Kanye West's 'Monster' video is finally here -- starring two Nicki Minajs and a lady werewolf: Watch it here!

Back in December, an unfinished version of Kanye West’s video for “Monster,” a standout (and star-packed) track from West’s best-of-2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) found its way onto the Internet.

Though it was obviously still rough—scenes and effects were clearly missing—the idea came across, with disturbing images of apparently dead women lying in bed with West and hanging from chains by their necks.

West finally released the official, finished version of the clip a full six months after that initial leak, and it’s just as disturbing and fascinating as the rough cut.

Check it out below, though be warned—the lyrics are uncensored, and the images are pretty dark (and though there’s no scandalous nudity, the ladies are scantily-clad enough to also make it unsafe for work).

That’s a lot of video to take in, and there are a number of images that will stick with you. The werewolf woman is pretty badass, and the one scene of Rick Ross closing the door to the room covered in plastic while carrying a chainsaw is very American Psycho.

But the one shot that everybody is already talking about is the one where West lays in bed with two (apparently dead) women and poses them. That’s got to be the reason why West added the disclaimer at the beginning, which reads, “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any groups of people. It is an art piece and should be taken as such.”

In reality, that opening sentence will be way more incendiary than anything in the actual clip. Just because something is “an art piece” doesn’t let it off the hook for misogyny. And not allowing people to even enter into a conversation about whether or not it offends women is, in itself, sort of misogynistic.

Despite the many creepy images, the clip is completely stolen by one woman in particular—Nicki Minaj, who not only spits the best guest appearance of 2010 but also performs an impressive duet with herself (with one of her bound with a bag over her head, no less).

What do you think of West’s “Monster” video? Sound off in the comments below.

Read More at EW.com:
Kanye West: 12 Most Mind-Blowing Moments of 2010
Kanye West Foundation closes
Nicki Minaj: Hip-hop’s hottest new star

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • elena

    I don’t think that this video is any more incendiary than Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi dead model idea, or her in bed with a corpse at the end of Bad Romance. Are people just taking offense because Kanye’s a guy? That seems…stupid.

    • Wha’ever

      My thoughts exactly. The many corpses reminded me of Paparazzi. I guess if a woman shows dead women (and a man) in her videos, it doesn’t matter, but if a man does, it has to be misogynistic.

      • Tom

        There is no difference between this version and the one they leaked a while ago. Weird.

      • D

        Seriously? ‘Wha’ever’ have you been awake for the past week, the controversy surrounding the corpse in Rihannas video has been explosive, men get away with this type of stuff so much easier.

    • u

      Gaga will always get off the hook on just about anything because she’s the newly anointed Goddess of Music, Fashion and Art and therefore can do no wrong. Didn’t you get the memo?

  • Laura

    I don’t see any difference between the unfinished version

  • Leela

    I’m sorry, the Muppets “Monster” video was WAY better!

  • dhanna

    I don’t understand this style of music other than that it traps a groups of people in a sterotype. What we focus on becomes reality… But as far as this video – its not very creative. A bunch of anorexic women playing dead is merely a reflection of a larger social issue. And “art” doesn’t get a pass. What if this were a video from a white dude with a bunch of black people being hung – not sure how unoffensive West would be then. Even with an disclaimer.

    This is misogynist. Without a clear understanding of the lyrics – to which they would have to create some sort of irony about the images – this is just another hip hop song that demoralizes women and gives undeserved praise to the singer.

    I look forward to people breaking out of the stereotypes that oppress themselves and others.

    • Hannah

      Talk about talking a music video way too seriously

    • mark

      Great analysis dhanna. It’s nice to know that other people realize the effect that the media has on society

    • Bo

      No, it isn’t misogynistic. “Without a clear understanding of the lyrics” you say, but do you understand what Kanye is referring to when he says “everybody knows I’m a mother*** monster”? That line is the very eptome of what the song is about and it is anything but misogynistic.

      Also, being quick to run to conclusions, you forgot the most important part of the song: “I crossed the line (i.e. possibly Taylor Swift moment) I’ll let God decide sides”.

      There is absolutely nothing misogynistic about the song -it’s a guilt trip, exemplified by a man trying to come to terms with his existential angst. Get used to it.

  • carrie

    While the music video creeps me out, I don’t find it particularly offensive. I think Kayne is just trying to push people as far as he can, and he’s doing a good job. However, I agree that the statement that we shouldn’t or can’t be offended by it is, yes, misogynistic, but mostly just obnoxious and incorrect. Even art offends people. Clearly he’s doing it to offend people and saying “don’t be mad at me!” is just a lame cover.

    • Margaret

      If Kanye pushes people, can we push back? Wait a sec, let me find a nice, tall cliff first…

  • Tif

    If you have to preface something with “The following content is [not] misogynistic…” it probably is. It’s like saying “I’m not racist BUT…”

  • m

    I can see both sides of this argument. If it’s not something that would offend you, then of course you’d be one of those people who says, “Pipe down, it’s just a video!” However, Kayne can’t take any criticism and never has. He’s a big baby.

  • MCS

    I see both sides of this argument. Personally, I am not offended by it because I can see an artistic side, and I think the video fits the lyrics of the song. HOWEVER I completely understand anyone and everyone who is offended by it.

  • Tom

    didn’t we already see something like this by Marilyn manson? It needs a car going off a cliff or something, and it’s the same video.

  • Toby

    It is no more misogynistic than True Blood that’s what the video reminded me of. Plus, I saw where a woman was dragging off a “dead” man and there were female “monsters” feasting on dead men.

  • outside agitator

    I’m sorry but there’s nothing “incendiary” about this so called “song”. I’ve already heard 100000 raps about n***** and muthaf*****s. unless Ew’s critic is willing to call Saw 5 “incendiary cinema”, his review is little more than pandering to EW’s audience. Monster is no more than poorly written verbal pornography with zero musical value. it’s absolute garbage.

  • Alex

    For people calling it misogyny for portraying dead women, seriously? There are both dead men and dead women in the video. Way to conveniently ignore the dead guys in the video.
    My problem with the video is that it’s mostly cliche. A song about being a Monster so let’s have…humans dressed as spooky creatures and monsters.
    However, there is one exceedingly amazing part of the video. The idea of two Nicki Minajs, one good and one bad, rapping with each other is one of the most interesting music video concepts I’ve seen lately.

  • u

    “Just because something is ‘an art piece’ doesn’t let it off the hook for misogyny. And not allowing people to even enter into a conversation about whether or not it offends women is, in itself, sort of misogynistic.”

    Whoa, whoa, wait. Where exactly did Kanye “not allow people enter a conversation” about the video’s alleged misogyny? He’s merely warning people not to assume ill intention on his part if they get offended, because he did not intend the video to be misogynistic. Since when is it wrong for an artist to explain their art that they know may ruffle a few feathers because of their nature? He’s not in any way saying they should ONLY be allowed to feel or interpret the video in a certain way. So I guess he should’ve waited until the video caused a brouhaha to say anything, huh? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • the_girl

      I agree with this. I think Kanye is very much aware that he can’t stop people from talking about his video so the disclaimer isn’t to discourage dialogue, it is to clarify his intent before the fact. The most profound thing about this for me, as an avid Kanye fan, is that he refuses to allow anything to stop him from expressing himself through his music however he chooses. Perhaps the majority won’t understand or respect his perspective but at least he didn’t back down for fear of being misunderstood. I respect him for this video.


    It’s no worse than Thriller (which people though had to do with the occult) Lady Gaga videos with “dead” people or that one Tom Petty video “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

    • BJohnson

      Totally agree with you and I really need to pull up Tom Petty’s video, I loved that song and video. LOL

  • viviennewestwood

    Thanks for interesting blog post. You guys are always provide information that it makes it impossible not to want to buy your next product ;I cant wait to see what you guys come up with based on all your research and data that you gather.

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