A little over a year and a half ago, West embarked on the most ambitious hip-hop tour in history, an effort that would make him one of the biggest stars in music. Soon the famed Glow in the Dark tour will be making a comeback, albeit in the form of a 288-page book, accompanying live music CD and a Web-based art video.
On Friday, Kanye took to his blog with stills of the upcoming project, saying, "This is the photo book from the Glow in the Dark Tour. Nabil captured the experience like crazy! When I look at the photos it brings me right back to that time! It's very emotional for me because I didn't want to have to tour but my pain brought my greatest creation to date. Thank you to everybody who came to the shows and experienced this moment in time with me!"
The book will be a sequential journey through the trek, made up of initial set-design sketches by West himself with behind-the-scenes and performance photos by Elderkin, the director behind West's "Champion," "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "Paranoid" videos.
"He was like, 'Hey, Nabil, check out what I'm doing,' and me just going, 'Wow! This is crazy,' " Elderkin said of Kanye's invite to join the project. "I mean, it was a bold move — just him onstage and the lighting. He was scoring the music specifically for the tour so you were being put through an orchestral journey. He took it musically beyond anything that's ever been done."
And so he set out to capture this spectacle, shooting six or seven shows' worth of material at various points on the tour. But what Elderkin found to be most telling was capturing Kanye the person, the man he is offstage.
"There is a lot of really cool behind-the-scenes stuff that I think people will really appreciate," Elderkin offered. "Apart from these beautiful stage shots, I really wanted to show Kanye as a person. He eats. He goes for jogs. He shoots hoops. He does a lot of things."
While most of the media focuses on Kanye West the music icon, Elderkin said images capturing West's humanity would prove to be the most revealing.
"There is one of the stills which is him at Sydney Opera House — this is right after his mother passing — he still had his 'Mama' inscription in his hair, That was one of those moments where he's just reflecting," Nabil recalled. "And then two minutes later he grabbed my skateboard and went for a skate!"
In addition to the photographs, Elderkin is working on an accompanying video to be released on the Web.
"I'm putting together a little art video that goes along with this book that's gonna be on the Web in the next couple of weeks. It's gonna be like the book in motion. It's gonna have a 3-D model book that I made. It will be kinda like a music video to the tour. It should be really cool."
"Glow in the Dark" will be available October 20.