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Kanye West unveils artwork for 'Power'

Kanye-West-Power_320No matter what you think of Kanye West, at least the Chicago-raised  rap provocateur keeps things interesting. In late May, he unveiled "Power," the King Crimson-sampling lead single from his forthcoming "Good Ass Job." Like West himself, the tune was alternately petulant and triumphant, and drew mostly positive responses, with The Times' Ann Powers calling it a "strong shot across the barricades." 

Today, he released the George Condo-painted artwork for the single, featuring an Excalibur-like sword stuck through Kanye's decapitated crown-wearing head, superimposed on a tableau of cumulus clouds and blue sky. Early reports about the album described it as being heavily infused with '90s boom-bap sounds, with beats from RZA, DJ Premier and Madlib. However, judging from "Power's" sound and artwork, it would seem that West is on track to make the first hip-hop Yes record.  

Seeing that this is Kanye and that no action can exist without overreaching analysis, feel free to chime in with your interpretation of what the image symbolizes. The obvious metaphor is that the world's reaction to his embarrassing behavior is the sword, Kanye is the king whose head is on the stake, and Taylor Swift is uh, the fluffy clouds and the pristine sky. But that's too easy.

It's much more fun to see this as an homage to "Weekend at Bernie's." Or perhaps a tribute to T.H. White's Arthurian legends. Or perhaps Kanye has a deal with Fred Segal, where the boutique will begin selling Kanye crowns for $700 apiece, to coincide with the record's rumored Sept. 14 release date and back-to-school shopping. Or maybe he's just seen "Braveheart" a few dozen too many times.

-- Jeff Weiss


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Comments () | Archives (11)

how on Earth is this news? Kanye West releasing art work for an unreleased album....hmmmm...let me think....


Nope. Not news.

Kanye West? Who's that?

You clearly don't understand the metaphor... nice try.
It's great that you are showing the fans the new artwork.. but we don't need your
commentary. We could care less about what you have to say..

The beat for the single is pretty well produced, and you can definitely hear RZA's influence. The album art is quite ironic.

Wow... really tacky, even for him.

The cover is missing a jewel encrusted African flag, a poem by Maya Angelou, and an in-home shark tank.

This is a true artist with a real message for once. Can't wait for Kanye to reveal the true meaning of the cover. Good Ass Job Sept. 14th!!

honestly some of these people have no clue about anything. This album cover is pure genius once you go learn and listen to the song carefully, then you will understand the cover. Then decide if you like it or not but dont just say its bad because its has to due with violence. Good Work Mr. West

the king is dead. long live the king.

this cover is sending a powerful message just like the lyrics to the single Power...

"No one man should have all that power
The clocks tickin' I just count the hours
Stop trippin' I'm trippin off the power"

Then one of the last lines of the song states "You got the power to let power go.."

He "dethroned" himself.

WOW KING KANYE....YOU HAVE THE POWER ME! BABY I DON'T LIKE SEEING U THIS WAY...IT HURTS MY HEART ART OR NOT..IAM A ARTIST..LOVE IS THE ANSWER! GOOGLE: POWER ROYAL, POWER ROYAL ON FACE BOOK & ROBIN POWER..YOUR QUEEN IS WAITING! LOVE POWER!


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