Kanye turns out the lights at the VMAs
Kanye West is notorious for going all out, but his recent performance at the VMAs made a striking statement with a decidedly minimalist show. In fact, the rapper's haunting rendition of "Blood on the Leaves" from his gold record Yeezus occurred on a mostly dark stage, his body appearing to be merely a silhouette.
At the beginning of the song, the entire set at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was completely black. Then, as the chilling refrain emanated from the speakers, only Kanye's face was illuminated by a faint glow. Once the beat dropped, the backdrop was visible. These trees weren't just for show, either - there was a historical significance to his choice. Steve McQueen's "Lynching Tree" is a portrayal of the site outside New Orleans where slaves were previously hung. Truthfully, "Blood on the Leaves" is rife with racial undertones. MTV News pointed out that the tune samples a cover by Nina Simone of Billie Holliday's "Strange Fruit," which commented on the state of slavery in 1939.
A stunned audience watched as Kanye's black shadow danced erratically in front of McQueen's famous work. Finally, Kanye's full figure was revealed by a dim blue spotlight for several seconds as the song came to an end.
Kanye's 7th VMA performance was unforgettable for sure, but what was your favorite from this year's show?