Sometimes [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] changes his mind and decides that something that once seemed not so cool is suddenly not that bad. Such is the case with the clip for “Spaceship,” a melancholy track from West’s 2004 debut, The College Dropout.
On his blog on Tuesday, the always-exacting West finally unwrapped the space-themed clip, which came out on the day his video for “Paranoid” officially hit the Web. “I directed this video four years ago,” he explains, “but I wasn’t satisfied with it so I never released it. But now looking back at it I like it.”
The clip mostly takes place in an unnamed mall, opening with a storybook title sequence that announces, “Once upon a time … at a mall very very near,” as antiseptic shots of the empty shopping center unfold. A disembodied hand punches a time clock with a card announcing the name of the song and artist. We then see ‘Ye forlornly pushing a broom in a stockroom as he raps about assaulting his manager and shorting the register at his dead-end job.
Wearing a sky-blue sweater, chinos and a white button-down, West works the counter at a Gap-like store, lamenting the implied racism in his workplace and folding some pants. The narrative video has him staring in anger at his measly check, hiding out in a fluorescent-nightmare break room, talking on the phone during work hours and throwing a stack of pants in frustration.
The next time we see him, he’s in the mall’s food court, gazing at a magazine called Space Ship Trader and lapsing into a dream sequence in which he floats through outer space in a spacesuit. The daydream is interrupted by his buzzkill boss, who stares him down and forces him back to work. Kanye continues to croon about wishing he had a spaceship as guest rhymer GLC takes over, offering his own lament about the dead-end job while folding more jeans and staring at the clock.
As gravity appears to be losing its hold, Styrofoam cups inexplicably begin to float, water flows upward and jeans levitate off the shelves as the store turns into, yes, a spaceship, and ‘Ye bounces through the mist in a spacesuit. While second feature rapper Consequence drops a verse while trying on clothes, a buxom black woman is nabbed by the cops for shoplifting.
The clip ends with West strutting out of his job in a spacesuit and walking through the mall to a waiting space shuttle on a landing pad. How do we know the video was never finished? It ends with the words “end title yet to come.”