Even though it hasn’t even officially been released yet, Kanye West’s “Paranoid” video starring Rihanna is already creating tons of buzz, and Nabil Elderkin, the director of the noir-inspired clip, recently spoke to MTV about the decision to cast Rihanna, the video’s premise and how leaked version differs from the final version. It was Kanye who recruited RiRi to star in “Paranoid,” Elderkin said, adding, “That wasn’t too much of a decision. That was somewhere between ‘hell yeah’ and ‘yeah.’ Who wouldn’t want to look at Rihanna?” In the video, Rihanna is dressed in revealing lingerie while trapped in a dream sequence that capture her character’s “paranoid state of mind.”
The video first surfaced at an Island Def Jam spring party two weeks ago, with a bootlegged version of the clip making the rounds and first breaking the news that Rihanna — in her first official music-related appearance since her February 8th incident with Chris Brown — would be starring in the 808s & Heartbreak vid. A better quality version of “Paranoid” leaked out last week, but West was quick to jump to his blog to say that version predates the one that screened at the IDJ party and post some screenshots from the video’s final version.
“That wasn’t even an old version,” Elderkin, who previously worked on Yeezy’s “Champion” and “Welcome to Heartbreak” videos, told MTV. “That wasn’t even the video. It was just a bunch of footage, like a timeline type of thing to show the idea. That was pre-rough cut.” As opposed to the montage feel of the leaked versions, Elderkin insists that the final cut will be more narrative in structure, with Kanye acting more wolf-like (‘Ye’s screencaps teased the appearance of wolves) and more footage of Rihanna’s frantic driving. No date has been announced for the official and final release of the “Paranoid” video, but you can probably expect to see it on Kanye’s blog within the next few weeks.