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5. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (2007)

Director: Hype Williams
Album: Graduation

"Laaaaaa, la, la, wait 'til I get my money right," and in drops the beat, and thus, drops you right into the middle of what appears to be the Utah salt flats, and there's Kanye, a dark presence in the middle of blinding brightness (a brilliant visual interpretation of the track's aesthetic). It's just him rapping as viewed through an epic crane shot, and nothing else. And sure, there are colored smoke bombs at night later, and a model in a flowing black cape-dress, and Kanye doing doughnuts in a gulfwing Benz, but it's the first half of this video that sears an image into your brain, of Kanye surrounded by nothing, doing whatever the fuck he'd like.

Rappers (let alone Hype Williams, who's directed the most blinged-out videos in rap, period) aren't known for brilliant minimalism. This video was Kanye's statement that he can master any and all aesthetics gracefully, and it was the beginning of his foray into more abstract ideas that diverged wildly from anything rap had been before it. In that, he has a classic.

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