The video for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris” isn’t exactly something we’ve never seen before:
Visually, it’s a clear descendant of both the Gnarls Barkley video for “Crazy”:
And the ghostly big cats seem like they probably strolled over from the menagerie on the set of Frank Ocean’s video for “Novacane”:
But “Ni**gas in Paris” does a really nice job of showing us a pulsing crowd that almost seems to be undergoing mitosis looks from the perspective of the men on stage. There’s something profoundly disconcerting about the way a normal audience suddenly splits into wild geometry or the passage through the crowd is suddenly full of horror-movie sets of identical twins. If this is what the world looks like when you’re an insanely famous person, it’s a lot less appealing than it looks from the outside.