The most emotional parts of Kanye and Steve McQueen’s 9-minute music video

27 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

I’m a bad celebrity: Kanye West.

So, for his tracks and the new from forthcoming album SWISH, Kanye teamed up with 12 Years a Slave filmmaker Steve McQueen for a video that’s now on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through from July 25 through July 28. Put your phones away!” warned the large security guard wandering a crowded Los Angeles museum space, where screenings began Saturday for the weekend premiere of “All Day/I Feel Like That,” a short film by Kanye West and Academy Award-winning artist-director Steve McQueen.

West’s video was reportedly shot in one take, and, according to LACMA, “straddles the mainstream and the avant-garde while challenging preconceptions on both fronts,” which is basically just fancy-schmancy talk for Kanye running around a warehouse for a while and then sitting down. (You might as well throw your preconceptions out the window now, people!) At a LACMA event on Friday where West and McQueen previewed the video, West said a misconception about him is that he promotes negativity. “No, it’s the promotion of truth as pavement to put the home on,” he said, “to put the basketball court on, to build the city hall. West, whose wife Kim Kardashian West is currently pregnant with their second child, also revealed why he asked the “12 Years a Slave” director to work on the nine-minute video, which was shot in a single take in a dockyard in London earlier this year. The gathering was almost completely unannounced, and Govan told me that the exhibition itself was hastily organized, having been brought to him by UTA art division’s Josh Roth a few weeks before. They’re both genre-bending: Steve McQueen moves back and forth between film and art, and Kanye moves back and forth between art and music and fashion.” The nine-minute film is essentially a music video for two songs from West’s upcoming seventh album, SWISH. The day before, McQueen and West previewed the film for invited guests and fine-tuned the minimalist presentation, where stacks of booming speakers in each corner echoed up through the building’s three floors.

Three months ago, Govan gave the Grammy-winning musician a tour of a samurai exhibition, as West drew connections and inspiration for his fashion line. “Kanye called Steve because he really loved his work, and that’s how they ended up collaborating,” Govan explained. “Kanye has collaborated with many artists and he said, ‘Working with Steve, I’m elevating my palette.'” The new film opens with West looking calmly into the camera, dressed in simple black T-shirt and jeans, catching his breath as the music swells to the first moments of “All Day.” Shot this spring in a London dockyard warehouse, the scene is bathed under soft window light as West bobs and weaves to the kinetic beats, his hands waving in front of his face, as the camera chases him around the room. As the song comes to a close, a playful spaghetti western whistle and acoustic guitar from Paul McCartney drifts past, and West crouches on the floor and pounds the air to three hard final beats. LACMA owns a McQueen work, called Static (2009), in which McQueen circles the State of Liberty in a helicopter. “And Kanye’s no stranger,” said Govan. “Walking around the galleries together [with Kardashian].” “I got this call at home a few years ago, and it was Kanye West on the phone,” said McQueen of their initial contact. “He had visited a show of mine at the Schaulager Museum in Basel [Switzerland], and he wanted to talk to me about the show. The second conversation was two hours and 15 minutes.” The conversations continued until a bit of serendipity found the both of them shopping at Rei Kawakubo’s London concept store Dover Street Market. For Johnny Pashayan, a 20-year-old musician from Hollywood, hearing West’s new music in a museum setting was memorable. “It’s an experience doing it in person versus watching it on your computer screen,” he said. “I’m a big Kanye fan.

West asked McQueen to start filming in five days. “He’s one of my favorite artists — he came to our wedding also,” said West. “Some people have told me, ‘He’s the first African-American [director] to win an Oscar.’ I said, ‘He’s not African-American actually. T-shirt but didn’t know about the West/McQueen exhibit until arriving with a friend for a Latin jazz concert at the museum that same afternoon. “He’s a pretty brilliant guy, actually. If he’s able to articulate what he’s thinking and get everyone to buy into it, that’s great,” Burton said of West, but left wanting “more interaction” on camera. As a serious fan of both West and McQueen’s work, recent UCLA art school grad Donel Williams, 27, suggested the film represented “the progression Kanye’s made from Chicago-based producer to his work becoming more informed by artists and performance artists,” he said. “It still has his Kanye bravado, but it did seem a lot more tame and a lot more stripped down and minimal.

I know what to expect whenever I get a Kanye album: Something a little different, but still the same Kanye.” 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. I would trade two of the Grammys to be able to in an art context with him.” The meandering answer was a sign of things to come for the West’s off-the-cuff rants. Early in the evening on July 26, 2012, Michael Haynes was cruising around Morgan Park on Chicago’s Far South Side when he and his friends, Harry “Slick” Fullilove and Lester “Doogie” Freeman, got word of a fight about to break out. When asked by Govan how he keeps the experimental spirit alive in his multifarious activities, West responded: “You have to bring your dreams into reality.

Haynes — who went by Mikey, though also answered to “Big Bro,” “Lil’ Bro,” and “God Bro,” because so many Morgan Park residents considered him family — was a 22-year-old basketball star five days away from heading to Iona College in New York. I went to the Venice Biennale with [artist] Vanessa Beecroft, and I went to an exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny [the former home of early 20th century Italian artist Mariano Fortuny]. Floor after floor, [the guide] talked about all the things he was interested in — he was a painter, and he was an opera designer, he was a clothing designer, and he was a merchant. It’s cool.’ But right now, it’s super easy just to f— with people, because people are so closed-minded: ‘You’re a rapper, so you can’t possibly fathom the size of a dress.'” The talk turned to the collaboration itself. Filmed in one continuous take, the video features West, dressed head to toe in black clothes, alone in a distressed wood room on a dockyard outside of London.

And I am.” After the audience’s laughter died down, McQueen then praised West’s songwriting on the slower, more introspective second song: “When I first heard it in the studio, I was touched. Everyone there lived along a dozen or so blocks in Morgan Park dubbed “The Jungle.” Four miles past the final stop of the city’s main subway line, in what is known as the Wild 100s, The Jungle’s main drag on Vincennes is a thoroughfare for drugs and violence. Dealers use the two-way street for open sales through car windows, and slip through the “cuts,” spaces between the houses, to more secluded parts of the neighborhood. And also, [West being] a Black man, it’s beautiful.” Govan asked West if he was trying to capture a range of emotions. “I think it’s just being a Gemini,” West quipped. “Just embrace being a hypocrite. Now, Don P and JaJuan were arguing over a 14-carat gold chain that Don P had lent to JaJuan, and JaJuan had apparently lost. “I really wasn’t supposed to give it up,” Don P says. “He caught me at a nice moment.” Earlier that day, Don P had gone to JaJuan’s house, hit him and tried to throw him over a porch railing.

The hardest thing for me is everyday when I see [my daughter] North learn anything about the world that doesn’t allow her to be as expressive as she’d like. Doogie says Mikey was calling out Q for disrespecting a member of the neighborhood’s elite crew; Slick says Mikey was upset to see guys who grew up together rely on a gun to settle an argument; and Q, who denies giving JaJuan a gun, believes Mikey was looking to start a separate fight the moment he exited the Buick. “Man, you bogus as hell,” Mikey said to Q. “You bogus for giving a gun to one of the guys.” A crowd gathered around them. I’m like, ‘I feel you.'” Govan tried to steer the conversation back to vulnerability. “I think the future is being more beautiful,” said West. “I think in the future people will understand color.

Both me and my wife have an extreme form of beauty, whether it’s her visual beauty or my sonic beauty, where we were able to penetrate and gain a lot of listeners, and now we have a responsibility to educate ourselves, and change the perception of the idea of what celebrity is.” He recalled being at the Louvre, and realizing that people had a negative preconception of Los Angeles, despite its merciful weather and easy ways. “It might be a better lifestyle,” he said. “You know the star [bus tours]? Kurt Cobain, Picasso, and so many great artists reach into your soul like in the second Indiana Jones and pull your heart out.” But West eventually chickened out, citing the fact that journalists were in the audience — the crowd sighed. Later, West would sing a few bars from his hit song with Paul McCartney and Rihanna, “4,5 Seconds,” before launching into a rant about the obsession with money in the music industry. “There’s very few artists in music left,” he said. “Motherf—ers are literally concerned with how much of a sponsorship they can get from some Korean company rather than digging out their soul and expressing how the f— they really feel. Five days.” Mass shootings in Aurora, Newtown and Charleston drum up the national gun debate, but any given holiday weekend with decent weather in Chicago sees similar devastation.

Nike put a Swoosh on top of the darkest Black man jumping from the free throw line, and created the power of the Swoosh, but it was really inside of Jordan, and transferred that energy to Nike. We’re nothing but a blip in civilization, and we’re too busy worrying about the wrong things, when we have all the means here to create a human utopia. Everything that hits the press is about taking some hero that you love and bringing them down, taking some dream that you thought of and bringing it down. Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos found the average annual homicide rate during a recent decade in one West Side Chicago neighborhood was 64 per 100,000 people, nearly the casualty rate for civilians in Iraq during the height of the war (hence the nickname “Chiraq”). Let’s start with truth, and let’s build a community upon it.” Finally, he made what amounts to as much of an explanation for West’s gift for steering conversations down strange paths as we may ever get: “I go onto these rants that don’t make any sense, but I think they’re way more beautiful, so I don’t give a f—,” he said.

Guests included Liz Goldwyn, rapper Theophilus London, Thao Nguyen of CAA (who reps Steve McQueen), and UTA’s Jim Berkus and Josh Roth, as well as art world notables Shaun Regen, Anne Ellgood, Christopher Williams and Cole Sternberg. Once in the streets, firearms are often bought and sold within trusted social networks, and tend to be old; the median age of guns confiscated from gang members is over a decade. The evening was presented by Neuehouse, a stylish shared working space that will expand from New York to Hollywood in October, in association with UTA Fine Arts.

Recent legal developments, though, have only loosened restrictions: in 2010, the United States Supreme Court overturned the handgun law, and last year a federal judge ruled that prohibiting the sale of firearms was unconstitutional. Mark Jones, a former special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and an expert on illegal firearms at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, says interviewees consistently tell him, “We are not afraid of the police.

We’re afraid of other people in the neighborhood who might try to kill us.” Gun violence in Chicago is routinely attributed to gangs, but crucial distinctions exist between gangs, cliques and random feuds. Morgan Park is the territory of the Gangster Disciples, one of Chicago’s historic sprawling gangs, the kind that wrote rulebooks and implemented rigid chains of command. But after two decades of police targeting top leaders, the structures fragmented, leaving behind hundreds of less organized and more violent neighborhood cliques. She has debilitating arthritis that keeps her bound to the house; Mikey bragged that when he turned pro he would move her into a mansion with an elevator.

Some of his friends earned cash by stealing or selling drugs, but Mikey cultivated a better hustle on the basketball courts at nearby Blackwelder Park. He was third generation — Annie had come to Chicago as part of the Great Migration of African Americans fleeing the South in the first half of the 20th century. Many of the towers’ residents protested the decision, but between 1995 and 2011, the city tore down three infamous furnaces of violence — the Cabrini-Green, Ida B. According to Williams, Q had a reputation as a weakling and a pushover, “the type of person that if you punch him, he ain’t going to do nothing.” Mikey was supposed to be the type of person who made it out.

To improve his standing in the eyes of college recruiters, he enrolled at George Washington High School on the east side of Chicago his sophomore year. George Washington lost the Chicago public school championship that year to Simeon Career Academy, led by its dazzling point guard, future NBA MVP Derrick Rose. A district policy prohibits students from competing in sports for a year after transferring, which effectively ended Mikey’s high school career in Chicago – he could only practice with the team.

At one of his first practices with the new squad, he had an altercation on the court with another Fenger player. “They thought Mikey was just a hooper,” Slick says, “that he ain’t have nobody that’s gonna pull up.” By the time the team exited the gym, Phil Greene, who played for Fenger, says Mikey’s protection was waiting in the parking lot “car loads deep.” Along with Slick was Mikey’s oldest brother, Terrence, who had done time for selling cocaine and aggravated assault. “That was us,” Slick says. “Make that phone call. That’s why I say, ‘We a family.'” Though Mikey didn’t lace up for a single game his senior year, he was still ranked the 12th best player in the state, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Six months later, in the summer of 2011, Mikey’s former AAU coach Loren Jackson got him a spot on the roster of Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.

He electrified crowds with rattling two-handed dunks and a signature roar – fists clenched, muscles flexed, and a bellicose cry reverberating against the walls – and led Indian Hills to the junior college national championship tournament. He would pop into their dorm after practice for late-night pancakes, and often hung out with a sophomore cheerleader, Jenna Strom, whose dad has been out of her life since she was 11. After his standout season in Iowa, Mikey got another chance to play basketball at the next level: Iona College, a small Division-I school north of Manhattan, offered him a scholarship.

Hardy drew up a 14-page report of Section 8 violations, but never filed it. “The day that I was submitting it,” he says, “was when the incident occurred.” That morning of July 26th, Q walked out into his front yard and said hello to his 16-year-old neighbor, Aliczay Christian. Mikey’s 21-year-old younger brother Brian was sitting in a car on Vincennes, with Doogie and Don P hanging out on the curb, when he received a phone call that Mikey was dead. Gabriel Fuentes, the assistant coach at the time, describes Mikey as thoughtful, while Brian “was disrespectful” and “a bit more into being a thug.” Brian quit the team, and at 17 was charged with three crimes in four months: battery, assault and disorderly conduct. One police report describes him as a “self-admitted and documented Gangster Disciple.” Armed with a pistol, his face red and eyes bloodshot from crying, Brian marched from the car toward 116th Street. More than a thousand people squeezed inside the Salem Baptist Church for Mikey’s funeral on August 3, 2012, requiring extra chairs and making the choir section standing-room only.

When they stopped at a police station to ask for directions, the cops warned them not to go. “We were all definitely scared,” says Mikey’s college friend, Jenna Strom. Before the cheerleaders exited their van parked a few blocks from the church, Strom had everyone bow their heads and pray for safety. “We knew Mike was going to protect us,” she says. And to me, that’s a hero.” But those who understand the workings of Morgan Park —its inescapable street code enforced with handguns — believe his undoing was more complicated. “I think he was flirting between the street and basketball,” Liggins says. “Mikey did want to live up to that street life.” Pastor Dearal L. He pleaded for peace and offered a chance for attendees to give up their guns. “If you’re packing a weapon, leave it under the bench,” he said. “We ought to stop the shooting for a day or two.” His request for weapons went unanswered, he now says: “No one left any behind.” The cycle of violence continued on the afternoon of May 28, 2013, when JaJuan Lewis made his first trip back to Morgan Park. After Mikey’s killing, he hid out at his three-year-old son Jordan’s mother’s house, before heading off to play football at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida.

Although his family’s home had been torched, JaJuan believed tensions had since subsided – after all, he figured, the argument over Don P’s chain had nothing to do with Q shooting Mikey. JaJuan had a gun too, which he kept under a seat in the car. “Turn back around, bro,” he told Williams. “Let’s go holla’ at them.” Williams parked the Dodge just down the block from Q’s old house on Vincennes. He wasn’t able to identify the shooter, but has a hunch it was one of “Don P’s people.” “Hopefully it’s over,” Williams says. “You never know.” Q shot Mikey, Don P shot JaJuan, and now someone had shot at Williams. “I got a theory that every time somebody gets killed, it wakes up another killer,” he says.

Then, almost filling in the gaps of his theory, Williams imagines what other Dirty Butts or Gangster Disciples might have said to Don P to perpetuate the violence. “They probably was pressuring Don P,” he says. “‘Mikey got killed over your chain.

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