Rapper directing clip that shows him working dead-end mall job. Kanye West isn’t just sitting in the director’s chair for his next video — he’s also going back in time. For “Spaceship,” the hip-hop artist is revisiting the time he held a minimum-wage job in a mall, how small that made him feel, and his dreams to get away.
“Spaceship” starts in a mall parking lot, where a man lies on the ground, unconscious. Then, according to the treatment, the video flashes back to an earlier moment, when another man — later revealed as West — arrives for work and punches in his time card, just a little late.
His relationship with his boss unfolds in small moments, like when his manager hovers over him as he folds khaki pants, as if West isn’t capable of the task. Not that his manager is that hardworking himself — his boss takes time out to play peeping Tom when attractive girls change in the dressing rooms.
West’s relationship with his co-workers isn’t much better. When it’s time for lunch, West takes a break, sitting away from the rest of his crew, eating food he’s packed in a brown bag himself, which only earns him smirks from the employees at the fast-food court. During his break, he daydreams, staring at the ceiling, which becomes a starry sky in his imagination. He also calls a number listed in an ad in the back of a magazine, which has a scientist in a white lab coat and a rocket ship on its cover.
When it’s time to get paid, West gets shortchanged. He tries telling the manager, who refuses to listen. Angry, West knocks over rack after rack of clothing, jumps on the register counter and then runs out of the store, with the manager in hot pursuit. Once outside the mall, he tears off his uniform, looks up and sees the rocket ship that’s going to take him away.
The ship’s steam and sparks knock the manager to the ground, unconscious. From there, we’re back where we began, as security guards rush out, someone helps the manager sit up and GLC and Consequence — who appeared earlier as a co-worker and a customer — can only smile.