Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) dropped the stark video for the Donda track “Heaven and Hell” on Monday night (Jan. 10), debuting the monochromatic clip during a commercial break in the College Football Playoff national championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.
The game-break timing made sense, since the nearly three-minute visual ends with a plug for Ye’s mass market fashion line Yeezy Gap, with the $80 unisex black (or blue) hoodie he sports in the video available for purchase after the ad run. In keeping with the song’s dark, grinding vibe, the action takes place in a dystopian city peopled by figures in the black hoodies and the style of face-obscuring mask the rapper has taken to wearing over the past year.
“No more promos, no more photos/ No more logos, no more chokeholds/ We on Bezos, we get payrolls/ Trips to Lagos, connect like LEGOs/ Make this final, make this, my eyes closed/ Burn false idols, Jesus’ disciples/ I can feel your pain now, I done bled my vein out,” Ye raps over the spare, martial beat sampled from the 20th Century Steel Band’s 1975 song “Heaven and Hell Is on Earth” as the city of swaggy sweatshirt ciphers shuffle anonymously through the streets.
The action picks up at the midpoint, when West is rapping from within a rapture twister in which the citizens are being swept up into the sunlit heavens — or are they descending from the heights headed the other way? The cryptic narrative ends with a series of Biblical stills that appear to depict a pitched battle.
Check out the “Heaven and Hell” video below.