Art Director MC

The meaning of the “Power” video

I know you have listened to all types of explanations for Kanye’s “Power” painting, people claiming Illuminati references out of ignorance and others calling it a visual representation of his ascension to greatness. Both are incorrect in reality. The meaning behind Kanye’s video has a much deeper explanation than todays current infatuation with claiming “anyone who experiences success is in a secret society”. I personally am in a secret order, a “brotherhood” so to speak. I have been apart of secret rituals and all types of ceremonies that can easily be misinterpreted by the common folk. So to clear up this issue and save you the embarrassment of saying something cliche and dumb when you have your daily “hip hop” debate, I will explain the imagery in the “Power Video”.

Richard Westall's Sword of Damocles, 1812

The story of the Sword of Damocles revolves around a common mans desire to be great. Damocles believed that, as a great man of power and authority, Dionysius was truly fortunate. Dionysius offered to switch places with Damocles for a day, so he could taste first hand that fortune. In the evening a banquet was held where Damocles very much enjoyed being waited upon like a king. Only at the end of the meal did he look up and notice a sharpened sword hanging directly above his head by a single horse-hair. Immediately, he lost all taste for the pleasures of his Kingly internship, saying he no longer wanted to be so fortunate.

This illustrates how a man of power always has the fear of being dethroned, harmed, killed or in Kanye’s situation removed from relevance. The sword hanging above his head represents the impending danger that is inevitably coming to anyone in a positon of power. This explains not only the imagery in Kanye’s video but also the title of the song…”Power”.

Notice how Kanye’s video(moving painting) parallels with the story of Damocles.

Understanding all this, you should have a greater appreciation for the vid for power. The lyrics however dont really touch on the internal meaning as much as the images do. However, it does deal with the overall theme. I met Kanye once at the 40/40 and me being me, I stepped to dude and extended my hand and spoke with authority to him about music and life. I’ll never forget the look on his face…it was like “Who are you? & Why do you seem at ease around me…Why arent you nervous?” Maybe he was afraid of me…maybe he thought i meant him some kind of harm or I was a threat. This is all central to “Power”.

So…now you guys can relay this story to your peers and tell them your friendly neighborhood Secret Society member put you on. Just dont think I walk around wearing hoods and performing ceremonies on some “Eyes Wide Shut” type ish. I’d rather play Super Street Fighter 4 or figure out more ways to put secret messages into my rhymes. Ha Ha. Megatron Bombs. lol…you soooooo dont get it.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” (c) Shakespeare


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