Note: Portions of this article have been adapted from "Music Videos in the Digital World," a talk given by IMVDb at Sprockets Music Video Fest 2014.
On the track “So Appalled” from Kanye West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, West has a warning for potential love interests: “the day that you play me will be the same day MTV play videos.” He caps it off with some clarification: “that was a little joke, voila.”
By 2010, Kanye’s joke wasn’t exactly breaking new ground. It was a shared go-to observation among those of a certain generation - remember when MTV used to actually stand for music television? Remember when MTV used to actually play music videos?