First: Kanye released his long-awaited "All of the Lights" video. At 1:30 p.m. on the Saturday of a three-day holiday weekend when journalists are drunk and/or napping. The press release came in at 12:55 p.m. with the subject "KANYE WEST/RIHANNA VIDEO PREMIERE TODAY 1:30PM ET." So West is sharing top billing on the track with the currently blazing hot Rihanna? News to us. (Especially since he once boasted the track featured 11 guests.) Now about the actual video: What the hell is this!? After months of waiting, we were expecting an epic with a dramatic arc on par with Lady Gaga's "Telephone." What Kanye and director Hype Williams released is 20 percent lyric video (which looks quite borrowed from the opening credits of Gaspar Noé's film "Enter the Void"), 15 percent seizure-inducing lights, 5 percent footage of a little girl wandering the streets alone (don't let her grow up in that ghetto university!), 40 percent shots of Rihanna's boobs, and 20 percent clips of West grabbing his head and rapping with an anguished expression. Kid Cudi makes a quick appearance, but the edit completely excises Fergie's part of the song. Argh!
Second: West continued to convince the world that "All of the Lights" is a Rihanna song featuring a Kanye cameo by popping up at the end of her NBA All-Star Game halftime show. The live horns were a a nice touch -- a classy one Kanye negated by chewing gum onstage -- but West's spastic jerks only guided our eyes back to the extremely confident Rihanna, who had just killed a medley of "Umbrella," "Only Girl (In the World)," "Rude Boy," and "What's My Name" featuring Drake. West threw his heart into it, but he was merely the "special guest" sharing a tiny bit of Rihanna's big moment.
Third: West gave his blessing to a new remix of "Monster" by Ben Bronfman's band, Teachers (via Nah Right). Bronfman is better known as both M.I.A.'s beau and the son of Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman. He contributed some moaning (West referred to it as "tribal voices") on the original track, and his new take is pretty cool, but who cares about a "Monster" remix when we're all waiting for the "Monster" video -- the racy, scary one we predicted would get banned. Is West blatantly avoiding trying to sell this album or is he too busy being arty to care?
[Photo: Noel Vasquez/WireImage.com]