Kanye West has never seemed to shy away from saying what he wants to say, creating many notorious moments that have been captured on film over the years. Funny or Die has taken some of the best and used them in a creative way: splicing them together with American Crime Story footage to create a hilarious parody video called The People v. Kanye.
It goes without saying that West’s long-running feud with Taylor Swift is heavily featured, starting from the beginning of the video. “This could be the most high-profile criminal case in the history of the world,” says John Travolta (as O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro) in the opening scene, immediately before we’re swept back to the 2009 VMAs. “Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” we see West say on a TV screen, with Swift standing in shock next to him.
It doesn’t end there, though, and it just gets better. Just over halfway through, a shell-shocked Swift looks down at the VMA in her hands and we hear Connie Britton (as Faye Resnick) say, “She was terrified of him.” Next, we cut to more recent West-Swift tension; we see the pop star on stage accepting the Grammy for Album of the Year and not-so-subtly responding to her fellow musician’s claims that he made her famous. Yet as she gives her speech, there’s something new: West is shown dancing in the audience (thanks to footage filmed at another event), seemingly showing how much (that is to say, how little) he cares what Swift or anyone else thinks of him.
West gave the video’s creators ample material to choose from, but Funny or Die creators deserve tons of credit nonetheless. Throughout, The People V. Kanye brilliantly juxtaposes scenes from American Crime Story with West’s most talked-about antics, from skirmishes with the paparazzi to his announcement that he’s “the number one most impactful artist of our generation” and “Shakespeare in the flesh.” It might not rank above Beyoncé’s as “one of the best videos of all time,” but it is definitely clever.
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