If you search the words “Kanye scary” on Twitter and take even the quickest glance at the results, you’ll find that a common thread of discussion around Yeezus is that it’s…scary. It’s not difficult to imagine why the average listener would find the coverless album frightening: Its jagged textures, blunt sexuality, and aggressive presentation of American racism are a far cry from the overtly happy vibes of “Good Life” (though, it’s worth noting, a far cry still from Eminem raping his mother on record…but every provocation has its purpose), enough to send diehard Kanye fans running for the hills.
And yet, as large as the Yeezus-sized boogie man is looming over whatever of a current popular discourse exists (oh that tricky Twitter, making us believe we’re all actually paying attention to the same thing), there are always equally frightening monsters hiding just beyond our view.
Glitchy, dimly lo-fi, and stickily sexual, experimental Miami rapper/singer Sydney in Theory’s (formerly known as Personal) video for “the wild / nogly2” is a nightmare worthy of mention with the best recent horror films (even at meager three minutes long). Aided by a murky musical accompaniment that meanders as Sydney’s pained voice and equally agonized samples swell and swim through clanging percussion, reverb, and distorted bass, “the wild / nogly2” is something of an exercise in endurance. Though Sydney’s vocals briefly shine through, suggesting something on the verge of pretty, the instrumental fog won’t ever let it fully breathe, delaying any sanctuary the viewer might crave until the video ends–an experience that demands a bit of unpacking, but doesn’t relent to provide room for consideration. It’s a uniquely unnerving audio-visual experience.