Director Nabil Elderkin and the rap star both agreed to leave the star out of his newest video “Coldest Winter”, which premiered on Monday via iTunes, about over a year after the record 808s & Heartbreak came out. The video shows a struggling woman wearing a white dress running through a gloomy, wintry forest, being followed by creepy hooded characters. West isn’t in the video – not even under one of the hoods.
There was no convincing, twisting of arms or anything; Kanye and Elderkin both agreed with the concept.
You know what, the funny thing is, he didn’t want to be in it,” Elderkin told MTV News. “I wasn’t even gonna put him in it. He didn’t want to be in ‘Paranoid,’ to be honest. There was more Kanye in ‘Paranoid’ [originally], and I took him out. He’s just cool right now with putting out visuals that fit the song without having to be in it. I think he’s in that place in his life where right now he just wants to make art.”
The duo has teemed up before in the past on “Welcome to Heartbreak” and “Paranoid”. Elderkin said he feared overshadowing the song since it one of the most emotional and personal tracks on the record. The song was inspired by the passing of West’s mother in November of 2007, and a failed relationship with his ex-fiance Alexis Phifer last April. Instead of overshadowing this, Elderkin said he wanted the visuals to complement the eerie music with lyrics like “goodbye my friend, will I ever love again?”
“Sometimes I don’t want to get too literal with videos, like, ‘This is what this is suppose to mean, and that’s what that is suppose to mean,’ ” he said. “I wanted to leave it open to interpretation. I want people to get whatever they want out of it.”
Elderkin had a good thing going about West being in a place in his life about making art, perhaps the star is slowly learning his lesson and taking a more subtle approach when it comes to his feelings and thoughts.