Five months after releasing Yeezus, Kanye West has defied expectations again with the music video for his third single. The visual for Bound 2 features editing more typical of a home movie than the music video for a single for a gold-certified album. Kanye rides a motorcycle across a green-screen Monument Valley landscape with wife Kim Kardashian in tow. Kim rides naked in front with her arms wrapped around the rapper, an image that has provoked a widespread media response. Of course, generating a media response is a skill Kanye has refined to the same point as his music.
Bound 2 is a love song by an artist thoroughly disillusioned with love songs. Kanye replaces eternal declarations of love with the blithe question: “Have you ever asked your bitch for other bitches? The atypical lyrics are accompanied by experimental production from West and collaborator Che Pope. The song samples the Ponderosa Twins Plus One track Bound, creating a soulful tone reminiscent of Kanye West’s older work. While less experimental than the abrasive screams in Yeezus track I Am A God, Bound 2 remains far from typical. The transition between chorus and verse is jarring by design, giving the song the feeling of two distinct parts stitched together despite only sampling one song.
The music video premiered on The Ellen Degeneres Show, a program Kanye West has a longstanding relationship with. The unorthodox imagery and low-budget effects of the video are a solid match for the counter-mainstream attitude to production present in both Bound 2 and Yeezus as a whole. The music video for the Black Skinhead single was similarly atypical, focusing on Kanye’s outline against a black background. While the presence of a nude Kim in Bound 2′s video can be read as a pure publicity stunt, the success of that stunt can’t be questioned as the headlines and views climb.
The tour for Yeezus has recieved similar scrutiny, especially after Kanye made performances in clothing bearing the Confederate flag. Several of Kanye’s extravagant outfits for the Yeezus tour have been designed by Maison Martin Margiela, including a piece bearing a metallic mask and brown trenchcoat.
James Franco and Seth Rogan parody Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s ‘Bound 2’ music video with their own version, titled “Bound 3”