You probably will, in a fashion, after watching the eagerly-anticipated music video for “Famous”, simultaneously released Friday June 24 at the Forum in Los Angeles and live-streamed on Tidal, as covered by E! News. And yes, it does show Kanye and Kim in a big bed surrounded by nude doppelgangers of big-name famous people in its key visual sequence. Aside from Swift, we get doubles of artists Rihanna, Ray J and Chris Brown, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, model-actress Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner, comedian legend Bill Cosby, former president George W. Bush, and current Republican candidate Donald Trump. At the end of the song in the video, the artist then thanks all the “featured” celebrities for being famous, referencing the song’s title.
Needless to say, Kanye has unleashed a masterstroke of controversy with this one.
One of the more prominent voices criticizing the “Famous” video is television writer/producer Lena Dunham, the creator of “Girls” on HBO. CNN reports that on Monday, Dunham wrote a substantially lengthy post on Facebook textually savaging the video’s merits, or (to her,) lack of them. She slammed West’s depiction of women on the video, and made a call back to one of her earlier videos where she verbally tears into the suspect of the Stanford rape case, making juxtaposition between the rapist and Kanye. Dunham also had a few choice words regarding the Bill Cosby lookalike, citing the ongoing case of sexual assault filed against the real deal. And there was a great deal of despair for the writer upon seeing her close personal friend Taylor Swift portrayed by a nude double in the video.
As is always the case, the “Famous” video did manage to win some supporters. Painter Vincent Desiderio called it magical and even wrote an essay on W Magazine where he all but sang praises of Kanye’s work. Not surprising as his 2008 painting “Sleep” was the acknowledged piece of inspiration for the music video. Most surprisingly, none of the celebrities lampooned on “Famous” commented so much as a peep the first few days it was on. Not even Swift could be bothered to give a reaction. Well, Chris Brown doesn’t seem to be the least bit bothered, even describing Kanye as talented but crazy on Instagram. West meanwhile has defended his latest video in an Interview on Vanity Fair, claiming that his “Famous” music video is nothing more than a commentary on fame. Shaped like itself, perhaps.
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