Kanye West surprised VMA viewers on Sunday night by using the time he had been given at the awards show to premiere his new video for "Fade." After an impassioned speech, Kanye debuted the video, which featured Teyana Taylor doing a '80s-style dance routine in a gym, a shower scene with her husband Iman Shumpert, and an extremely memorable closing tableau. On Monday, Taylor spoke to Vogue about how she got the starring role in the video, Kanye West's vision for the video, and the inspiration behind the cat face in the final scene.
After Taylor's Lil Kim tribute performance at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors, Taylor and Kanye West were recording in the same studio when Kanye asked to speak with her. "We just started talking and I was just rambling and rambling about Iman [Shumpert]," Taylor told Vogue. "To him it was a dope moment to just see love like that, to see that you can really have it all.
Kanye invited her to dance in the video that same night, and Taylor says she sent in a video of a her choreography, which included a routine she had originally planned for Beyoncé's 2011single, "End of Time." "[Beyoncé] loved it but she wound up not being able to use it because she was pregnant, but back then the world didn’t know. All this time that choreography was just sitting there," Taylor said.
Apparently, Kanye was present on set the entire time, and offered a simple explanation for the cat face that Taylor wear in the video's final moments. "He was just like, 'I’m going to put you in this cat face. It’s going to be chic,'" she said. "I thought, 'This crazy mother-effer. He’s got 15 sheep in this gym right now, with poop all over the place.'"
Taylor also spoke about the shower scene with her husband, Iman Shumpert. "To have that moment with him, only made that moment so much sexier, so much more genuine, so much more pure," she said. Taylor and Shumpert's 8-month-old daughter, Junie, also makes an appearance in the video, and Taylor says, "She might be the coolest baby on Earth."
As for the symbolism of Kanye West's "Fade" video, Taylor said that it will probably take fans a while to process the entire meaning. " I feel like it’s up for the people to figure it out. I get it, but I want them to really figure it out and really understand what’s going on. And for them to understand, they’re going to have to watch it 20, and 30, and 40 times."
Read Teyana Taylor's full interview with Vogue here.