Kanye West's visuals are as important as his music – we run down the top clips he's put out.
He's for sure a polarising polymath, but his sheer talent and dedication to his art are to be commended. He puts just as much creative energy into the clips as he does the music in order to create complete works – Kanye ensures that his videos can be admired; these aren't afterthoughts. In the process, he's worked with some of the world's finest artists, photographers, and directors.
With "Fade", starring Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert, he broke the Internet once more. Few figures have so visibly and permanently shifted popular culture – there's an argument that he's the most iconic figure in living memory, but let's leave that for another day. While it remains to be seen if "Fade" will sidle up alongside Ye's best, we're sure that it'll be tough to unseat these gems.
Here are Kanye West's top 10 videos.
1- No Church In The Wild
Sadly, this video's only got more important with age. Romain Gavras – the man behind M.I.A.'s "Born Free" video – captures a clash between two hundred extras kitted out as riot police and rioters. It's violently unsettling and beautifully shot.
Director: Romain Gavras
2- Bound 2
It's the clip that spawned 1000 memes, and it's an undeniably great snapshot of Kimye's peerless, overblown romance. Sweeping US vistas, motorbike kama sutra, Kanye's plaid on plaid/shredded tie-dye wardrobe, Kim Kardashian at her peak – everything about this is a visual tour de force. The wild horses at the beginning? Pure class.
Director: Nick Knight
3- Good Morning
Hopefully Ye gets around to reuploading this beaut in HD soon, because "Good Morning" is a stunning work. The animation, which stars Kanye's iconic Dropout Bear, was helmed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and shown during the artist's exhibitions at the Museum of Contempory Art in L.A, NYC's Brooklyn Museum, and the Guggenheim in Spain.
Director: Takashi Murakami
4- Diamonds From Sierra Leone
The contrast between exhausted child miners and Kanye swanning through Prague's stunning architecture is breathtaking. Kanye avoids subtlety here – his message is crystal clear.
Director: Hype Williams
It's not that common that Kanye opts for full-on fun in his vids, but when teaming with Jay Z on "Otis" he makes his most overtly enjoyable clip since "Touch The Sky". It's sublimely silly in place, and features an all-too-brief Aziz Ansari cameo for extra awesome. The car in the clip (a Maybach 57) was eventually sold at auction, with funds raised going towards the East African Drought Disaster.
Director: Spike Jonze
Kanye's best video? Is it actually, technically a music video? Not many people have the cojones to make a high-budget, 34-minute film for an album, but this is Kanye – the end product is a fascinating love story. It's not super coherent, but it sure is pretty, and the actual "Runaway" segment is iconic.
Director: Kanye West
7- Black Skinhead
"Black Skinhead" is one of Kanye's most confrontational works, and its video needed to be seriously big – and is definitely is. It's stark and chilling with subtly terrifying CGI and an exceptional use of light.
Director: Nick Knight
Not some of Kanye's finest lyrics necessarily, but the video's a mindblowing spectacle. As he was enveloped in another spat with Taylor Swift, he doubled down with this. It's a ridiculously stubborn statement, but beyond the initial shock, the Vincent Desiderio homage is an intriguing piece of commentary that provokes intense debate.
Simple and elegant. "Power" is a modern-day masterpiece inspired by classical art and Greek mythology – it's layered and complex and totally over the top. Director Marco Brambilla (a video collage and installation artist) calls it "kind of apocalyptic, in a very personal way."
Director: Marco Brambilla
10- Only One
This is probably the most bare Kanye's been in public. "Only One" is deeply personal, and it shows the rarely seen soul behind Ye's ego – he's a loving family man far removed from the controversial antics. This touching video reflects that, mimicking home footage along a country road: no huge rockstar parties, no melodramatic choreography, no explosive special effects. Just love.
Director: Spike Jonze