Kanye West has taken his extreme thirst for controversy to new heights with his "Famous" music video, released on Tidal Friday (June 24).
Many had speculated the video would reference West's ongoing beef with Taylor Swift. After all, this is the track featuring his infamously sexist line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/I made that bitch famous." But, in typical Kanye fashion, he managed to outdo all expectation with a dig of truly unparalleled dimensions.
In case you somehow hadn't heard, the video features Kanye, Kim Kardashian and 10 wax figures bearing startling resemblances to certain celebrities — in the buff. And who should get the place of honor in this post-orgy scene but "Swift" herself, seen lying next to Kanye.
Besides Swift, the nine other likenesses included are: George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner, and Bill Cosby. Clearly, West was gleefully anticipating some pretty major backlash from the star-studded lineup, but so far he's been disappointed. The video has received practically no response from the celebrities depicted, and Ye's patience seems to be wearing thin. On Saturday (June 25) he actually begged to be sued in a tweet that's since been deleted.
Reportedly, Swift has been consulting her legal team on the best way to respond, and even though we've yet to hear any official statements, I think it's pretty safe to assume she's not going to take this one sitting down. So far, the only celebrity responses "Famous" has garnered have been from Chris Brown, who laughed it off, and a representative for Bush, who simply said, "That's not him."
But the so-far paltry response doesn't mean West won't eventually get his wish. The silence could imply that legal counsel is being sought by more than just Swift, and if I were the Kardashian-Wests right now, I'd be pretty freaked. We all know the state of West's finances are dubious after the rapper opened up about his alleged $53 million debt on Twitter in February. If even one of the 10 celebrities whose likenesses were exploited in "Famous" take him to court, where can we reasonably expect that money to come from?
My biggest problem with the video has nothing to do with nudity, though, and everything to do with West's deliberate placement of Rihanna's likeness next to her abuser's, Chris Brown. If he hadn't done that, I actually would've praised "Famous" as weirdly brilliant. The heavily voyeuristic feel, amplified by its shaky shooting style, makes for an interesting commentary on fame, which he told Vanity Fair was his intent. But by positioning Rihanna and Brown next to each other, as well as including Cosby, West once again crosses the line from meaningful art to controversy for the sake of controversy.
You can watch the "Famous" music video here.