Welp… that was all sorts of confusing and disappointing.
Kanye West just concluded tonight’s Billboard Music Awards and for most of us hip hop heads, we kept it on in the background for 3 hours to see ‘Ye shut it down with flames.
Unfortunately, the censors shut him down amidst Kanye’s now customary flames.
‘Ye began with “All Day” and ABC’s censors overreacted to the lyrics with silence for quite literally more than half of the song. It continued as Kanye went into “Black Skinhead” and to top it off, ‘Ye seemingly purposefully stood with the flames and behind some pyrotechnics to only project a silhouette. It didn’t quite work given the smoke and camera’s distance (in fact, the better effect is from Theophilus London’s IG video below… very cool.) Naturally though, Twitter was ablaze (no pun intended) with a high amount of WTF memes. I’m with the masses here — upset at the censors.
But it does beg a couple questions: 1. With the high volume of ‘n’ words, should Ye really be pushing “All Day” to non hip hop dominated audiences (like a telecast for pop music on ABC or even a Bulls game where the percentage is not as much as a Yeezus concert.) And 2. Why go back to “Black Skinhead”? Yeezus is a month shy of 2 years now.
Stay tuned for the silver lining to come of this performance: the next Kanye stream of consciousness.
A couple tidbits via Theophilus London…
Elsewhere in the night, the only other performance you have to see is Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” which featured viral violinist Lindsey Stirling to add a fresh touch to the melody. I dug her addition and the Paul Walker tribute video in the back at the very end. Why did Wiz have to turn up like that at the end? I would have preferred a classic pose it out moment.
I grasp for straws for more must-see highlights from the BBMAs. There’s really only J. Lo & Rita Ora left, ha!
Nothin’ new here, but the official HD version of Kanye’s debut of “All Day” is now up and online for us to relive.
And honestly, I think we’ll be reliving this performance for years to come. One of Kanye’s career-best hype anthems, plus the energy and surprise of the performance itself will easily endure this video over time. That’s not even mentioning Taylor Swift’s still priceless reaction.
I was talking about this “All Day” performance with someone recently and realized it took me a second viewing to note some details and fully grasp how awesome it was to have all the goons and flame thrower behind ‘Ye. I still get chills at the “get low, stay low” part. Kanye’s next tour will alone be worth the price of admission for this part, and the “All Day” performance as a whole.
The release of the week was of course Kanye West’s “All Day”, which is not officially out yet just on replay via the live performance debut at the BRITs.
You know by now… the beat goes. But who was behind it? It’s easy to assume Kanye, but French Montana instagrammed it was co-produced by himself and an unknown named Velous.
Well, meet Velous.
MTV was able to link up with the New Yorker and Velous described his role in crafting the beat that we’re all soon going to get hype to. The summary: he made it for French, Kanye somehow heard it and loved it and then he and French (yup French too) added their own layers and tweaks. Watch Velous describe it more in-depth above. Can’t wait for this studio version.
ICYMI: Kanye x Zane Lowe (Full Interview + Quotes)
Still not sure what Father was drinkin’ on stage, but he seemed to be enjoying it. And it was Mr. London‘s birthday, so you know how he was feelin’. It’s a funny thing how energy is transferred from one person to another – Bottom Lounge was poppin’ last night. Always good to see an artist like Father own the stage like he did, and I’m never mad when an artist plays their “jam” more than once – I’ve heard 3 renditions of “Colt 45” at one Afroman show, all equally enjoyable – we were treated to “Look At Wrist” twice and once more to close the night as Theo brought Father back on stage. And goddamn was Theophilus London’s band on point. Sometimes you wonder how live instrumentals translate from an album to stage, never more successful than last night though. #Vibes
A nice look for Theophilus as he gets the Letterman guest spot on the week of the release of Vibes (and, the music video for “Tribe”.) Jesse Boykins III joins him above.
Oddly enough, this is the first music video for Theophilus London’s new album Vibes. For “Tribe” featuring Jesse Boykins III, Theophilus dances away amidst the clean presentation.
ICYMI: The Theophilus London ‘Vibes’ Album Stream (exec. prod. Kanye West)