West was all about making a big statement while keeping it very minimal for the first live rendition of "Blood on the Leaves." In contrast to his jolting performances of the Yeezus single "Black Skinhead," which came complete with threatening hooded figures and ferocious barking dogs, the controversial rapper, producer and self-proclaimed "Michael Jordan of music" which Jared Leto so graciously pointed out during his introduction turned down both the intensity and the lights for "Blood on the Leaves." The song began with a very dim light illuminating only 'Ye's face, with the rest of the set shrouded in black, as the haunting refrain of the "Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees" came through the speakers in Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Not until the beat of the song dropped were viewers finally able to see that Steve McQueen's "Lynching Tree" was the only thing that Kanye had commissioned as his backdrop for the night. The painting depicts a tree outside of New Orleans where slaves were once hung, with their graves littered across the ground under the leaves. "Blood on the Leaves" samples Nina Simone's 1965 jazz cover of Billie Holiday's 1939 recording "Strange Fruit," which was heavy with commentary on racism, slavery and the rise in the number of lynchings in the United States. As the eerie line "bodies swinging in the Southern breeze" (in other words the "strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees") played back, Kanye's completely blacked-out outline danced wildly to and fro in front of the painting.
Loading Slideshow 2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Show NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Musician Kanye West performs onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for MTV) 2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Press Room NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Justin Timberlake attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV) 2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Press Room NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Best Pop Video winner Selena Gomez attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV) 2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Press Room NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Bruno Mars attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV) 2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Show NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Joseph Gordon-Levitt speaks onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for MTV) US-ENTERTAINMENT-AWARDS-MTV Justin Timberlake with his four awards at the MTV Video Music Awards August 25, 2013 at the Barclays Center in New York.
Kanye West's VMAs Performance Brings 'Blood On The Leaves' To Barclays
Busta joinedG.O.O.D. artists Kanye West and Q-Tip(and possibly fellow YMCMB rapperLil Wayne)to record a video for their collab while they were all in New York City for the 2013 MTV VMAs. I was just trying to capitalize on the moment of us all being in the same city, at the same time, Bus told MTV . The partnership comes at an important moment for the two labels, who are experiencing a detente of sorts after about a year of minor beef.I just wanted to put it to bed and create an eventful moment where me and Wayne being Young Money/Cash Money on one team, Q-Tip and Kanye be on another movement on G.O.O.D. Music; just showing that camaraderie and that alliance and just making it official on a real hip-hop level, Busta said.
Kanye West ?Happy that the President Mentions Me So Often?
Kids werent monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success, he added. So during the taping when West mentioned Obamas name, Jenner pulled out a notecard with Obamas comments and read them aloud to the audience. West took the bait: So Obama basically said were the new American dream. I think he was posing it like I was supposed to take it in a negative way, but Im just so happy that the president mentions me so often. Thank you very much, Obama! I do think people should want to go on vacation or travel, because thats what opens peoples minds.
Kanye West Is A Camera Shy Daddy In NYC!
His posts, frequently in all caps, would go from random, humorous comments to epic rants, to an 80-plus-tweet business plan for "DONDA." He's since scaled waaaaay back on the 140-character updates, and we'll admit that we miss them. November 2010: While gearing Kim Kardashian Ray J download up to release "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," West did a promotional appearance on "Today" with Matt Lauer -- one that quickly turned sour and led to him canceling his performance on the show. March 2011: The NSFW album cover for Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" was just the beginning of trouble for the rapper. After fearing censorship over his cover art -- "Banned in the USA!!! They don't want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!" he tweeted at the time -- there was debate over whether his music video for "Monster" should also be censored , thanks to its depiction of West in bed with two lifeless women, among other controversial images. August 2011: Still struggling with a negative public perception, West told the audience gathered at the UK's Big Chill film festival, "I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I'm f****n' insane, like I'm Hitler." That comparison, for obvious reasons, made international headlines.
Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip Link Up For G.O.O.D. Music/YMCMB Collab
8/27/2013 3:49 PM ET | Filed under: Kanye West New York After shedding some blood on the VMA stage on Sunday, Kanye West is still sticking around the bustling Big Apple. While babymama Kim Kardashian and baby North enjoy the summer sun of California, the new daddy probably was shying away from the papz to hide the tears in his eyes. Nothing to be ashamed of Kanye! We'd miss seeing those gorgeous faces too! LOLz!