The lyrics to Kanye West ’s all-star track “Monster” are full of dark images of bloodsuckers, dead hands, the devil, sarcophagi, ghouls, goblins, murder, fangs and Chucky from “Child’s Play.”
And though he’s not often one to take such a literal path in the imagery that accompanies his songs, a leaked version of the unfinished video for West’s “Monster” lives up to the gruesome, blood-drenched lyrical barbs served up in the song by Yeezy, Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj . The fuller version is in keeping with the gory glimpses seen in late November when a preview leaked online.
At press time, West had not commented on the leak, but online hip-hop communities were abuzz about the transgressive nature of the images in the five-minute clip. It opens with the disturbing sight of several woman in lingerie and high heels hanging from nooses around Ross as he sits on a throne and smokes a cigar, then switches to a scene of West being groped by the hands of unseen women reaching through a metal gate.
As he raps about “the best living or dead, hands down, huh?” West pops up shirtless on a bed with electric-blue sheets next to two hollow-eyed women in lingerie. They appear to be dead as he positions their limp arms around each other. What follows are scenes in which a woman in a designer dress drags a lifeless man’s body across the floor and then draws blood as she steps on his chest with her spiked heels.
The clip, which borrows heavily from monster and horror movie tropes seen in such films as “Saw,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “American Psycho,” depicts Kanye in a mansion trying to hold back a horde of zombie attackers, dead women splayed out on dinner tables, a zombie couple feasting on a bloody corpse, glowing-eyed ghoulies crawling down halls, Jay-Z rapping in a crisp suit in front of a dead naked woman draped face-down on a leather couch, and West standing in cowboy gear while holding a woman’s severed head.
Amidst all these graphic images of decapitated and dismembered female forms comes a scene in which Nicki, wearing black leather bondage gear and wielding a leather riding crop, engages in a psychological showdown with herself. She’s seen riding herd over a hooded figure in a white wedding dress strapped to an executioner’s chair, wielding a long, sharp sword. Once the hood is removed, it’s clear that Minaj is confronting her pink-wigged Barbie alter ego as the two sides of her personality engage in a death match that swings from a lap dance to seeming threats of murder.
The flesh feast ends with glimpses of a female werewolf in black teddy and rocking bushy grey muttonchops dancing in front of a fire, West cuddling in bed with his deceased female companions and pale hands reaching out from behind a door.
No release date has been announced for the official version of the “Monster” video.