So Me Letters Lyrics To Kanye West’s Good Life
Doing research for the new edition of the Typophile Film Fest I also saw quite a few nice music videos. As I mentioned in last week’s DVNO post at some point I was trying to get hold of the elusive So Me (unfortunately it didn’t materialise in time). The long-term label collaborator/graphic designer of Ed Banger Records designed the animated T-shirt graphics in the remarkable D.A.N.C.E. video for French dance duo Justice. For the video to the Kanye West hit Good Life So Me again teamed up with Parisian directing duo Jonas & François for French production company El Niño (previously Irène 75). The collaboration may have come a bit as a surprise, as Kanye West infamously slammed Justice’s winning video at the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards.
The Good Life video uses a similar recipe to the D.A.N.C.E. video but is more typographically oriented. Kanye West and guest R&B artist T-Pain perform the song filmed in black and white against a white backdrop – this strangely made me think of the Get a Mac series of commercials, an impression that was enhanced by the typical iTunes-like reflections of the artists on the floor. The lyrics are either written out in a bouncy hand lettered style or drawn in basic colours. What I like about this clip is the interaction between graphics and both artists, whether it’s the text morphing and responding to the artists’ movements, or the graphics behaving like physical objects. The imagery is rendered in a surprisingly naïve and non-bling style which is atypical for mainstream rap. Yet the overly “sexy” attire and exaggerated cleavage of model Angel Melaku reminds us that – yes indeed – Kanye West is nothing more than the new P-Diddly-Doodle-Dee for the hip crowd. I do appreciate eroticism and sexiness, but not when the images go straight to my reptilian brain without even a minor detour to any thinking part of my body.
I stumbled onto the cover of the single as well. It is similar in style to the video, but sadly uses actual type instead of the delightful hand lettering by So Me. Apart from Cooper Black, Bank Gothic, some distorted Helvetica, and a dot matrix face, the entirely typographic design features some pretty wacky choices like the Art Nouveau design Eccentric, the Art Deco two-tone face Bifur, and Disco-style multilinear sans caps. I seem to remember the silly balloon type is by Maniackers Design.
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