In the game of Connect Four, where two opponents battle to stack four game pieces in a row, Kanye West rarely loses.
So earlier this year, when the rapper broadcast on his blog that he’d lost nine straight rounds to Beyoncé, it made headlines. An odd bit of Internet self-promotion, since he wasn’t promoting anything.
West would later recoup his winner’s status by beating tourmate Consequence, who then lost in a tournament to West’s mentor, Jay-Z.
A few days back, West challenged Jonah Hill of Superbad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
This time, though, West’s Connect Four escapades turned into a PR blitz, whether planned or not.
The video of West and Hill playing is artfully edited to skip to the best moves. At one dramatic point in the match, West darts from his chair to put on his unreleased and unavailable remix of the current number-one single on Billboard’s top 100, Lil’ Wayne’s Lollipop. In his version, West can be heard singing in the bizarre robot style made famous by R&B auto-tune virtuoso T-Pain.
But both the game and the remix are interrupted before anything is settled. Hill, true to his clumsy onscreeen persona, fumbles the Connect Four frame and resets the game. The song is then drowned out by West’s howls of protest, and no release details are given. What is settled: West has himself a brand new marketing device.
When puppets mouth off
In another instance of accidental (or incidental?) Web promotion, the mayoral election in London, England, got an absurdist push on YouTube when viewers watched puppets mime a recent debate. (Youtube video taken down!)
The video, originally made for the satirical Have I Got News For You program, shows incumbent Labour mayor Ken Livingstone played by Zippy, a puppet with a zipper across his mouth. A round, pink hippopotamus-like thing takes the place of his Tory opponent, Boris Johnson.
The actual exchange, with audio from the real candidates, highlights Livingstone’s defence of the city’s congestion charge and portrays Johnson as a ho-hum middle manager (and foppish, as one YouTube commenter says).
But even if the puppet masters are pro-Labour, their caricatures have had less than a week to make an impression: Londoners go to the polls today (Thursday, May 1).