The video begins with a three-minute dance number that is a cross between Flashdance and soft porn. Our minds were blown by her rhythmic sex appeal. As I watched for the first time, I told my friends, "This is hot...but I wish something controversial would happen!"
Yeezus answers prayers.
The video cuts to a steamy shower scene with Teyana and Iman, her NBA star fiancé. No filter. And in the last 10 seconds of the video, Kanye takes us back to the gym, this time with Teyana costumed as some kind of sexy lion Avatar, standing over her husband and baby Junie in a room full of live sheep.
......WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??? After studying the video and countless Reddit threads, I've developed 3 concepts for the deeper meaning of Kanye's "Fade" music video:
LEVEL 1: FAME Kanye is always pushing boundaries for the newest generation of Hollywood's elite. In his prior video release of "Famous", we saw Bill Cosby in bed with Taylor Swift, Ray J alongside Rihanna. He draws attention to the unconventional blend of society's most influential members. Kanye continues with this theme by spotlighting the talented Teyana Taylor, My Super Sweet Sixteen princess turned G.O.O.D. Music rapper turned NBA wife and mother.
Teyana and Kim have a lot in common. They're both ambitious bombshells that have leveraged their sexuality for fame. Kanye worships the juxtaposition between thirst trap and ambitious career woman/mom. The "Fade" video is an ode to his muse, Kim, who has paved a new lane for fame.
LEVEL 2: PUSSY POWER In line with the fame theory, one could take a more metaphorical approach. Teyana's dance number seduces our most carnal, animalistic desires. We were glued to the screen for a solid three minutes. She takes us to the next level with none other than her husband, representing the pinnacle of intimacy (one could even argue success). And then, BAM. Cue sexy lioness. We're caught with our pants down. We've been lured in like prey. All of us. Sheep. Led blindly by sex and fantasies of #GOALS.
Teyana's lioness character represents power. Queen of the jungle. She has it all: fame, family, fortune. You could even call it pussy (heh) power. Kanye is validating the new generation of "royalty", reminding us that the equation for success is simple; we're all animals brought together by primitive desires.
LEVEL 3: LION AND THE LAMB Maaaaybe it's a stretch, but there's potential for a biblical allusion. I mean, it is Yeezus. Life of Pablo (Paul, the disciple). A passage in the book of Isaiah (11:6) describes a time in the future when all creatures will coexist. In this utopia, lions and "fattened calves" will roam together peacefully without persecution.
Could Kanye be setting the tone for his perfect society in which different groups of people can coexist? A world where rap and street culture can mingle with the elite Vogue group he begs? Or could this ladder up to social justice? Black and white? Classism? Sexism?
Or maybe it's not that complex, Liana. Maybe it's just another provocative dance video to promote his up-and-coming signed artist. The world will never know.