On Friday night, Kanye West debuted his highly-anticipated music video for his single “Famous.” The short film premiered at the Los Angeles Forum for ticket holders and members of the press, most of whom couldn’t wait to see what the rapper had up his sleeve.
And like always, expect the unexpected from Yeezy. “Famous,” featuring Rihanna and Swizz Beatz, is a song about Kanye’s status, the people who have gotten “fame” from his actions or remain nameless. The visuals are impactful; like the controversy that it sparked when it was first seen and heard, the video is just as powerful.
The first part was inspired by American realist Vincent Desiderio’s piece “Sleep,” an eight-foot-high, 24-foot-long painting portraying the naked bodies of 12 people lying on a bed asleep. In Kanye’s tableau the camera passes over nude, motionless bodies of celebrities and public figures: himself, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, Rihanna, Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, Chris Brown, Bill Cosby, Caitlyn Jenner, George Bush, Amber Rose and Ray J. West’s team hasn’t specified whether any of the celebrities depicted gave the rapper authorization to use their likeness in his video. But the bodies are very detailed sculptures that at times move, making it all the more real.
While he may be stripping away the clothing to sparks some radical emotions, Kanye also depicts them as regular humans and bodies, not glorified stars or people in power. (During an interlude, however, the credits feature a special thanks to every celebrity who was portrayed in the scene “for being famous.”)
No doubt, this will go down as one of Kanye’s most provocative videos yet.
You can watch the full live stream exclusively on Tidal by clicking here.
Below is a NSFW clip of fan-shot footage:
— Shady Facts (@TheShadeAccount) June 25, 2016