Teyana Taylor’s Flashdance-style Kanye West music video Fade explained

What the hell was going on? Loaded’s here to help…

Teyana Taylor
Cat People Teyana Taylor in the music video for Kanye's Fade. Image Picture Tidal

Kanye West is never a man to do things quietly.

Yeezy was given four minutes on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and he used it to debut the provocative new music video for his single Fade.

Teyana Taylor, the 25-year-old singer signed to West’s label GOOD, took centre stage in the clip. She channeled Flashdance for a sweaty, 80s-inspired promo featuring shower sex with her NBA star husband Iman Shumpert and a bizarre last-second twist worthy of M Night Shyamalan.

But what the hell does that cast gym session-turned-Cats spin-off actually mean?

Kanye’s Reddit page has been going into overdrive with theories about Taylor and her sexualisation in the video.

“You know, the lioness always protects her baby. I think it really is about her coming into her fierceness.”

User ChipSkyLurk very bluntly proposed: “At the end, Tenaya becomes a cat. She literally becomes pussy. This stands out a lot to me, especially after such a sexualised video.”

Another called IKindaLikeFish added a different spin on proceedings: “We were sexualising her the entire video even though she wasn’t showing off, just doing her workout at the gym.

“Then the shot jarringly switches to an overtly sexual situation which is pretty much soft core porn as a way of saying ‘is this what you wanted?’

“Then it shows her with a cat face like saying she’s literally just the embodiment of pussy to the audience and surrounds her with sheep (representative of the men attracted to her) and a baby (which is the purpose and result of sex at the end of the day).

“The video purposefully turns you on and then subverts your expectations and questions what you find sexual or why it’s sexy at all. Our feelings fade away.”

Watch Teyana Taylor in the music video for Fade:

However Jae Blaze, the choreographer and artistic director for the clip, offered up a different explanation in an interview with Pitchfork.

“I think the vision behind that was how amazing Teyana is, and how she’s been on the rise, and how she’s working, and you are now seeing her blossom into this fierce lioness, this fierce cat,” she said.

“She has worked her way into that, and she’s in a great position right now in her life. She has her family. She’s being held down by her amazing husband.

“She has a beautiful daughter. You know, the lioness always protects her baby. I think it really is about her coming into her fierceness. And that’s where she is in her life right now. She is blossoming.

Of the Flashdance homage, he added: “Everyone is just referencing Flashdance, and that is a great conversation to be in because the movie was epic. I mean, she just took Flashdance to 2016, if you want to put it like that.

“She brought it to a generation of some people who many not have even seen the movie before! She made it relevant and current right now. Her body is amazing. Her dancing was amazing. She’s just a beast. All in all, it just came together really well.”

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn