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Video: Kanye West's 'Monster' Featuring Nicki Minaj Leaks

Jay-Z also guests on morbid clip

December 30, 2010 2:00 PM ET

The video for Kanye West's latest single "Monster" is like the rapper's answer to Michael Jackson's classic video for "Thriller" — but instead of dancing zombies, he gives us undead, barely dressed and occasionally dismembered models. The clip, which surfaced this morning, also features guest appearances from Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and indie-folk star Bon Iver.

Photos: Kanye West's Career Highs — and Lows

In the video as well as in the song, Minaj steals the show. In what Rolling Stone called "the cameo of the year," she switches up her delivery repeatedly over the course of 31 bars, veering between cartoonish sweetness and unhinged villainy. She dramatizes the jarring dynamic shifts in the clip by appearing as a fanged dominatrix torturing a far more innocent version of herself in a neon pink wig and frilly white dress. It's a brilliant visual take on a breathtakingly badass verse, but really, they could've just focused in on her incredible facial expressions and called it a day. She's just that entertaining to watch.

Photos: Nicki Minaj's Best Looks

Keep in mind that the video above is not the official version, and may be missing some special effects. This version leaked this morning, because apparently hotly anticipated music videos — not just songs — leak now. It's a whole new world, folks. Kanye West: innovative, even when he probably doesn't intend to be.

Kanye's 'Monster' Video: Disembodied Heads, Double Nicki Minaj [Vulture]

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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