Whatever you think of Kanye West, it’s undeniable that everything the rapper-cum-designer touches turns to gold. And we’re not just talking about his own records and fashion line – Kanye has lent his vocals and sartorial prowess to a number of his friends’ records and videos, too, bumping up the style quota. Join us as we take a look at six music videos in which Ye plays a stylish second fiddle.
STYLISH KANYE CAMEOS
By Sam Higgins, 26 October 2016
Francis and the Lights – Friends ft. Bon Iver
Although, really, Kanye’s actual ‘feature’ in this track is non-existent, Friends is the rapper's favourite song of the year, so, Kanye being Kanye, he had to get involved. In a video which sees Francis and the Lights and Bon Iver perform a strange display of dad dancing, the slow zoom intro that reveals Kanye in a brilliant embellished bomber (mouthing only the phrase ’we could be friends’) is probably the most normal part of it all. The most stylish part, too, so we’re happy you got involved, Kanye.
French Montana – Figure It Out ft. Kanye West, Nas
We’re so sick of everyone doing the same pool-party music video. Just give us motorbikes doing wheelies and somersaulting over aeroplanes or something, while Kanye, Nas and French Montana are, like, sat on the wing of the plane dressed head-to-toe in all-white. Then, change scenes and get Kanye to do this cool, ironic thing of wearing his own Yeezy motocross trousers as, in the background, an actual motocross rider is burning rubber, churning up the dust. Yeah, that’d be cool.
Schoolboy Q – THat Part ft. Kanye West
In this special edition of MTV Cribs – aka the music video to Schoolboy Q’s THat Part – Kanye is recruited to take us on a tour of Schoolboy’s house. Only, instead of being treated to an impressive cinema room, jacuzzi bath and walk-in wardrobe that's bigger than your flat, Schoolboy hasn’t even bothered tidying up. There are sheets still covering furniture and Kanye isn’t exactly helping by kicking and punching the walls as he stumbles into each room. We do get some aesthetic pleasure from Ye’s spacey combo of oversized acid-wash tee and ripped bleached jeans, though.
Vic Mensa – U Mad? ft. Kanye West
OK, a topless Vic Mensa might not offer much sartorial inspiration and the straitjacket he also wriggles around in certainly doesn’t feature in our AW16 key pieces. But apart from that, the video to U Mad? sees Vic mosh a brilliant bomber off his shoulders, while Kanye delivers few bars and brings some more wearable style inspiration. Recognise the gothic font on that black sweatshirt? Kanye’s DONDA jumper is in fact the precursor to The Life of Pablo merch we’ve seen in abundance this year and, in pairing it with his signature styling of trackies and Yeezy boots, we’re left far from mad.
Busta Rhymes – Thank You ft. Q-Tip, Kanye West, Lil Wayne
Oh boy, this music video has it all. Not only does it see Busta Rhymes play the world’s smallest air drum kit, the rapper’s also green-screened on top of a mountain and, in another shot, posing in front of an Emirates plane. But there’s also Kanye in a monochromatic getup. He takes a similarly minimal approach to his musical contribution, simply introducing Q-Tip before bopping around and occasionally freezing, so you can fully appreciate his all-black attire and tactically draped jacket.
Big Sean – Blessings ft. Drake, Kanye West
A video shot entirely in black and white provides plenty of moody visuals, sure, but it doesn’t exactly satisfy our desire for a display of Kanye’s neutral palette. Nevertheless, Kanye joins a couple of fellow style heavyweights for a good time (not a long time) in the video for Blessings. You’ve got Big Sean offering layers on layers on layers, Drizzy in his staple Timberlands, a solid shacket and beanie, and then Kanye, jumping around the spotlight in a fashionable blur of Yeezy boots, skinny jeans and classic boxy sweats. We’re blessed.