Music Video #4: Kanye West- “Good Morning” Music Video.
Relationship between lyrics and visuals… “Good Morning” does have more of a relationship between the lyrics andthe visuals compared to “Around the World” but less than “Last FridayNight”. The video is more of an on-going story to illustrate the lyrics, ratherthan illustrating it line-by-line or not at all. It follows the “Dropout Bear”from getting up in the morning to racing towards University to hisgraduation ceremony. The visuals then again illustrate theThis shows the visuals illustrating the Some of the lyrics have a lyrics towards the end of the video, University/school element tolyrics, as Kanye is singing “Goodmorning” the images on screen show where Dropout Bear has reached them, therefore the video is University and gained his diploma, also about University in someDropout Bear waking up in the morning. points showing, not really aIt then continues to show the bear at this point of him reaching for his strong relationship, but agetting dressed and brushing his teeth; certificate, Kanye is singing “you relationship none-the-lessall things you do in the morning. receive this.” between the lyrics and visuals.
Relationship between music and visuals… There is a loose relationship between the music and visuals. Like the first video I analysed, “Beat It”, this video is again like a short film, rather than a music video. So, whilst there are times when the video will cut on the beat, it isn’t as often as a normal music video (usually the 2nd or 4th beat as it’s in a 2/4 time signature.) The shots are held for much longer like it’s more focused on the narrative than the song, again showing this idea that it’s a short film/animation, rather than a music video. It uses, for example, longer tracking shots like the kind you’d see in a film. This is comparable with other Kanye West songs, for example “Gold Digger” is like a typical hip-hop music video as the music and visuals match. For example, when there is a strong beat, the image will cut or one of the people on screen will do an action (like clapping their hands etc) when there is a noticeable beat. The cuts are fast just like the music.
Style and iconography… This song belongs to the hip-hop genre, however, the video doesn’t show typical elements of hip-hop videos. In hip-hop video’s you’d expect to see the rapper in the video, usually in front of a plain background rapping some of the lyrics, ‘video girls’, typical “gangster” props like cigars, cars, money etc and have locations like party scenes etc. They usually don’t really have a narrative, or if they do it’s not the main focus of the video. Unlike “Good Morning” that focuses entirely on the narrative. However, in this video there isn’t many typical hip-hop element within it. Although there are some, you see towards the beginning Dropout Bear wearing some heavy jewellery around his neck and the car outside that is more advanced than a car you’d see on the street, and many rap artists tend to have advanced cars. Also, at the end of the video you see the bear in his car with three female characters in the back which can relate to this typical element of hip-hop videos with ‘video girls.’ Also, what makes it different from a lot of hip-hop videos is the fact it’s an animation and Kanye doesn’t appear in it at all, this is very unusual and not typical for this genre. Though many of Kanye’s videos aren’t like normal hip-hop videos, he has done some typical ones (click pictures for the video). These are typical hip-hop videos as they show Kanye rapping on a white background and feature ‘video girls’ among other typical hip-hop video features.
Close ups… As Kanye isn’t featured in this video, there obviously isn’t any close ups of him, however, because the Dropout Bear is the protagonist he get’s close ups etc like he’s a real person (or like he’s a cartoon version of Kanye). In all there is around 8 close ups and medium-close ups. The close ups last several seconds but not for prolonged periods of time, as again this is like a short film and in films they don’t tend to hold close ups for very long as they need to get on with the story.
Star iconography… Kanye West has been know for many different stylesand fashions throughout his career. He’s well known for his sunglasses and morespecifically his shutter shades that he used to wear andwhat Dropout Bear wears in “Good Morning”. Hestarted wearing these shutter shades around the“Graduation era” and he continued this style in and outof his music videos. If people were to wear shuttershades, instantly people would think of Kanye West. Kanye West’s “Dropout Bear” is also a trademark of hisand something that is associated with him. Dropout Kanye in hisBear first appeared on his debut album cover and has trademarkbecome his ‘mascot’. Dropout Bear appeared on three glasses. In theof his album covers. Keeping these things constant help pictures he’s seen wearing them in ahis audience recognise that Dropout Bear is his mascot photoshoot,and help them recognise a Kanye West album just from “Good Morning”,the image of the bear. Likewise, the glasses he wears during a livemeans his audience can copy this and again cement it performance andas something associated with Kanye. in “Stronger”.
Voyeurism… Just like there isn’t any close up’s of Kanye, there also aren’t any parts within the video where we feel like we’re watching Kanye in a private moment because he’s not featured in the video. However, we do get some voyeurism with Dropout Bear as we see him in his home in the morning; waking up, getting changed and brushing his teeth. As well as at the end when he gets his diploma as that’s not something you’d normally get to watch if you’re not close with whomever is receiving it. Yet, I don’t think the audience would gain the same pleasures from watching Dropout Bear in these private moments as much as they would if Kanye himself was doing it, even though Dropout Bear is basically Kanye.
Intertextuality… There isn’t any intertextual references to any other art form in particular within this music video, however, it does have a Japanese comic book feel to it with the way the cinematography and editing is used. The use of low angle shots and tracking shots make it seem like you’re reading a comic book or even like you’re watching a Japanese cartoon etc. Nevertheless, there aren’t any intertextual references to anyone elses work, Kanye in fact hints at his own work. Throughout the video, there are titles of his other songs from the Graduation album on posters, billboards etc. As “Good Morning” wasn’t released as a single, but Kanye gave it a music video, he used it more as a platform to advertise his other songs from the album. This also is why this video is much more arty and unlike a typical hip-hop video. Some of them I spotted are the following; the album cover, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, “Good Life”, “Homecoming”, “I Wonder”, “Good Morning” and then a collection of several titles at the end. This shows how videos can help promote other works by an artist.
Representation and ideology… I think the ideology that “Good Morning” gives is that of; don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you’ve worked so hard for. I think this because Dropout Bear is making his way to graduate college, however things get in his way trying to prevent him from getting there on time. For example, he wakes up late, his car doesn’t work, a taxi doesn’t stop for him, the train leaves before he gets on it, he’s chased by some floating cloud thing and he runs onto a pitch that people are playing American football on. Nonetheless, Dropout Bear doesn’t give up at any point and perseveres until he reaches college. This is a typical representation of somebody who doesn’t give up and who is dedicated to achieving their goal. The video also gives off some typical representations of college/university through the use of mise- en-scene. Firstly, when Dropout Bear reaches University it shows a game of American Football happening, and they’re wearing typical American football outfits and they look very muscular. This is a typical representation of college students as in American colleges they’ll always show muscly people playing football with cheerleaders at the side. This helps the audience to relate to the video as most of Kanye’s audience would be at college age and therefore this’ll be something they’re used to seeing. Also, when he goes to get his certificate, Dropout Bear changes into a cap and gown and once the ceremony is finished, he and his classmates go and throw their caps in the air. This is a typical representation because you’ll always see University graduates wearing a cap and gown at their graduation and then there’s always a celebration at the end where they throw their caps in the air. Again their audience will recognise this, not only if they’ve experienced it themselves but also because this is what is always shown in the media. Lastly, Dropout Bear is also represented as a young, hip-hop bear through his costume. He’s wearing a varsity jacket, jeans, trainers and jewellery. This is a typical costume you’d expect a young college student to be wearing and coupled with the jewellery and shutter shades it gives him a ‘gangster’ image. This is also because he’s styled on Kanye so he wears things that Kanye has worn, like the glasses for example. This costume is a typical costume for a young person who styles themselves on rap artists.
What I have learnt… From analysing this video I have discovered that if we were to have some intertextual references it doesn’t necessarily have to be referencing other peoples artwork, you can use music videos to not only promote your current song but also others from the album. Also, animation is also unique and different in music videos. We wouldn’t have to make the whole thing an animation as to make it look good you’d need to spend a long time on it, however, we could try to do a little animation within the video to make it look more creative. Having a sort of mascot could also be a good idea as this helps the audience to recognise who the product belongs to. It also makes everything more interesting for the audience as it’s something that only fans of the specific band/artist would know about.