It was the first time West performed the Yeezus track in public; and, as with much of West’s work, there was more to the art than immediately greeted the audience. The tree was a photograph called “Lynching Tree” by British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. The image is of an actual tree near New Orleans, from which slaves were once hung, and many lynched victims are buried around it. The photograph is currently on display at the Schaulager Museum in Basel, Switzerland. McQueen shot the powerful image while making his movie Twelve Years a Slave, the story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man from upstate new York who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery at a Louisiana cotton plantation. The film, which comes out October 18, features Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup; as well as Brad Pitt and Paul Giamatti.
A remix to Wests controversial single Black Skinhead. A Cyrus-West pairing isnt as unlikely as it sounds. The former Hannah Montana star has been aggressively ditching her Disney princess image and cozying up to hip-hop superstars ahead of her highly anticipated fourth album, Bangerz. Whether or not it’s genuine is the current debate of music critics everywhere. But Cyrus has already logged studio time with a breadth of hip-hop heavyweights including Pharrell Williams, Future, will.i.am, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Mike Will Made It, who produced her comeback single, We Cant Stop. Her controversial performance of We Cant Stop at the VMAs is the Internets current to-beat-a-dead-horse conversation. MTV VMAs 2013: Show Highlights The collaboration will reportedly appear on a remix EP from West thats due later this year. Heres to hoping the single is much better than the drab and downright embarrassing 23 that has Cyrus rapping about her “love” of another hip-hop staple, Air Jordans, alongside Wiz Khalifia and Juicy J. West and Cyrus on one record, especially “Black Skinhead,” could either be gloriously amazing or another epic crash and burn (sorry, Robin Thicke http://www.kardashiansextaped.com/ ).
For West’s sake, let’s hope the decision came before he saw Cyrus perform! Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs, in case anyone has been on the moon for the past few days, featured twerking; giant teddy-bears; a flesh coloured bikini; and Robin Thicke. For those of you who have seen the footage, it’s blatantly obvious it’s not a great combination. But will a West and Cyrus collaboration prove more successful? They certainly appear on opposite ends of the music spectrum with Cyrus a graduate from the school of cheesy Disney pop, whereas West is grittier and his music deals with darker issues. If the meeting was indeed last minute, perhaps West was impressed by Cyrus’ twerking. Whatever the reason, it seems the two were happy to share their music with one another.
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Kris did get a ratings bump for her last show when Kanye West revealed the first baby pic of daughter, North West, with Kim, but that was a one time shot in the arm and it wouldnt be indicative of what the ratings trend would be, the source close to the production told the gossip site. Halfway through the August 23 episode of the show, which also featured an episode-long interview with West, the first picture of baby North was unveiled. Within seconds it shot out to even the farthest reaches of the Internet. But the interest in what will most likely end up being the shows final episode was not enough to save it. The show struggled from the get-go, averaging an abysmal 0.8 rating. Its a very crowded market and Kris didnt do anything to set herself apart from the field.
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Not until the beat of the song dropped were viewers finally able to see that Steve McQueen’s “Lynching Tree” was the only thing that Kanye had commissioned as his backdrop for the night. The painting depicts a tree outside of New Orleans where slaves were once hung, with their graves littered across the ground under the leaves. “Blood on the Leaves” samples Nina Simone’s 1965 jazz cover of Billie Holiday’s 1939 recording “Strange Fruit,” which was heavy with commentary on racism, slavery and the rise in the number of lynchings in the United States. As the eerie line “bodies swinging in the Southern breeze” (in other words the “strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”) played back, Kanye’s completely blacked-out outline danced wildly to and fro in front of the painting. While his leather pants, Pyrex Vision tops and heavy gold chains are usually prominent during his set, things were different tonight. It wasn’t until the song was finished and a dim blue light spotlighted Kanye for his final seconds onstage that fans even get a chance to see his full figure.