Contrary to popular belief, there’s usually a method to Kanye West‘s madness. Following his performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, many questioned why a photo of a tree was the background image as the sounds of “Blood On the Leaves” echoed into the crowd.
Like always, the G.O.O.D. Music founder used his website (kanyewest.com) to clear the ambiguity. The picture was taken by London-born director and photographer, Steve McQueen, and is titled “Lynching Tree.” Premiered at the Schaulager exhibition in Basel, the still shot captures a tree near New Orleans once used to hang Blacks.
The lynched are buried in the ground surrounding the tree. Does Yeezy’s performance make a lot more sense now?
Additionally, the aforementioned filmmaker will debut 12 Years A Slave, the film adaptation to an 1853 autobiography of the same name about Solomon Northup. Hit the jump for a better look at McQueen’s historical piece and West’s message.