By Kathleen Newman-Bremang
Kanye West may be hyping himself as the Michael Jordan of the rap world, but we’ve got some news for you, Yeezy — you might not even be the MJ of songs with “Paranoid” in the title. With yesterday’s viral release of West’s official (not leaked) version of his “Paranoid” music video and the Jonas Brothers’ new hit single of the same name, we decided to take a look back at some other artists who were feeling the nervous vibe long before Kanye and the JoBros. Yes, Radiohead, Garbage and Black Sabbath did the paranoia-themed vid first. But who did it best? Let’s take a look:
Kanye West – “Paranoid”
We have to admit, when the first version of the video leaked, we weren’t that impressed. But the final cut finds Kanye in his true form, delivering a high-concept music video that feels more like a piece of art than anything else, and the black-and-white clip even guest-stars Rihanna as a disturbed vixen in the midst of a nightmare. In the song, Kanye advises his lady to quit worrying about “the wrong things,” but there’s nothing wrong with this clip. Kudos to Kanye for the old-school film noir vibe — we’re digging it.
Jonas Brothers – “Paranoid”
This video follows the JoBros video formula we’ve come to know and love: There’s the inevitable performance setup, Nick gets the girl, and all three boys get to show off their acting skills. In the clip, Joe inexplicably wanders into a wrestling ring, Kevin freaks out when he’s thrown into a room full of his clones (wouldn’t anyone?) and Nick finds himself in a car chase in the desert with a hot blonde. Wait — the whole thing was just a dream … or was it? We give props for cool special-effects but, come on guys, the dream sequence bit is a little played out.
Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”
With its 1970s psychedelic feel, this vid is a classic. The song is one of the most iconic, kick-ass rock jams of all time and, let’s face it: Black Sabbath’s version is totally the original “Paranoid.” Plus, it’s pretty damn cool to see former frontman Ozzy Osbourne rocking out in his prime. We give it an A for the groovy colors and the Sabbath’s awesome delivery of this metal masterpiece.
Radiohead – “Paranoid Android”
We’re not sure where to start with this one. The video is all kinds of confusing and totally tripped us out. Based on a famous Swedish cartoon, the animated clip features cartoonized versions of Thom Yorke and the boys and a story line we couldn’t quite keep up with. The main characters of the clip set out on a journey where they get flashed by a random lady and have an even more random encounter with the president of France (we think). What? Who cares? The song is awesome.
Garbage – “I Think I’m Paranoid”
This song was one of the band’s biggest successes and the video sure doesn’t disappoint. The black-and-white clip fits the song perfectly and mainly features frontwoman Shirley Manson unleashing her anger to the camera as her bandmates do their own thing. There’s lots of yelling, cool effects and a shot of Manson eating her own fist. What more could you ask for?
Winner: OK, OK Kanye — maybe you are that good. We won’t go so far as to say the song trumps any of the classics on the list but, as for the video, we’ll give you this one for style and originality — and for the gratuitous Rihanna eye-candy. Thank you and you’re welcome.
What do you guys think? Is Kanye’s video the best of the bunch? Sound off below!