Kanye West will never release mediocre work, and whether you love it or hate it, you're talking about it.
The rapper's latest eyebrow-raising release is the visual for his popular track "Famous," off of his The Life of Pablo album, which drew thousands of fans either to The Forum in Los Angeles or glued to Tidal to experience the premiere—and there was definite shock value with what they were given.
Yeezy's video showed him in bed with naked (and very realistic) wax figures of Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Ray J, Taylor Swift, Caitlyn Jenner, Amber Rose, Bill Cosby and George Bush. And while some are not exactly a fan of what he portrayed, the artist who inspired the visual couldn't be prouder.
Realist painter Vincent Desiderio told Cosmopolitan, "It's an extraordinary and bold and different move for Kanye West. And what I would say is that it is the clearest indication of his overall intentions as a person utilizing the media and working within it. I was absolutely floored and incredibly flattered and incredibly happy to see the video, which I think is really beautiful."
Although there's no doubt "Famous" is one of his most shocking reveals, it's definitely not the first time 'Ye drew inspiriation from art for his work.
Here are six other Kanye music videos that mixed music with art:
1. "Heard 'Em Say" (Part 2): This video was co-directed by animator and graphic artist Bill Plympton, whose work Yeezy admired since he was a kid. Plympton was able to put his cartoon touch in Kanye's video, which depicted the rapper as a cab driver who picks up passengers, including a child and his mother, which is meant to represent 'Ye as a young boy.
2. "Good Morning": With the help of artist Takashi Murakami, Kanye's Dropout Bear had his own animated feature that ended up in multiple museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
3. "Power": No doubt one of Kanye's most artistic videos, the 2010 hit was brought to life by way of collage and instillation artist Marco Brambilla and helped depict the message of the song through what 'Ye described as a "moving painting."
4. "Heartless": Kanye and renowned music video director Hype Williams collaborated on numerous projects, but this was their first animated together, and it gave a nod to some of pop culture's most famous art pieces, including Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup cans.
5. "Runaway": There is one artist who has joined forces with Yeezy multiple times, and that artist is Vanessa Beecroft. Along with working on the Yeezy Season fashion performance (among other projects), Beecroft was one of the masterminds behind Ye's art direction for his short feature Runaway, pegged to (what just might be his most artistic release to-date) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
When asked about West in an interview, Beecroft explained, "One day I was approached by Kanye but I wasn't too aware of who he was because I tend to only listen to classical music. He was extremely kind and asked me to choreograph a performance for his 808s & Heartbreak private listening party in 2008. I was going through a divorce and I started to think that maybe he was my black, male alter-ego."
6. "Bound 2": Yes, the video that Seth Rogen and James Franco re-created was actually artsy. During an interview with The Breakfast Club, Kanye explained that he knew it was kinda cheesy, and that was the whole point. "I wanted it to look as phony as possible...I wanna show you that this is the Hunger Games. I wanna show you that this is the type of imagery that's being presented to all of us, and the only difference is that a black dude is in the middle of it...I'm like Marina Abramović. This is performance art. I don't have a problem looking stupid."