Kanye West Monster

In: Film and Music

Submitted By kezhov
Words 1752
Pages 8
COMS 354: The Visual Culture of Crime
Kristina Ezhova
260454703
April 9, 2015

“Monster”: Misogyny, Racism, and Popular Culture Kanye West is a prominent figure in popular culture nowadays and his reputation is quite complicated and conflicting. West is acclaimed as one of the best rappers of this era, and is celebrated as a successful entrepreneur and fashion designer. However, he is also frequently condemned for his outspoken personality and offensive attitude. From numerous acceptance speech interruptions to questionable interviews and statements, Kanye West has created a contradictory image for himself in the media and is often characterized as a misogynist. The music video for his single “Monster,” in which he collaborated with Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, and Nicki Minaj, was released in 2011 and almost immediately became known as deeply controversial: the six-minute clip, which depicts dead women hanging from ceilings and scantily clad in lingerie, was banned by MTV for its violence and explicit content toward women (Vassar). Undeniably, the misogynistic theme runs throughout the video, however, West has defended himself by stating that “the concept of models hanging or people being eaten alive or [other] type of visuals for a horrific video was purely artistic” and addressed the ignorance of misogynistic accusations by claiming that “they [women’s rights activists] couldn’t understand how a rapper can have a taste high enough to do something like that without being misogynistic” (Staff). This paper addresses elements of the “Monster” clip that depict elements of historical racism and sexual objectification through the animalistic and hyper-sexualized representation of women of colour in the video, while also drawing parallels between supernatural characters and thirst for consumerism. Undeniably “Monster” has sparked many discussions regarding misogyny…...

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