Kanye West broke the internet during the last weekend in June after striking controversy with his bizarre and provocative new music video.
On June 24, the video for his song “Famous” was released on Tidal, and it featured several celebrity doppelgangers sleeping in the nude with Kim and Kanye. The look-a-likes include West’s ex Amber Rose, Kim’s ex Ray J, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Anna Wintour, Caitlyn Jenner, George W. Bush and Taylor Swift. West has spoken out about all of the celebrities, in the video, in the past. This includes Taylor Swift who he both bashes in the song and infamously interrupted during her acceptance speech at the VMA’s in 2009.
On July 2, Kanye West announced on twitter that the video would be displayed throughout the city of Baltimore. This surprise showing occurred on North Charles Street and West Centre Street, Art Museum Drive, Water Street and South Calvert Lombard Street and South Howard Street and Eutaw Street and West Camden Street. These pop up viewings are also happening across the country and internationally.
Some say the piece was inspired by artist Vicent Desiderio’s painting “Sleep,” as simply a metaphor. West told Vanity Fair that “It’s not in support or anti any of . It’s a comment on fame.”
However, the celebrities who were exposed are less than amused. Although Taylor Swift has yet to comment about the debacle, her close friend Lena Dunham quickly came to her defense. “Seeing a woman I love like Taylor Swift…a woman I admire like Rihanna or Anna, reduced to a pair of waxy breast made by some special effects guy in the Valley, it makes me feel sad and unsafe and worried for the teenage girls who watch this” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“I know that art’s job is to make us think in ways that aren’t always tidy or comfortable. But this feels different,” wrote Dunham.
Ray J, who was featured in the video, said he wasn’t pleased with being dissed by the song’s lyrics and being placed next to ex Kim Kardashian. “Man, I’m just trying to stay positive,” Ray J told ET’s Kein Frazier “I’m engaged. My marriage is all messed up ‘cause of craziness. I’m not a part of nothing crazy.”
Although Ray J infamously made a sex tape with West’s wife Kim Kardashian, he just wants to put the past behind him. “Can I grow up?” he told Frazier.
According to several media outlets, George Bush denied that he was in the video. “In case there was any doubt, I’ll state the obvious: That is not President Bush. He is in much better shape,” his media spokesperson wrote in an email.
Singer Chris Brown also took the video lightheartedly, joking on Instagram by posting “Why I gotta have the plumbers butt/crack showing WAX figure? This nigga KANYE CRAZY, talented, but crazy.”
Although Rihanna, Caitlyn Jenner, Amber Rose, and Taylor Swift have yet to respond, many are wondering if they will be taking legal action against Kanye West. However, West does not appear to be afraid of any backlash. On June 25 he tweeted “Can somebody sue me already #I’ll wait,” but it was later deleted from his account.