Kanye Turns Over A New Leaf with Only One
Gotta hand it to him, Kanye West keeps his fans constantly entertained, whether it actually looks good on him or not. Recently Kanye has gotten a lot of attention for his partnership with Paul McCartney and Rihanna. Although Kanye admitted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that the name of his highly anticipated, collaborative album is still yet to be decided on, he has started dropping a few sneak peaks. Kanye’s recent release of Only One, featuring Paul McCartney’s instrumental contributions, is his first new single of 2015 and has already gotten close to 9 million plays on Spotify in the span of one week. His music video premiered on the Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. Before premiering the video Kanye told Ellen that he’s a changed man and a “better human” after his marriage to Kim Kardashian and the birth of his daughter, North West. Whether you choose to believe this revelation or not, the music video definitely does reflect a new, more intimate side of Kanye.
The video was directed by Spike Jonze, a big name in the film industry who has worked as a director, producer and screenwriter. The co-star of the music video is a position held by the one and only North West, probably the most poplar 1 year old in America. The video begins with Kanye walking down a dusty road alone, praying to his mother who died from surgery complications in 2007. From then on the song is written from the perspective of his mom looking down on the father and son. The filming is pretty raw with no real special effects or dramatics, all taking place in a dusty field. Jonze definitely aimed for the focus to be on the emotion and the lyrics rather than theatrics. And it works, you definitely can get an “aww how cute” out of anyone watching it for the first time.
As always, there are critics, and some believe that Kanye is trying to play on his fan’s emotions and gain back popular support, which he has lost in past controversial outbursts - think Taylor Swift or when he said AIDS was a man-made disease or his outburst at Entertainment Weekly after a B+ rating. Critics call out Kanye for faking the seemingly vulnerable and tender moments with his daughter in order to humanize himself again. However, in my opinion, you have to realize he is in a music business and it would be weird if he did not try to put himself in a more positive light again. To sum it up, the music video puts a refreshing and gleaming spotlight on Kanye and his family. The music, although it gets a little too auto-tuned for me at points, is solid. Kanye moves away from the rapping for a bit and actually sings. Although I would not say he has the best vocals out there, the lyrics are super moving and impressive. All in all, good song, good music video, and a twist on what we’ve expected from Kanye in the past – just what you’d expect from Kanye.
P.S. The second sneak peak off the album was just released and it’s pretty awesome. Such a cool threesome to have all in the same place, and they rocked the street clothes in black and white. Check it out below.