For those of you that thought that Kanye West needed to lighten up a little after his tirade at losing out to Justice & Simian at last year’s MTV music video awards, here’s the proof that he does have a sense of humour after all. This promo for his latest single Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ turns out to be an ingenious meeting between the worlds of hip hop and folk, with Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) and Zach Galifianakis taking leading roles. Give that man an award!
The promo is directed by Michael Blieden, who comments about the video on his website: “On June 1, 2007 I got a one line email from Zach that said, “this sounds like a joke but it is true. Kayne West wants me to lip sync his new video. Can you fly to NC to shoot it?” There was very little discussion in advance other than that. Hiring the cloggers was Zach’s idea, and Inman was able to track them down. For all the ridiculousness you see here, I have to say we took the song very seriously. We asked ourselves, “What if two farmers from North Carolina set out to make their own Kanye West video… and succeeded?” Special thanks to Will Oldham for his inspired turn as the inbred cousin. This was my first real use of slow motion and lip syncing, which is a common trope in music videos. The cloggers needed something very fast to clog to, so we played the song back at 150% speed. That was good clogging tempo, but challenging for Zach to lip sync to. Special thanks to the rowdy group of 12 year olds hanging out in front of the library in downtown Sparta who started yelling “Whacha filming NERD!” while I was all alone with the production gear.”