Kanye West Goes to The Puppet Olympics in "Champion" Video

August 12, 2008 11:32 AM ET

Kanye Wes has caught Olympic fever with his new video for Graduation's "Champion." The clip features an Avenue Q version of West getting approval from some judges to run in the 100 meter sprint at the "Unified Games." Puppet 'Ye takes to the track wearing those patented white Venetian blinds sunglasses and just when the gun is about to go off, we jump back into his past to draw some lyrical connections about overcoming hardships. If this is anything like the "Flashing Lights" video series, future "Champion" videos can feature Puppet Kanye partaking in other Olympic events like 10m Air Rifle, Javelin Throw and Water Polo.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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