Edd’s MANtra: Analyzing ‘Power’

As we’ve mentioned here before, the wifey is a huge fan of the HBO vampire series True Blood. Me? I can take it or leave it. Mostly leave it. Watching lovelorn vampires eat each other’s faces – figuratively and literally – just doesn’t do it for me. But I endure it for the wifey’s sake. It’s a small price to pay when I subject her to endless hours of pro wrestling, X-Men cartoons and The Bad Girls Club.

There’s only high-brow programming at Georgia Mae Headquarters.

But I believe True Blood, along with my limited knowledge of Greek mythology, has helped me decipher Kanye West’s new and extremely controversial video “Power.”

Not long after the clip landed people started screaming about demonic images and allusions to the dreaded Illuminati – the shadowy devil-worshipping cult that allegedly all your favorite rappers belong to. What kills me about the Illuminati allegations is that people claim that all these rappers are poppin’ bottles with banshees and demons but STILL support their music. Why brag about being “enlightened” about the evils of the music business but you still bump Hades hip-hop in your car? Aren’t you falling into the same trap as the rest of us “unenlightened” ones?

But I digress.

I ignored talk of Kanye and “Da Illumnatis” until Progressive Soul’s own Desiree brought up concerns as well. And since we know Desiree is an intelligent, rational adult I had to check it out.

The video is sort like an oil painting, starting with a closeup of Kanye looking pensive and slowing zooming out to reveal his surroundings. The first thing I noticed were the demonic looking women by his side. Now, Desiree thought they were baphomets – evil goat-like deities. I didn’t think so, since I’ve never seen a female baphomet – the devil is sexist like that. I figured they were maenads – which True Blood viewers will know are the murderous, sex-crazed groupies of the Greek god Dionysus. Dinoysus is all about indulgence – sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. And since Kanye is the focal point of the pic, I guess that makes him Dionysus.

As the image continues to zoom out, there’s a sword hanging over his head. That one is easy to figure out – it’s the Sword of Damocles. It’s an allusion to the perils of people in power. Hmm, “Power.”

Later, there are images of a bunch of half-naked women, some of ’em splashing water and others looking like they’re making out with each other. I’m guessing those are water nymphs – more True Blood creatures – which love, um, bathing and making out with each other. Where do you think the word “nympho” comes from?

Near the end, we see a lot of weirdos wielding swords looking to skewer Ye. That’s pretty self explanatory – I guess they bought 808s & Heartbreak too.

I see the vid not as Da Illuminatis’ class portrait, but the downfall of a hedonistic god drunk with “Power.” At least that’s what I make of it; Desiree saw something totally different. Who knows, I could be putting too much thought into it. Or I could be watching too much True Blood. But that’s the great thing about a painting – we all have our own interpretations.

One thing’s for sure – it’s a much more interesting video than having an idiot stand around while racially ambiguous women in bikinis fondle him. Why doesn’t anyone call Da Illuminatis out for that stuff?

What do you see in “Power?”



  1. Well, my take on the whole illumi…whoever they are thingy is that if they are so much of a secret society, then why does the whole world know about them? Im agreeing with you on this one Ed. It’s just entertaintment. Turn the channel if ya don’t like it!

  2. Ed! Don’t drag True Blood and its well-written fiction into Kanye and his fast-written mess! Start from season 1 (fast forward the graphic parts…it’s just HBO being indulgent)and go from there. It’s really a good show. Give Bill and Sookie a fair fictional chance!

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