Kanye West “Power”: Illuminati Overkill

disinformation reader Niall sent us a note saying:

Here’s an article I wrote about Kanye West’s latest video “Power” and how I think he is basically trolling the internets and conspiracy theorists with it. It’s from our music blog Shallow Rave — we don’t normally cover esoteric stuff, but it’s a personal interest of mine, and when the two subjects collide it’s too good an opportunity not to miss!

Here’s Kanye’s video and below the story from Shallow Rave:

So, have you seen the video for Kanye West’s “Power”? And did you notice all the occult symbolism there-in? Come on, let’s be honest here – you’d have to be a total fucking idiot not to.

I have commented on this kind of thing before (most notably Lady Gaga), but if you are new to the modern trend to read everything in pop music as being controlled by the Illuminati, then start here with a brilliant piece by the Fortean Times. Of course, written as it was about 12 months ago, it already seems out of date as it doesn’t feature Kanye. But I’ll come clean on all this “conspiranoia” fascination – I’m sick of it. I’m over it all. And why? Because the tables have turned – this is no longer about an audience reclaiming popular culture with fresh and bizarre readings. Now it’s nothing more than a clever marketing gimmick. Conspiracists, KANYE IS TROLLING YOU.

First of all, let me clarify – I do not believe that there is an Illuminati conspiracy to rule the world. I do believe there are elite organisations/groups of indiviuals who hold certain reigns of global power and will do anything to retain them – legal or illegal, covert or overt. However, I do not believe in a singular secret organisation that brainwashes children through the use of MK Ultra/monarch butterflies/Hello Kitty dolls/ancient Egyptian religious figures/sex abuse. Yes, I am pretty sure that the sexual abuse of children happens, and sometimes in a secretive and organised fashion, but I don’t believe that those genuinely horrific acts are perpetrated by a solitary shadowy organisation, with the intent of keeping the general population under a mind control regime. And why not? Because it is JUST TOO NEAT. It doesn’t take into account enough the age old human capacity to be rubbish (those theorists will tell you it’s because the Illuminati are NOT HUMAN), for things not to go to plan, for mistakes to happen.

It just reads too much like the plot of Scooby Doo. “Mr Illuminati burnt down the old funfair!” But this drive towards narrative is understanable. All our senses are bombarded by narrative-based media wherever we turn. All religions are based on stories passed down from old to young. History is played out like a drama with a beginning, middle and end. Even the simple act of brushing your teeth nowadays has to have an “arc”. This is what makes conspiracy theories so attractive – they take genuine fears about troubling aspects of the world we live in, and mould them to fit a very straight forward story with an easy good/bad dichotomy at its center. Whether you worship Jesus or Oprah, it doesn’t really matter – they are both sold on their stories, so why shouldn’t the real world be too?

Initially I was drawn to these story-telling aspects of pop conspiranoia, the wild correlations people would draw between disparate pieces of information drip fed to us by the media. Personally I feel like conspiranoia has replaced horror films in my life for creepy thrills. However, it quickly became boring once you realised that the message of nearly all these sites/videos is the same. BELIEVE IN JEEBUS! And not in a personal/spiritual/empowering sense, but rather in the most crassly traditional sense: “Don’t ask questions – just believe. Pray to God to make it stop!”. It seems it’s too much to ask of the fundamentally religious that they could apply the same critical thinking to their own cherished belief system as they do to a pop video.

And this is where the trouble starts – though on the surface they seem to be very knowledgable about pop culture, these sites and YouTube posters are actually ignorant of the way the modern world works. According to them, there can only be two meanings for every action. One, the surface level meaning that the “sheeple” can understand (Gaga leaves prison with her foxy femme pal and enacts a glossy, sexy revenge in a world of B-movies and product placmeent) and the other what it REALLY means (Gaga is a puppet enslaving a generation of brainwashed minds into homosexuality through the use of ancient Egyptian symbols). There can be no other meaning or no other valid reading. Remember: politics, sociology, anthropology and economics are merely tools of the elite. Ambiguity, reflexivity, irony – conspiranoia does not trade in these. And that’s the REAL irony – conspiranoists ask us to see beyond the surface meaning but only to agree with their meanings – not to find meanings of our own, to find a third/fourth/fifth/6.5 billionth meaning.

As with conspiracy culture in general, pop conspiranoia has turned into a huge global meme, yet people are still convinced that they are discovering this hidden knowledge for themselves, and they and they alone know what it all means. Mass media events like The Matrix and The Da Vinci Code are huge global smash hits, and are regularly offered up as fonts of proof of the worldwide conspiracy, yet even your nan has seen them by now. It’s quite a feat really, when you think about it. Most advertisers would kill to be able to create products a third of the world can own but that retain the cachet of being “secret”. It’s also the most truly scary aspect of all this – when the powerful majority believes that they are the oppressed minority. Where have we seen that before?

So, back to “Power”. To the conspiranoists, the only reason Kanye can be using this type of symbolism is because his Illuminati puppet masters told him he must make his Masonic initiation rites public, to taunt the select few viewers who knows what it really means. It’s got nothing to do with a desire for more notoriety by the record label, it’s got nothing to do with a PR department wanting to drum up some publicity for their latest product. It’s got nothing to do with the legions of staff who work for Kanye or his label seeing an article and mentioning it to him, it’s got nothing to do with an artist having self-knowledge and commenting on how the world sees them. Because, that’s not what artists do, is it? No, they just sing silly songs. They are not normal people who on occassion have reason to cruise the internets, to search their own names on Google, to email pictures of their bits to strangers in an attempt to get laid. They’re just pop artists – they wouldn’t deliberately troll you. Would they?

I would expect an article like this to get a raft of comments from people accusing me of being “one of them” (the Illuminati and/or the Masons), if I actually thought anyone was reading. For handy reference I will refer to those people as “black sheeple”. They have realised that they do not have to follow the herd as they once did – however, they mistakenly believe that to move directly against the herd is the only option they have. Like Neo they have been woken out of consensus reality, but they have yet to realise that the “netherworld” they have woken into is itself a consensus reality that can be woken out of. That is THE great failing of the Matrix film sequence and why I hate them so much – Neo awakes to find himself a super-being not on the set of “Holy Mountain” or “2001: A Space Oddessy”, but rather in “Terminator Fucking 3″.

To those black sheeple I would like to say don’t comment until you read “The Illuminatus Trilogy“. Or even better “The Invisibles” – it has pictures.

Further reading:
Fortean Times: The Illuminati X-Factor.
Technocult – The Conspiratainment Complex and Why I Don’t Find Conspiracy Theory Funny Anymore
Bossip: Kanye West New Allegiance To Illuminati Exposed?
Vigilant Citizen: Kanye West’s “Power”: The Occult Meaning of its Symbols
Result of Google search with keywords “Kanye”,”Illuminati” and “Power”

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  • Cerebralsubversion

    Half of my thoughts, actions, blogs I write, songs I write, etc. – come from ideas that originated in the dream world or from voices or visions in my head – mainly during the hypnagogic sleep state. Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles was written based on his own visions and experiences with occult practices, which I’m also involved with. Same deal with a lot of Robert Anton Wilson’s writing.

    The relationship between the physical world and non-ordinary states of consciousness is something we like to ignore. But without these “contact” experiences, there would be no Invisibles. I guess what I’m saying is, the physical world comes from the world within, not the other way around. There is a “conspiracy”, but it’s not a human or alien one. It originates in the spirit realm.

    In experimenting with astral projection, I’ve been shown over and over again, how my higher self along with others are supplying the voices in my head and controlling me like a puppet. I’m not crazy. I’d submit to any test available. I work in accounting currently, have a college degree, am married, play in bands, etc. The only difference is, I’m aware that this shit is going on. Most people are utterly clueless, having no idea why they even do the weird shit they do. Do you think it’s hard to plant a thought in someone’s head from beyond. Was this even Kanye’s idea, or did it come to him in a dream? You see what I’m getting at?

    Find me a schizophrenic person that doesn’t talk to demons. When they do, their brains are processing these experiences just like we do reality. It’s easy to label them as crazy. Easy to label inner states of conscionsness as “not real”. This is how you create order from the chaos of the universe.

  • Cerebralsubversion

    Half of my thoughts, actions, blogs I write, songs I write, etc. – come from ideas that originated in the dream world or from voices or visions in my head – mainly during the hypnagogic sleep state. Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles was written based on his own visions and experiences with occult practices, which I’m also involved with. Same deal with a lot of Robert Anton Wilson’s writing.

    The relationship between the physical world and non-ordinary states of consciousness is something we like to ignore. But without these “contact” experiences, there would be no Invisibles. I guess what I’m saying is, the physical world comes from the world within, not the other way around. There is a “conspiracy”, but it’s not a human or alien one. It originates in the spirit realm.

    In experimenting with astral projection, I’ve been shown over and over again, how my higher self along with others are supplying the voices in my head and controlling me like a puppet. I’m not crazy. I’d submit to any test available. I work in accounting currently, have a college degree, am married, play in bands, etc. The only difference is, I’m aware that this shit is going on. Most people are utterly clueless, having no idea why they even do the weird shit they do. Do you think it’s hard to plant a thought in someone’s head from beyond. Was this even Kanye’s idea, or did it come to him in a dream? You see what I’m getting at?

    Find me a schizophrenic person that doesn’t talk to demons. When they do, their brains are processing these experiences just like we do reality. It’s easy to label them as crazy. Easy to label inner states of conscionsness as “not real”. This is how you create order from the chaos of the universe.

    • iDontNeed2Believe

      “In experimenting with astral projection, I’ve been shown over and over again, how my higher self along with others are supplying the voices in my head and controlling me like a puppet.” Yeah, that does make you sound pretty crazy. But I am agnostic and have had (currently) unexplainable things happen to me. But it really could all be in your head…the human brain is an amazing piece of fleshy machinery and as much as we think we know about how it works, there is probably a lot more we don’t…at least, not yet. Things like astral projection and ghosts to near-death experiences and alien abduction…it could all be your brain playing tricks on you or perhaps trying to tell you things you are currently unable to properly translate. While it is possible that outside sources could be tampering, it is not necessary for them to do so…all of these things can and probably would still exist.

      • Voice

        Your life is your brain playing a trick on you.

        • badiknow

          your mom is your brain playing a trick on you

    • slaythebandit

      Its all karma

    • Ironaddict06

      Yes mental testing on schizophrenic people show very strange anomalys. I remember reading a MK-Ultral report on sensory deprivation. Ordinary people could not stand it, but schizophrenic people were content. Then there was another report on a doctor that decided to listen to the schizophrenics-instead of just labeling them crazy and putting them on meds. He found they could describe these people, spirits, what ever they are in detail and these things had their own opinions, after observing them behind a two way mirror.
      You know what they call talking to God?
      Prayer
      You know what they call people who hear from God?
      Schizophrenic

  • Scott6000

    Conspiracy my ass! It’s a great marketing gimick, seems Jay-Z know how F@#$%ng stupid his fans are.

  • Scott6000

    Conspiracy my ass! It’s a great marketing gimick, seems Jay-Z know how F@#$%ng stupid his fans are.

  • Hmm

    Apart from the Horus necklace (which other rappers wear) there isn’t really any occult symbolism in the video. If anything it is a hodge-podge of neo-classical design, and of course an opportunity for scantily clad women to writhe around.

    Sure he’s standing in front of a couple of (in fact many) pillars, but this is tenuous at best. If they actually resembled Jachin and Boaz (or even if one was black, one was white) I might concede, but they don’t. They are both bog-standard, blinged-out faux-Roman pillars.

  • Hmm

    Apart from the Horus necklace (which other rappers wear) there isn’t really any occult symbolism in the video. If anything it is a hodge-podge of neo-classical design, and of course an opportunity for scantily clad women to writhe around.

    Sure he’s standing in front of a couple of (in fact many) pillars, but this is tenuous at best. If they actually resembled Jachin and Boaz (or even if one was black, one was white) I might concede, but they don’t. They are both bog-standard, blinged-out faux-Roman pillars.

    • E.B. Wolf

      The sword and ring dangling above his head, the person wielding a dagger behind him, and the two swordsman jumping in at the end form a triangle over his head. Those are all common ritual symbols.

      • Hmm

        The Sword over the head is a reference to the sword of Damocles, a Greek legend. It has nothing to do with rituals.

        Daggers and swords are frequently shown in classical art. Why must everything visually anachronistic have to be occult-inspired?

        • E.B. Wolf

          Many western occult symbols and rituals are taken from, or inspired by, Greek legend.

          “Why must everything visually anachronistic have to be occult inspired?” Because certain visual cues and images resonate in the brain and can communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers; often unconsciously.

          But I’m sure you’re right. No one would ever seek to use those powerful images to their advantage. That’s just silly.

          • Hmm

            “Many western occult symbols and rituals are taken from, or inspired by, Greek legend. ”

            But this still supports my point that the aesthetic of the video is more neo-classical than it is occult.

            “Because certain visual cues and images resonate in the brain and can communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers; often unconsciously. ”

            You misunderstand my quote; by asking ‘Why must everything visually anachronistic have to be occult inspired?’ I am asking a rhetorical question; in other words, whenever a video or image has anything even vaguely out-of the ordinary, there is always a small (or not so small these days) group of people who jump on the ‘it’ must be occult!’ bandwagon.

            As I stated in my first post, if Kanye had perhaps been standing on a chequered (ie; Masonic) floor in between black and white pillars, featuring images of ladders and pentagrams, then I would concede. But he isn’t. And lets face it, subtlety has never been Kanye West’s strong point, so if he wanted to use occult symbolism, expect to find half-naked girls with unicursal hexagrams and pentagrams painted on them, blinged-out altars and Golden Dawn banners rendered in graffiti.

            For an example of a rapper using occult imagery, check out Goretex. His album cover actually features an image of Baphomet from an exhibit at the museum of witchcraft and he was using the Golden Dawn ‘Rose Cross’ as his logo at one point.

          • TheNiallist

            Hah, “Goretex” – what an awesome name! Though I am surprised he can use it as I would assume it is a trademark. Thanks for the tip though, I will check him out.

            Another thing aspect of the video is the length and the fact that for the most part it is one busy tableaux shot – as if it has been designed to be paused and scrutinised. As I am sure it has.

          • Hmm

            I’m pretty sure he got into some legal troubles over the name… I think he is calling himself Coven or something now :)

          • Johnny23 virus apostle

            fuck gortex. he’s ok, but ain’t shit compared to his own crew (non-phixion). Check the cat Goretex just (supposedly) signed… Jakprogresso. Especially a record called pestulence available on itunes…

            “lysergic fligtplan is me on stage in front of five fans, screaming like the fuhrer in front of the reichstang…”
            -jakprogresso

  • iDontNeed2Believe

    “In experimenting with astral projection, I’ve been shown over and over again, how my higher self along with others are supplying the voices in my head and controlling me like a puppet.” Yeah, that does make you sound pretty crazy. But I am agnostic and have had (currently) unexplainable things happen to me. But it really could all be in your head…the human brain is an amazing piece of fleshy machinery and as much as we think we know about how it works, there is probably a lot more we don’t…at least, not yet. Things like astral projection and ghosts to near-death experiences and alien abduction…it could all be your brain playing tricks on you or perhaps trying to tell you things you are currently unable to properly translate. While it is possible that outside sources could be tampering, it is not necessary for them to do so…all of these things can and probably would still exist.

  • Voice

    Your life is your brain playing a trick on you.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Gotta be a reverse psy-op. Nothing could make any conspiracy look sillier or more pathetic than being touted by Kanye.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Gotta be a reverse psy-op. Nothing could make any conspiracy look sillier or more pathetic than being touted by Kanye.

    • Sroek

      This, precisely. It’s a mockery of contemporary conspiracy theory counterculture, serving only as a means of getting more people to buzz about irrelevant symbolic connotations while disregarding the bigger picture that remains beyond the comprehension of people touting themselves as “unplugged”.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Kanye, you are such a tool. Your fame is all a fascade. You are a fool who leads other fools to nowhere.
    You are a mule pulling a cart, while chasing a carrot you will never eat. Your fans eat the dust and dirt kicked up by your passing.
    ….and your music is donkey shit on the road.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Oh Kanye, you are such a tool. Your fame is all a fascade. You are a fool who leads other fools to nowhere.
    You are a mule pulling a cart, while chasing a carrot you will never eat. Your fans eat the dust and dirt kicked up by your passing.
    ….and your music is donkey shit on the road.

    • Tuna Ghost

      I dunno, “Runaway” is a pretty good song, as much as I hate to admit it. Also, it’s roughly about him admitting he’s been a real asshole and (sort of) apologizing. And it provides the only watchable scene in his “movie”. Check it out.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I dunno, “Runaway” is a pretty good song, as much as I hate to admit it. Also, it’s roughly about him admitting he’s been a real asshole and (sort of) apologizing. And it provides the only watchable scene in his “movie”. Check it out.

  • dirty johnny

    Kanye isn’t my favorite. Anytime he stops rapping and starts talking his stock keeps falling. However, I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss him, within the realm of hip-hop, as total garbage. He’s just overvalued and tends to believe his own bullshit.
    Several of these posts seem concerned with how bad his music is or how stoo-pid Jay-Z’s fans are. I would like to point out that disinfo, for all it’s egalitarian beliefs, remains a pretty caucasoid space, culturally. I think you guys should probably stick to ranking Genesis P’Orridge and Johnny Rotten and leave the brothers out of it. It’s not that Jay-Z is god’s gift to music, it’s just that you really sound like a jackass generalizing about his fans. Go back and check Reasonable Doubt. I rate it highly, as do most discerning hip-hop heads. Can’t really say much about Kanye. He’s for the youngsters to rate.

    • onelove

      An attack on mainstream hip-hop artists is not an attack on all black people. There are african americans I like in the hip-hop genre as well as other genres, yet hip hop like kanye and lil’ wayne still isn’t my bag of tricks. I also hate popular music by eminem and lady gaga, yet I don’t hate white people. You see, artistic merit and race are two completely different things. Artistic taste is relative, so I don’t say that kanye “is” donkey shit like the poster above did, but he seems from my point of view to be a bit of an ego. Yet if someone didn’t like my favorite band The Books I would not call them racist against caucasians, I would see that they had different taste. So I guess my point is that anyone, white or black, can comment on any artist, white or black, without getting the permission from that artists cultural or race base, since art is now a global expression outside of the context of these archaic and traditions. Any smart art critic will read up on any cultural context in general, but being one race doesn’t necessarily mean you know more about their culture than someone of another race, especially in America where there is no culture left.

      • dirty johnny

        I’m definitely not saying folks here are racist. I’ve just watched the changing perceptions of Jay-Z and Kanye on “the street”; my street being a lower working class crack block. This is the sort of place that births cats like Kanye and Jay-Z. They aren’t in such great standing now, but such wasn’t always the case. I’m just responding to the frequent talk I hear about this or that mainstream artist when folks don’t have a sense of where they are coming from. It just lacks a certain context.

        “So I guess my point is that anyone, white or black, can comment on any artist, white or black, without getting the permission from that artists cultural or race base, since art is now a global expression outside of the context of these archaic and traditions.” I agree that this is an important point of your argument, but I completely disagree. Art is not, and will never be, a global expression outisde the context or race, class, sex, sexuality or local cultural context. Art breathes through these things and the global market feeds on and co-opts them. Not everyone is a comfortable member of this rootless global culture. It’s a vampire culture that has fed on local and particular cultures which are rendered “archaic” only when they offer nothing more to the coolhunters. Globalism is no more inevitable than any invasion or conquest. There is dissent in both the right & left in the 1st world and more obviously in postcolonial movements in every other world. They will not be rendered archaic because Hot Topic can’t make any more money on their image. Jay & Kanye’s biggest flaw was translating themselves into the marketplace of global culture. They adopt a pose of control while they essentially answer to “Toby.” It’s OK to do it for a screename, right? Nobody can remember Kunta…

        Also, permission to comment is not needed. I’m just saying that some comments sound like jackass noises. “That James Brown sure is a good dancer!” This is a compliment, but is so obvious that it comes across as a cultural insult. Not from the speaker, who is simply unfamiliar with James Brown, but from the forum that is so out of touch with the culture that it feels entitled to comment on.

        P.S. The Books are great.

  • dirty johnny

    Kanye isn’t my favorite. Anytime he stops rapping and starts talking his stock keeps falling. However, I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss him, within the realm of hip-hop, as total garbage. He’s just overvalued and tends to believe his own bullshit.
    Several of these posts seem concerned with how bad his music is or how stoo-pid Jay-Z’s fans are. I would like to point out that disinfo, for all it’s egalitarian beliefs, remains a pretty caucasoid space, culturally. I think you guys should probably stick to ranking Genesis P’Orridge and Johnny Rotten and leave the brothers out of it. It’s not that Jay-Z is god’s gift to music, it’s just that you really sound like a jackass generalizing about his fans. Go back and check Reasonable Doubt. I rate it highly, as do most discerning hip-hop heads. Can’t really say much about Kanye. He’s for the youngsters to rate.

  • E.B. Wolf

    The sword and ring dangling above his head, the person wielding a dagger behind him, and the two swordsman jumping in at the end form a triangle over his head. Those are all common ritual symbols.

  • Bachrodi

    Agree. It’s using magik for chicanery. Well DUH! We could all do that, and we all do in SOME ways we all do, but when it’s blatant sometimes it’s insulting. We like to THINK about ways it could be… not be TOLD it. We like to come to our own conclusions about things, and we like to come to them under our own investigations. That’s why the “media” feels so intrusive sometimes. We’re in a time were we CAN investigate, so it feels good to.

  • Bachrodi

    Agree. It’s using magik for chicanery. Well DUH! We could all do that, and we all do in SOME ways we all do, but when it’s blatant sometimes it’s insulting. We like to THINK about ways it could be… not be TOLD it. We like to come to our own conclusions about things, and we like to come to them under our own investigations. That’s why the “media” feels so intrusive sometimes. We’re in a time were we CAN investigate, so it feels good to.

  • badiknow

    your mom is your brain playing a trick on you

  • http://sroek.tumblr.com Sroek

    This, precisely. It’s a mockery of contemporary conspiracy theory counterculture, serving only as a means of getting more people to buzz about irrelevant symbolic connotations while disregarding the bigger picture that remains beyond the comprehension of people touting themselves as “unplugged”.

  • onelove

    An attack on mainstream hip-hop artists is not an attack on all black people. There are african americans I like in the hip-hop genre as well as other genres, yet hip hop like kanye and lil’ wayne still isn’t my bag of tricks. I also hate popular music by eminem and lady gaga, yet I don’t hate white people. You see, artistic merit and race are two completely different things. Artistic taste is relative, so I don’t say that kanye “is” donkey shit like the poster above did, but he seems from my point of view to be a bit of an ego. Yet if someone didn’t like my favorite band The Books I would not call them racist against caucasians, I would see that they had different taste. So I guess my point is that anyone, white or black, can comment on any artist, white or black, without getting the permission from that artists cultural or race base, since art is now a global expression outside of the context of these archaic and traditions. Any smart art critic will read up on any cultural context in general, but being one race doesn’t necessarily mean you know more about their culture than someone of another race, especially in America where there is no culture left.

  • Gregory

    I agree that this video is not deliberately trying to present true occult symbolism but displays what an Xian would consider to be occult/satanic imagery. A lot of the symbolism resonates but unless the meanings are so deeply hidden to only be understood by a finite few, they’re all just generic and Kanye is more interested in half naked wimmin than really shooting a videosigil into your lobes. A lot of the imagery looks like the empty-headed fluff you see from the Wiccans and their ilk, the pictures beautiful half-clothed women in an ethereal setting that is used as wish fulfillment by heavy-set, acne-ridden solitary (but not on purpose) witches as backgrounds on their computer monitors, etc.

    No, I agree, this video does seem to be bait for the paranoid Xian loonies who wouldn’t know a real god if it came to their house offering to sell them vinyl siding because there’s nothing here except a look inside the head of an egomanical pop-star who sees himself elevated to the status of deity and surrounded by Victoria Secret angels.

    fiat lux

  • Gregory

    I agree that this video is not deliberately trying to present true occult symbolism but displays what an Xian would consider to be occult/satanic imagery. A lot of the symbolism resonates but unless the meanings are so deeply hidden to only be understood by a finite few, they’re all just generic and Kanye is more interested in half naked wimmin than really shooting a videosigil into your lobes. A lot of the imagery looks like the empty-headed fluff you see from the Wiccans and their ilk, the pictures beautiful half-clothed women in an ethereal setting that is used as wish fulfillment by heavy-set, acne-ridden solitary (but not on purpose) witches as backgrounds on their computer monitors, etc.

    No, I agree, this video does seem to be bait for the paranoid Xian loonies who wouldn’t know a real god if it came to their house offering to sell them vinyl siding because there’s nothing here except a look inside the head of an egomanical pop-star who sees himself elevated to the status of deity and surrounded by Victoria Secret angels.

    fiat lux

  • slaythebandit

    Its all karma

  • slaythebandit

    Its all karma

  • Hmm

    The Sword over the head is a reference to the sword of Damocles, a Greek legend. It has nothing to do with rituals.

    Daggers and swords are frequently shown in classical art. Why must everything visually anachronistic have to be occult-inspired?

  • Guilbert

    Mes chers frères, n’oubliez jamais, quand vous entendrez vanter le progrès des lumières, que la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas!”

  • Guilbert

    Mes chers frères, n’oubliez jamais, quand vous entendrez vanter le progrès des lumières, que la plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas!”

  • E.B. Wolf

    Many western occult symbols and rituals are taken from, or inspired by, Greek legend.

    “Why must everything visually anachronistic have to be occult inspired?” Because certain visual cues and images resonate in the brain and can communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers; often unconsciously.

    But I’m sure you’re right. No one would ever seek to use those powerful images to their advantage. That’s just silly.

  • Markov Cheney

    Regardless of what Kanye is doing, I love this article. Finally, someone writes about this subject from a place of knowledge, instead of ignorance

  • Markov Cheney

    Regardless of what Kanye is doing, I love this article. Finally, someone writes about this subject from a place of knowledge, instead of ignorance

  • Ironaddict06

    Yes mental testing on schizophrenic people show very strange anomalys. I remember reading a MK-Ultral report on sensory deprivation. Ordinary people could not stand it, but schizophrenic people were content. Then there was another report on a doctor that decided to listen to the schizophrenics-instead of just labeling them crazy and putting them on meds. He found they could describe these people, spirits, what ever they are in detail and these things had their own opinions, after observing them behind a two way mirror.
    You know what they call talking to God?
    Prayer
    You know what they call people who hear from God?
    Schizophrenic

  • Hmm

    “Many western occult symbols and rituals are taken from, or inspired by, Greek legend. ”

    But this still supports my point that the aesthetic of the video is more neo-classical than it is occult.

    “Because certain visual cues and images resonate in the brain and can communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers; often unconsciously. ”

    You misunderstand my quote; by asking ‘Why must everything visually anachronistic have to be occult inspired?’ I am asking a rhetorical question; in other words, whenever a video or image has anything even vaguely out-of the ordinary, there is always a small (or not so small these days) group of people who jump on the ‘it’ must be occult!’ bandwagon.

    As I stated in my first post, if Kanye had perhaps been standing on a chequered (ie; Masonic) floor in between black and white pillars, featuring images of ladders and pentagrams, then I would concede. But he isn’t. And lets face it, subtlety has never been Kanye West’s strong point, so if he wanted to use occult symbolism, expect to find half-naked girls with unicursal hexagrams and pentagrams painted on them, blinged-out altars and Golden Dawn banners rendered in graffiti.

    For an example of a rapper using occult imagery, check out Goretex. His album cover actually features an image of Baphomet from an exhibit at the museum of witchcraft and he was using the Golden Dawn ‘Rose Cross’ as his logo at one point.

  • dirty johnny

    I’m definitely not saying folks here are racist. I’ve just watched the changing perceptions of Jay-Z and Kanye on “the street”; my street being a lower working class crack block. This is the sort of place that births cats like Kanye and Jay-Z. They aren’t in such great standing now, but such wasn’t always the case. I’m just responding to the frequent talk I hear about this or that mainstream artist when folks don’t have a sense of where they are coming from. It just lacks a certain context.

    “So I guess my point is that anyone, white or black, can comment on any artist, white or black, without getting the permission from that artists cultural or race base, since art is now a global expression outside of the context of these archaic and traditions.” I agree that this is an important point of your argument, but I completely disagree. Art is not, and will never be, a global expression outisde the context or race, class, sex, sexuality or local cultural context. Art breathes through these things and the global market feeds on and co-opts them. Not everyone is a comfortable member of this rootless global culture. It’s a vampire culture that has fed on local and particular cultures which are rendered “archaic” only when they offer nothing more to the coolhunters. Globalism is no more inevitable than any invasion or conquest. There is dissent in both the right & left in the 1st world and more obviously in postcolonial movements in every other world. They will not be rendered archaic because Hot Topic can’t make any more money on their image. Jay & Kanye’s biggest flaw was translating themselves into the marketplace of global culture. They adopt a pose of control while they essentially answer to “Toby.” It’s OK to do it for a screename, right? Nobody can remember Kunta…

    Also, permission to comment is not needed. I’m just saying that some comments sound like jackass noises. “That James Brown sure is a good dancer!” This is a compliment, but is so obvious that it comes across as a cultural insult. Not from the speaker, who is simply unfamiliar with James Brown, but from the forum that is so out of touch with the culture that it feels entitled to comment on.

    P.S. The Books are great.

  • TheNiallist

    Hah, “Goretex” – what an awesome name! Though I am surprised he can use it as I would assume it is a trademark. Thanks for the tip though, I will check him out.

    Another thing aspect of the video is the length and the fact that for the most part it is one busy tableaux shot – as if it has been designed to be paused and scrutinised. As I am sure it has.

  • Hmm

    I’m pretty sure he got into some legal troubles over the name… I think he is calling himself Coven or something now :)

  • blindfaith

    i personally love kanye’s music and when this video came out i was excited simply because it is clearly just a mindfuck for the artist and the audience. that’s why it’s so short. some people are afraid to watch that video. i know he’s popular but his latest effort is not pop music. it’s like dark side of the moon but for hiphop.

    I don’t understand why people dislike west’s work. it seems to me he stagnates the growth of his fanbase because of the stunts he pulls. how are you a shitty artist when you work your ass off just to tell an extraordinary story; when you present your work like it’s for people born 20 years from now? he went from sampling elton john to having him actually play piano on his album. kanye is normal in the sense that he is balanced. he is as much of a jackass as he is a genius.

    I’m black and that may or may not be part of the reason why i hold the opinion i do about kanye west. all he’s trying to do is something different. i’ve felt “yeezy’s” pain but i also hate the ego that he presents in his music. the same way i hate my own on the days i believe in it.

    in case y’all don’t know, kanye has come out and said that some of his biggest inspirations are ma$e and jim morrison. with that being said, i really don’t know why anybody cares what he does if they don’t like his music because what he’s doing has been done before. jim morrison wrote about all kinds of occult shit just to fuck with people (or because he thought he was a poet), was a stubborn ass, couldn’t actually play an instrument. and i know that not all white people like the doors i’m just making a point (that was a joke. mentioning race is just funny to me for some reason). i think part of the reason he’s outspoken is because he gets judged (or at least feels that way) more harshly than artists before him. have you seen his “controversial” album cover? you can’t get that cover in stores no matter how old you are or hang it up on your wall because it’s obscene- but marilyn manson can do a photoshoot as the antichrist and put 100 tracks on a CD?

    eminem or anyone else for that matter can get say fuck the president or fuck his wife and so on but when kanye says his actual opinion (and we’re all aware it was horrible timing, despite the candor) he’s expected to go on the news…THE NEWS…and apologize? kanye isnt illuminati, everyone else is. ha.

  • http://allshoulders.tumblr.com/ Beasty McAllister

    i personally love kanye’s music and when this video came out i was excited simply because it is clearly just a mindfuck for the artist and the audience. that’s why it’s so short. some people are afraid to watch that video. i know he’s popular but his latest effort is not pop music. it’s like dark side of the moon but for hiphop.

    I don’t understand why people dislike west’s work. it seems to me he stagnates the growth of his fanbase because of the stunts he pulls. how are you a shitty artist when you work your ass off just to tell an extraordinary story; when you present your work like it’s for people born 20 years from now? he went from sampling elton john to having him actually play piano on his album. kanye is normal in the sense that he is balanced. he is as much of a jackass as he is a genius.

    I’m black and that may or may not be part of the reason why i hold the opinion i do about kanye west. all he’s trying to do is something different. i’ve felt “yeezy’s” pain but i also hate the ego that he presents in his music. the same way i hate my own on the days i believe in it.

    in case y’all don’t know, kanye has come out and said that some of his biggest inspirations are ma$e and jim morrison. with that being said, i really don’t know why anybody cares what he does if they don’t like his music because what he’s doing has been done before. jim morrison wrote about all kinds of occult shit just to fuck with people (or because he thought he was a poet), was a stubborn ass, couldn’t actually play an instrument. and i know that not all white people like the doors i’m just making a point (that was a joke. mentioning race is just funny to me for some reason). i think part of the reason he’s outspoken is because he gets judged (or at least feels that way) more harshly than artists before him. have you seen his “controversial” album cover? you can’t get that cover in stores no matter how old you are or hang it up on your wall because it’s obscene- but marilyn manson can do a photoshoot as the antichrist and put 100 tracks on a CD?

    eminem or anyone else for that matter can get say fuck the president or fuck his wife and so on but when kanye says his actual opinion (and we’re all aware it was horrible timing, despite the candor) he’s expected to go on the news…THE NEWS…and apologize? kanye isnt illuminati, everyone else is. ha.

    • dirty johnny

      disinfo doesn’t care about black people!

      I’m kidding. But I wish I was kidding. There’s a serious gap between different “liberation” movement. This black and red psuedo-anarcho crowd is quick to call out a negro collaborator and even quicker to forgive the covert racism of a Tim Leary or any other “Psychedelic Cosmonaut” expropriating the traditions of indigenous tribes while driving the godflesh into extinction.

      Get your mind right. The gods don’t call you by your screenname. Stop playing reality as a fucking videogame and actually hack reality…

  • Johnny23 virus apostle

    fuck gortex. he’s ok, but ain’t shit compared to his own crew (non-phixion). Check the cat Goretex just (supposedly) signed… Jakprogresso. Especially a record called pestulence available on itunes…

    “lysergic fligtplan is me on stage in front of five fans, screaming like the fuhrer in front of the reichstang…”
    -jakprogresso

  • dirty johnny

    disinfo doesn’t care about black people!

    I’m kidding. But I wish I was kidding. There’s a serious gap between different “liberation” movement. This black and red psuedo-anarcho crowd is quick to call out a negro collaborator and even quicker to forgive the covert racism of a Tim Leary or any other “Psychedelic Cosmonaut” expropriating the traditions of indigenous tribes while driving the godflesh into extinction.

    Get your mind right. The gods don’t call you by your screenname. Stop playing reality as a fucking videogame and actually hack reality…

  • RONIN

    In relation to this, I have nothing to say about conspiracy theories or occult symbolism. I just like this song and that video. Never liked Kanye, but I’m digging this track.

  • RONIN

    In relation to this, I have nothing to say about conspiracy theories or occult symbolism. I just like this song and that video. Never liked Kanye, but I’m digging this track.

  • GorillasTasteVanilla

    Just like Jay-Z..

  • GorillasTasteVanilla

    Just like Jay-Z..

  • justagirl

    so, you’re saying this guy reads books? are you sure?

  • justagirl

    so, you’re saying this guy reads books? are you sure?

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