Kanye, Zach and Will, The Unlikely Collaboration
July 26, 2007 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Can't Tell Me Nothing: Kanye West's new video features Zach Galifinakis and Will Oldham. "The hilarious clip was shot on Galifianakis' farm in North Carolina and illustrates the many trappings of big pimpin' on the homestead: rollin' tractor-style, hay bailin' and stayin' faithful in a room full of hoes (better known as cows)." Some backstory.
posted by deern the headlice (59 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry, it's probably better viewed on Kanye's site (better bandwidth).

Also an interview with Zach mentioning the video.
posted by deern the headlice at 8:54 AM on July 26, 2007


I love the faux-hydraulics on the tractor. Never did I think Will Oldham could be in something so funny.
posted by god hates math at 9:02 AM on July 26, 2007


When rap and hip-hop is willing to have a sense of humor about itself, the results are some of the all-time best videos... I miss the vibe of old Busta Rhymes videos, and The Pharcyde. This video is great, thanks DTH.
posted by saladin at 9:04 AM on July 26, 2007


Supoib.
posted by Flashman at 9:06 AM on July 26, 2007


My favorite Zach Galifinakis related music video is Fiona Apple - Not About Love. I can't help but laugh every time.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:07 AM on July 26, 2007


That's some fly cloggin'.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:14 AM on July 26, 2007


Slimepuppy, I han't seen that, that's awesome.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2007


I love Galifinakis' comedy and I've followed his career through everything for the past few years. He has a fearlessness and wit that few have ever come close to, but in the end this video falls flat for me. I watched it and my first response was that it came off like a Will Ferrel thing where he obviously goes 100% into something for a laugh, but it lacks something human (empathy?) that Ferrel has and Zach doesn't. I guess he's always kind of been like Andy Kaufman for me -- super funny and super brilliant, but in the end a bit of a misanthrope that would turn the joke on the audience for a laugh.

This video just sort of felt like goofy scenes with not much point and it didn't feel real enough to be believeable as "Zach goofing around on his farm like he always does." I really wanted to like it but in the end there were only two mild chuckles amid three minutes of "this is so weird it has to be funny."
posted by mathowie at 9:19 AM on July 26, 2007


God, this is amazing.
posted by 235w103 at 9:20 AM on July 26, 2007


If you'd told me back in 1993 that they guy whose CDs I spun constantly - always chilling me to the bone - would appear in a video for one of the biggest rap stars on the planet my answer would make Indie Rock Pete seem like a reasonable guy.

2007, though, it all makes sense. Great video, an allright song which I'm sure will grow on me.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:21 AM on July 26, 2007


Zatch Gollyfinishkus is a comedian young folks like me can relate to!

His stand up/sit down/lay down routines are betterer, though.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:22 AM on July 26, 2007


Never did I think Will Oldham could be in something so funny.

I can't find a link, but the episode of Wonder Showzen with Will Oldham and David Cross is fucking hilarious (though I'm not sure if it's as funny to those who aren't from the South).
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:23 AM on July 26, 2007


That sound you just heard was the entire staff of Pitchfork having a collective nerdgasm.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's up with all the cool-ass Greeks from North Carolina?
posted by msali at 9:43 AM on July 26, 2007


Awesome - I love all 3 of these guys and am counting down the days until Graduation drops. Thanks for this post.

For Will Oldham fans, I'm seconding the Wonder Showzen Road Apples Special from Season Two. It's a Hee-Haw spoof, chock full of Southern regionalisms.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2007


the episode of Wonder Showzen with Will Oldham and David Cross is fucking hilarious

Aw Horse Apples!
posted by deern the headlice at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2007


Sweet. Thanks a lot, deern.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:47 AM on July 26, 2007


This video just sort of felt like goofy scenes with not much point and it didn't feel real enough to be believeable as "Zach goofing around on his farm like he always does."

Wow, for me it's like the exact opposite. When the milkmaids all showed up in their matching blue dresses, I got the thought "This is so the exact opposite of what a rap music video is supposed to be." And then I realized that I had these narrow, preconcieved notions of what is acceptable in a rap video, namely 1) show the rapper alot, 2) lots of scantilly clad women, 3) if it's not your first video, lots of showing how rich you are 4) showing that you have lots of friends, and 5) being deadly earnest. This is like the total rap un-video.

Why did he do that? Just to be weird? To point out how identical rap videos have become? To show people that his song can be popular even without a video that appeals to his fan base? Dunno. But it doesn't feel all goofy and random like a Cure video.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:49 AM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Slimepuppy: Yup, I actually found the Fiona Apple video funnier than this one. I always, always laugh when there's that quick cut to Zach dancing in the water.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:53 AM on July 26, 2007


George Bush does not care about angus cattle.
posted by LordSludge at 9:57 AM on July 26, 2007


That's some fly cloggin'.

Damn, those bitches represent!

I'm enjoying this video way too much.
posted by quin at 9:58 AM on July 26, 2007


I liked it. The song has a really nice feel, too. For fans of Will Oldham and Wonder Showzen, here's a Bonnie 'Prince' Billy video directed by the show's creators.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:06 AM on July 26, 2007


Okay, that was unexpected and awesome.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:19 AM on July 26, 2007


Will Oldham in Trippin' With Caveh.
posted by mosessmith at 10:39 AM on July 26, 2007


Zach showed up unexpectedly in "The Pity Card", which delighted me to no end.
posted by spiderwire at 10:43 AM on July 26, 2007


What's up with all the cool-ass Greeks from North Carolina?

Cool-ass Greeks are all over the dang place, msali. We can't stop, and we won't stop.

can't stop

won't stop
posted by Greg Nog at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2007


You know why this is perfect because the exact same damn video with the same damn camera angles and scenes would have been shot. i love it ignore the medium and use the tone.

PS When graduation hits streets its gonna be so hot it'll be like damn did you bring back a volcano in a cd case.
posted by Rubbstone at 10:50 AM on July 26, 2007


Will Oldham also played the daddy in the made-for-TV movie about the little girl in Texas who fell in a well.

And I think he's a lame-ass poser whose popularity is a perfect example of how indie rock fans confuse off-key mediocre acoustic warbling with originality. The only good thing Will Oldham has ever created is the picture on the cover of Slint's Spiderland.

/derail
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:08 AM on July 26, 2007


Trust me, I've seen Will Oldham around Louisville and talked to people who have grown up with him. There is nothing fake about him- he really is that strange/endearing/hilarious.
The best Will Oldham moment ever has to come in Tripping With Caveh. He's taken a bunch of mushrooms with film-maker Caveh, and there's a long shot of Caveh lying on the ground staring at some ants. Just staring. Then it cuts to Will, wandering off with some other guy. "So, you're like, what, 200 pounds? So we're not going to be going too fast, huh?", he says to him, and then it cuts to the two men in a go-cart, flying down a country road hollering at the top of their lungs.
Brilliant.
posted by 235w103 at 11:25 AM on July 26, 2007


I really want to like Kanye West. His music is amazing. But there's just so much of the usual hip-hop misogyny in there -- yeah, cows/hos, haha; and in "Watch Stronger," there's the unfortunate, "Me likey!" comment toward the beautiful Asian model stuck in the middle of the song; and then there was the whole episode where he called biracial women "mutts" (http://mediatakeout.com/Exclusives/Kanye_Mutt.html). Sigh. I really hate it when an artist's sexism gets in the way of me liking him, cuz that's some really fun summer music otherwise.

Maybe one of you can convince me I'm wrong?
posted by IcyJuly at 11:31 AM on July 26, 2007


BitterOldPunk, you sound ... bitter.

OK, I'll admit I'm a sucker for off-key acoustic warbling in general, and Will Oldham's in particular, especially the first Palace Brothers album. I do take issue, however, with a song from the Bonnie 'Prince' Billie record Ease Down the Road in which he name checks Raj from the TV show What's Happening but mistakenly claims he was a character from Good Times. This is heresy and will not stand!

But as long as we're rattling off Will Oldham's movie roles, this was probably his most legitimate attempt at acting to date. (I say this, having not seen Old Joy, the small independent film he appeared in last year.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:43 AM on July 26, 2007


Have any of you bucked hay? There's nothing more hardcore then hay in 100 degree summer heat.
posted by iamck at 11:46 AM on July 26, 2007


And I think he's a lame-ass poser whose popularity is a perfect example of how indie rock fans confuse off-key mediocre acoustic warbling with originality.

No, seriously, think back to the early nineties. A lot of lo-fi acts did their thing back then, but only a few managed to excite people the same way that Palace Brothers did. All that mystique! The rumors! (Did he really open up for The Fall by burping into a microphone for twenty minutes? Is he in love with his sister?) And then, the music. "The Anthology Of American Folk Music" was released a few years after we (the indie rock fans) got our first taste of the sound of Smithsonian Folkways and it's predecessors.

See, Will did (and continues to do) a lot of good. He says more to me about my life than, say, Bob Dylan. And Bob, I belive, invented "off-key mediocre acoustic warbling". Don't care about Bob, I'm more of a "Anthology..." and Guthrie man myself.

And Will. Becase, see, he opened up a universe for a lot of us. And he's never stopped moving since.

Granted, the cover of "Spiderland" is mighty good.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2007


And, yeah, this keyboard's been drinkin'.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2007


Your keyboard is drinkin' again
posted by Flashman at 12:39 PM on July 26, 2007


Aw, The Dairy Farmers of Ontario were there first, yo.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:09 PM on July 26, 2007


The Jeffrey Lewis song atop the Will Oldham link in the OP, Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror, is a hilarious and profound meditation on art, fame, and man's search for meaning.

Just thought you should all be aware.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:26 PM on July 26, 2007


so wait-

white people and black people are different? this is the first I've heard of it!
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:44 PM on July 26, 2007


white people and black people are different?

Nah. We all love Kanye.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:14 PM on July 26, 2007


HURF DURF WHITE PEOPLE BLACK PEOPLE SOMETHINGAWFUL.COM
posted by basicchannel at 2:22 PM on July 26, 2007


I like it. I'd like it more if it actually aired on BET, but somehow I get the feeling an "official" video will get released. Kinda like U2 doing three videos for "One."
posted by bardic at 2:24 PM on July 26, 2007


bardic: Official video.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 2:30 PM on July 26, 2007


Ah. I figured.

The song is a little flat, IMO. Not nearly as good as some of his earlier ones.
posted by bardic at 2:35 PM on July 26, 2007


I loved it. I watched it three times and each time I noticed something new. I love the shot where he's walking through the corn and shoves a husk out of his face like it's a paparazzi flashbulb exploding in his eyes.
posted by astruc at 2:58 PM on July 26, 2007


The video was directed by Michael Blieden who, it should be known, has the best podcast in the history ever forever.
posted by basicchannel at 3:05 PM on July 26, 2007


ibmcginty: Jeffrey Lewis is quite the song smith. I highly recommend his work.
posted by Sailormom at 3:07 PM on July 26, 2007


Zach with a chainsaw is a chilling sight.
posted by bayliss at 3:35 PM on July 26, 2007


Atom Eyes:

I rented Old Joy expecting to hate it, but I actually really enjoyed it. You should give it a rent.
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 4:15 PM on July 26, 2007


That video is terrible. Sometimes I wonder about you people.
posted by Kwine at 4:31 PM on July 26, 2007


That video is terrible. Sometimes I wonder about you people.

Kwine doesn't care about black people.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:50 PM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why would Kanye West produce this video if the Hype Williams video is the “official” video?
posted by Colloquial Collision at 5:05 PM on July 26, 2007


IcyJuly: I feel the same way as you, but then I hear his songs and decide to ignore that aspect of it and groove to the tunes. Is that wrong of me? Probably. But if it's any consolation, he ain't as misogynistic as most rappers? Ugh, that probably just made it worse. Haha
posted by liquorice at 5:11 PM on July 26, 2007


The video was funny for a few seconds and then I was over it. But I really like the song. Kanye is developing into a complex and subtle song-writer, while mainting his hook-writting skills. I'm impressed.
posted by serazin at 6:13 PM on July 26, 2007


Like me, Will Oldham is an alumnus of Brown University. What's even stranger is how my Northeastern Ivy League university has produced other loosely defined "roots" musicians, including Mary Chapin Carpenter and Jon Spencer. Tim Blake Nelson, a member of the Soggy Bottom Boys in O Brother Where Art Thou? is also an alum.
posted by jonp72 at 6:30 PM on July 26, 2007


Why would Kanye West produce this video if the Hype Williams video is the “official” video?

I might be going out on a limb, but I'm thinking that having a Hype Williams produced video (or something similarly styled) is pretty much mandatory if you want to get into hiphop's mainstream video circulation. Like someone said way earlier, we've progressed unfortunately past the age of the funny (The Pharcyde, Biz Markie, Coolio) or even innovative (Beastie Boys "Sabotage") rap video.

Basically, Kanye saw Zach's show, laughed, and decided to spend the cash (his own? maybe.) necessary to capture some of the Zach-ness he witnessed. To him, it was worth it. And I'm glad he did, because without this new video, this track just wasn't working for me at all.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:58 PM on July 26, 2007


That damn "Whoa-ooo" sample just set this video down more than a few notches. Two out of five stars I'm afriad, and so close to perfection. Zach's deadpan expressions is worth the download.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:35 PM on July 26, 2007


Have any of you bucked hay? There's nothing more hardcore then hay in 100 degree summer heat.

I baled my second cutting on one field just last Monday - due to the dry weather I only ended up with half as many bales as normal, 166. This whole season has been unusual, with things running 2 weeks late.

It was only 90 degrees out, so I guess I'm not hardcore.
posted by rfs at 7:36 PM on July 26, 2007


Old Joy is a great movie, and a rarely honest look at male friendship. I loved it.

This is a great post.
posted by OmieWise at 8:14 AM on July 27, 2007


grabbingsand : “I might be going out on a limb, but I'm thinking that having a Hype Williams produced video (or something similarly styled) is pretty much mandatory if you want to get into hiphop's mainstream video circulation.”

I would assume Kanye West is mainstream enough, and popular enough, to produce whichever video he wanted then force that video into “hiphop's mainstream video circulation.” I also assume this mainstream video circulation would be the MTV TRLs, the BET 106&Parks, &c.

Admittedly, Kanye West is popular enough, and sells enough albums to make as many videos as he would like. But making more than one music video, essentially an advertisement for an album or song, seems frivolous to me.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 3:36 PM on July 27, 2007


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