Tonight’s BRIT Awards in London featured performances by the likes of Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Pharrell, but in the end they were all upstaged by the mayhem Kanye West caused when he took the stage with (no joke) a humongous, Mad Max-esque flamethrower.
Needless to say, while West’s other recent singles and performances (“Only One,” “FourFiveSeconds,” and his debut performance of “Wolves” on Saturday Night Live) have shown off a more easygoing Yeezy, his debut of the long-anticipated single “All Day” was a more raucous affair.* Abandoning the auto-tuned croons for the brash raps that made the man famous, West came complete with (in addition to the pyrotechnics) a mob dressed in all black. (While the new songs have mostly avoided any extended poltical messages, all the hoods and all-black outfits have shades of the Black Lives Matter movement and the “hoodie protests” over the death of Trayvon Martin.) So much for the idea of a new, “humble” Kanye, which is something I’ve never seen any need for anyway.
I share the reaction of Taylor Swift:
*Correction, Feb. 25, 2015: This post originally misidentified the name of the song “Only One.”