Friday, June 14, 2013
Video: Kanye West’s face graces Big D in marketing event for forthcoming album
Where he failed in Houston and San Antonio, he succeeded in Big D.
DALLAS Rapper Kanye West is officially the king of guerrilla marketing. Friday, he staged five pop-up video shows around Dallas to promote his forthcoming album, Yeezus, which drops Tuesday.
At Union Station, Majestic Theatre, Double Wide, a building at the intersection of Elm Street and Good Latimer Expressway, and the Fair Park Esplanade Fountain, he made plans to project a music video with sound on the side of each building.
As of this writing, he succeeded at the first location, unbeknownst to Dallas Police.
By 9:15 p.m. Friday, a couple hundred people were crowded near the edge of Ferris Plaza Park across the street from Union Station, a nationally recognized historical landmark. The buzz in the crowd was uncertain. Was what they were waiting for actually going to happen?
At 9:30 p.m. on the dot, a white van pulled into a blocked off lane on South Houston Street. For a moment the crowd was still, holding its breath in anticipation. Then a man got out of the back door and a blue light appeared on the left wing of the train station.
People piled into the street, cameras in hand, until the road was mobbed. A moment later, West’s translucent face was beaming on them until the first beats of his latest single, “New Slaves,” started to play from the van. Cheers erupted and the crowd sang along. Honks from city buses and perturbed drivers drowned out much of the sound; however, it did little to intimidate onlookers. As far as the fans were concerned, it was part of the production.
As quickly as it began, the show ended. After one song, the album title and release date replaced West’s portrait. The van promptly packed up and fled to the next spot.
At approximately 9:45 p.m., six police officers arrived by bike and car, responding to a complaint about a large crowd. They were not specifically at the site to disperse the crowd or shut down the party. In fact, the officers admitted they had no idea what was going on.
The crowd, full of Kanye fans and those just in Ferris Plaza to witness the spectacle, cordially dispersed. Some conspired to jet over to Majestic Theatre for the next showing, while others relished the impromptu gathering, which could arguably be described as “so not Dallas.”
Technical aspects of the show were average at best. The sound was much too quiet for the bustle of downtown, the building’s color was not ideal for the video, and West is still as pompous as ever (I’m convinced he thinks this album is a self-titled release). But one thing for certain is that the underground won out this evening. And everyone there could feel it.
“Yeezus has come to save us all!” said Cedar Hill-based rapper Chromeozone. If only for 15 minutes.Note: Video contains some offensive language
Kanye West - 'New Slaves' screening at Union Station
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