It piled up 26 million YouTube views in two months. It has more dislikes than the city of Orlando has people. The budget for the music video could have been into seven figures as easily as it could have been done in a cheap-o do-it-yourself studio. Hey, the latter worked for Rebecca Black.
“Bound 2”, the cherry on top of the Yeezus sundae, has been received with mixed emotions, to say the least. Some see it as another iteration of West trolling the public with purposefully basic content, while others are calling it a monument to Ye’s ego, an ego that requires more feeding than the elephant exhibit at your local zoo.
Beneath the cheesy green screens and Kim Kardashian’s exaggerated expressions, there lies a quality piece of music. And of course, there’s a lot wrong with it as well, but that’s all part of the appeal. Here are seven reasons to embrace the song’s many imperfections and bind yourself to “Bound 2”.
[Watch the video here, if you haven’t already but have read this far for some reason.]
1. Nature at its Finest
The video begins with various cuts of a scenic, mountainous terrain, replete with plenty of wild horses galloping at full speed to one place or another. It’s a nice little jab at the audience, especially now that winter is in full swing. It beckons to the listener, reminding them that while they’re avoiding the outdoors like the plague, these horses are living it up. And you know who can join them anytime he so pleases? Kanye. If he says the word, he can be racing around with his four-legged pals by tonight. Unless the horses weren’t happy with their compensation for the appearance, in which case Yeezy should stay in hiding while the whole ordeal dies down.
2. Jeromey Romey Romey Rome
There are two sudden references to a “Jerome” during the song. At one point, Kanye (or the character Kanye is narrating) wonders what Jerome would think of his exploits, and at the end of the ditty he repeatedly warns the public that “Jerome’s in the house, watch your mouth.” Message received. I did a little homework on the reference, praying to the skies that it was a poorly veiled kickback to West’s ego, but apparently it’s merely a reference to a recurring character on the ’90s sitcom Martin. There were rumblings that Jerome might refer to Ray J, who infamously released the sex tape that put Kim Kardashian on the celebrity map. I think we’re all glad that happened, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to watch her hair blow the wrong way while striking seductive poses on Kanye’s chopper today.
3. Flannel On Flannel On Flannel
Kanye’s wardrobe is something of a head scratcher. His two outfits of choice are a torn tie dye shirt and a two-layered flannel get up that is all kinds of ridiculous. I’m willing to give the tie dye a pass, since it kind of fits with the whole motorcycle-rider mantra. The flannel stacking, however, is beyond me. Is that a thing now? Is it Kanye attempting to make a statement in the clothing game? I’m not sure which scenario is less desirable.
4. Kim Likes Helping
Uh-huh, honey. Whether or not Kim actually recorded that line herself is up to question, but I’d like to think it was well within her range of abilities. There’s just enough whine in those three short words to give me hope that Kardashian could have done something beyond rolling around naked on a motorcycle and staring into the camera like an oracle into a crystal ball. The falsetto chorus which comprises the backbone of the song sounds like it could have been staffed by multiple Kardashian sisters, and if it was, good for them. SNL’s “Waking up with Kimye” was thinking in the same vein.
(Kim K side note: I have to believe there are multiple outtakes where Kim tumbles over the side of the motorcycle– the thing is just too narrow for that not to happen– and I’m sure those moments made the whole process of dealing with Kimye’s collective lunacy worthwhile.)
5. Rise of the Magic Motorcycle
Others have covered this portion of the video ad nauseum, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. A motorcyle that is impervious to air resistance (see: direction of Kim’s hair in wind) and stays stable despite being randomly throttled (see: Kanye’s trigger-happy right hand) is one I’d like to purchase. Of course, such a machine is probably only available to the top 1% within the 1%. That, the cure for cancer, and jet packs.
6. A Protagonist We Can All Get Endorse
I’m in the school of thought that believes the lyrical content of “Bound 2” contains some limited semblance of story line. The Defenders of Bound, as we call ourselves, can be found on Thursdays at your local VFW hall discussing our cause, and at the bowling alley for an outing on the first of every month. Anyway, I think there is something of a main character created here, and boy is he a winner. His interests and desires include obtaining additional bitches beyond the one he already claims to love and starting impromptu fight clubs. He can’t recall when he first met his love, but he hopes they last for another month or so. Breaking up around Christmas would really suck, and he knows it. Pragmatic thinker, this one. The whole “Jerome’s in the house, watch your mouth” thing might mean that Jerome is in fact going to hunt down our protagonist if he lets the wrong words slip, but based on the previous lyrics our hero seems like a pretty even-keel guy, so don’t worry. Fingers crossed this nameless front man’s story can weave its way into more of Kanye’s songs going forward.
7. The Seed For Further Invention
Oh parodies, where would we be without you? Any polarizing work is sure to breed plenty of imitation art. The success of the imitation is where true champions rise to the top. James Franco and Seth Rogen left the original idea untouched, save for inserting themselves into the main roles, and it was still brilliant. South Park didn’t miss a golden opportunity to satirize Kanye and dedicated an episode to his oblivious exploits with the Kardashian clan. It culminated in this song, which is much funnier when seen in context. I found this parody by YouTuber Bart Barker overrated- the cadence was choppy and his digs on Kanye became cumbersome very quickly. Many shades of mockery, all of them beautiful in their own right.