It's rare for Kanye West to shoot down a project, especially one that's sparking controversy.
Even more odd is for said project to spark rumors that West himself had been killed, but that was what happened after the hip-hop impresario pulled down the short film "We Were Once a Fairytale" from his blog Tuesday, one day after he posted it there, only offering fans the explanation, "Sorry I had to take it down :(."
Since then, "RIP Kanye West" has risen to top trend status on the micro-blogging platform Twitter, with fans reacting to a gruesome series of scenes in "Fairytale." That impelled West's girlfriend Amber Rose to take to Twitter to shoot down rumors that West died in a car crash. (The rapper was actually involved in a near-fatal wreck in 2002, inspiring his hit "Through the Wire," which is also reportedly the title of his upcoming book.)
"This 'RIP KanyeWest' topic is not funny and its NOT TRUE!," Rose tweeted. "He has people like myself and his family that love him very much."
It's hard to blame fans -- "We Were Once a Fairytale" was made to cause a stir. In the 11-minute long film, made by longtime West collaborator and "Where the Wild Things Are" director Spike Jonze, the rapper plays a drunk version of himself stumbling around a club. West seems darkly desperate in the video, shouting "Do you like my song? This is my song!" at revelers who recoil as he goes on a warpath across the room.
His hit "In My Nightmares" blasts in the background, and the whole thing is pretty nightmarish indeed -- after having sex with a stranger, West vomits rose petals, drives a knife into his stomach and pulls out a small rat-like creature, which then kills itself with a mini knife.
Jonze's surreal product mirrors his work in "Where the Wild Things Are," "Being John Malkovich," and West videos like "Flashing Lights." While West obviously puts on an act in it, it's hard not to see "Fairytale" as a look into the psyche of a star struggling with fame.
It comes as West attempts to exorcise his real-life deamons. Since stealing the mic from Taylor Swift and blowing up at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, West has stepped back from the spotlight, canceling a planned tour with Lady Gaga and saying he wants to take time to reflect.
If West is true to form he won't push this period of introspection under the rug. There's a good chance whatever's running through his mind during this time off will turn into rhymes when he hits the recording studio again, and we'll find out if the sometimes feel-good rapper is really as dark as Jonze might have us believe.