“Good Morning” is the leading song off of Kanye West’s third studio album, Graduation. Kanye West is a rapper as well as a producer, and hails from Chicago, Illinois.
He began producing at a young age, and began to achieve notoriety when he started to produce for Jay-Z. His work on the critically acclaimed The Blueprint gained him recognition in music industry as a producer, and so he turned his attention to making a debut album.
Kanye’s debut album would encounter multiple issues, a major one being the lack of confidence people had in his ability to rap. These worries would be put to rest with the release of The College Dropout, which was met with critical acclaim. After the release of his second studio album Late Registration, Kanye focused on the work of his third studio album, which would eventually become Graduation.
An important thing to note, especially for this video, is that a common theme through Kanye’s first three albums is his use of a bear on the covers of the albums. This bear serves as a sort of translation of Kanye’s entrance into the rap game, with the album title showing where Kanye/the bear currently is in his transition.
The beginning of the video shows the bear being awaken by his alarm clock, only to realize that he is late for his big day, the day of graduation. The bear then rushes to ready himself for the big day, brushing his teeth and changing quickly, before hopping into his car. The car breaks down almost immediately, the first of many obstacles the bear will face on his way to the graduation ceremony that day.
As the day continues, the bear faces more obstacles, which include an extremely lengthy line for the bus, not being able to hail a taxi, being a step too late for the subway ride which closes in his face, and being chewed up by a cloud that places him into a nightmare type scenario, in which the bear is being chased by a twister.
However, once the bear is expelled out of the cloud, the day suddenly takes a sharp turn for the better. The sky goes from dark and menacing, to the clouds opening up to reveal a bright, sunny day. The bear gets to the university, and while he is running across a field to the ceremony, quickly scores a touchdown against the university’s football team. After diving into the endzone, the next shot shows him bursting in on the ceremony and briskly throwing his jacket in the air, revealing a graduation gown. The bear proceeds to walk up to a character that seems to be some type of official at the university, and received his “Bachelor of hip hip music.”
Leaving the university the bear starts to celebrate with his friends, as they leave in his car(which is somehow suddenly fixed), and are blasted into an open space type area, with the titles of several songs off of Graduation appearing in the background.
Since the bear is a sort of a symbol for Kanye, all of the actions in the video are important. The bear awakens and has a late start on the day, similar to Kanye’s late start in the industry as a rapper. All the troubles the bear encounters on the way to the ceremony signify all the troubles Kanye had breaking into the industry as a rapper. Not being able to hail a taxi can act as a sort of symbol for not being able to secure a deal with a record company, and being chewed up by the cloud could be a way to show that Kanye feels the industry has attempted to chew him up and spit him out.
The transition to the bright day shows how Kanye has succeeded despite towards all the obstacles in his way, and the touchdown could serve to demonstrate the success of his two albums. Receiving his “bachelor’s degree” signifies his recognition from others in the industry, and the car blasting off into space conveys that his journey is only beginning.
I believe Kanye is successful in achieving his purpose with the video because the video has a clear outline, and even though it leaves many things up to interpretation, the overall message is clear. I enjoy the video, and it goes to show the creativity Kanye has. It makes the audience feel guilty for the bear, while simultaneously taking the audience to a more cheerful state by the conclusion of the video.