I didn’t know what to think other than MY VIRGIN EYES! -MIa Haskins
Everyone expected it to be a be a regular music video—but anyone who knows Kanye West knows that's almost never the case. West gave a six minute speech on the MTV Video Music Awards stage,touching base about the Taylor Swift scandal just for laughs. He then became serious when talking about the killings in his hometown of Chicago and spoke to the audience about how it’s okay to have a role model as long as you are influenced and do not simply mimic.
When West introduced his work he labeled it a piece of art instead of a music video, comparing himself to Picasso, one of the greatest artist to ever be on the planet. He left it on that note and presented his piece of art—which the audience later figured out had nothing to do with his speech.
Since his first album, College Dropout the Mixtape, his albums have explored multiple genres such as Pop, Rock, and Gospel. Kanye’s newest studio album, The Life of Pablo, takes you on a rollercoaster of being inside the head of Yeezus. You are placed in his shoes, experiencing his stream of consciousness and cockiness, which in counterpart humanize him.
When the video begins you see a woman with a very athletic body oiled up generously. Many people's reaction was “This woman just had a baby how, does her body look like that?” or “She has a baby, why would she put herself out there in that way?” That woman happens to be Ms. Teyana Taylor.
In an interview with VH1, Teyana says that the video reminded her of something very biblical, and biblical was not something I would consider the video to be. In this video you see a hard working woman who reveals a side of her only seen behind closed doors. In the video she is seen wearing a high waisted thong, sports bra, and knee pads. In this dance you see touches of African and Jazz styles and a touch of Hip-Hop.
Teyana’s background was in dance. At the age of 16 she was signed by Pharrell as a singer and later in 2006 she choreographed Beyonce’s music video for her song, “Ring The Alarm.” She was always in the dance world before anything else, which made her the perfect person for this video.
The woman behind this one-of-a-kind piece of art is Jae Blaze, a professional dancehall choreographer. Blaze has choreographed for Rihanna, Sean Paul, and So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
Blaze wanted the dance to have a Flashdance style, which is why Teyana’s hair is wet and she’s oiled up. A lot of the dance moves are from Jamaica and what you would see in a dancehall club.
In one scene, Teyana is doing African dance moves and when I saw this it reminded me of Josephine Baker.Josephine Baker was a African American French woman who became known for entertaining. She was an active supporter of the civil rights movements and refused to perform in front of a segregated audience. When people took notice to Josephine Baker they saw this black woman dancing with barely any clothes on, in a time when that was looked down upon on, and it still is to this day.
However, when people took notice that Teyana barely had clothes on, that's when it blew up. People began making memes inserting themselves via video, taking the attention away from the fact that she was dancing, something that a lot of people can’t do.
I first saw the video on the MTV VMA’s with millions of others even Kanye himself. I had only seen clips on snapchat from others, and was just confused on what it was. My first reaction was WOW, I had no words to say. Mostly I was thinking to myself, I’ve never had a baby and I don’t even look like that. I saw it as a woman showing her true self and expressing it through dance.
The shower scene with her and her husband (Iman Shumpert) having borderline sex was a little bit too much for it to be shown on a family show. I didn’t know what to think other than MY VIRGIN EYES. The video ends with Teyana, her husband, and their daughter (Iman Shumpert Jr.) and yes it is a girl, laying in a pile of sheep while Teyana's face has morphed into a lion. It was a confusing way to end a video but it was the definitely the Kanye way.