's "Monster" is his most provocative video yet. That's partly why, though leaked in December, it hasn't been officially released yet. Essentially, the conceit is that a bunch of women have been tortured, murdered, and turned into monsters. It's shocking to people who don't realize the intention of the video.
If there's one thing Kanye West respects, it's women. His late mother is still the most important person in his life. He pushes a lot of female MCs to try and balance out the gender disparity in the rap game (most notably at the time Kid Sister and Nicki Minaj, but there are others). And in this video, he crosses the one taboo he would never even think of crossing in real life: violence against women.
West was turned into an American villain for making some stupid comments at a pointless awards show. Everything, from he hates white people to he hates women, was lobbed at him for saying a mediocre music video shouldn't have beaten a less mediocre music video in a bad year for music videos. It propelled the blond teen close-enough-to-country crossover artist into major critical and commercial success she wouldn't have had otherwise. Still, people were out for blood.
This song, and then in great extension this video, are a response to that criticism. You think Kanye West is a monster for upsetting a manufactured pop-country act? Then he'll show you what a real monster is.
The video is not safe for work. It features all those images I described and a whole lot of foul language.
I somehow doubt we'll ever see this version of the video officially released. It's too provocative. And that was the point. Art isn't meant to be palatable to everyone. Just like some people hate anything horror, people will hate this video for even going into the violent content it addresses. Pity. This is the type of video that should strike up debate, not blind fear and copyright claims to block it from public dissemination.