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Kanye West transforms pop culture into high art with 'Famous'

Keakie explores the creative process behind Kanye's fantasy

24th Aug 2016

Credit: Dallas Observer

Kanye has stripped the clothes off of celebrity since the beginning. It’s how he got famous. His art is fame. In College Dropout and Late Registration, he conducted soulful studies into how the mass. celebrity centred media imprints itself on the young, ambitious mind. From Graduation to My Beautiful Dark Twisted fantasy he painted extremely colourful, often brutal visages of what the celebrity life is like. And with Yeezus, well, he rebelled.

Now, in 2016, he is pretty much able to command news any news day he wants – and he’s produced an aptly name climax to this career-long struggle of his – “Famous”:

Famous first grabbed ears and headlines with its insanely catchy verb and incredibly stigmatising first verse "To all my Southside n****s who know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous ". Most recently, Kanye released equally outrageous and absorbing 8-minute video to pair with it.

The video is “sampled” from the 2008 painting ‘Sleep’ by Vincent Desiderio, who in fact wrote an article about how interesting and honouring the experience was when Kanye brought him in unbeknownst to show it to him, after spending five months making it – he was literally taken to a top secret location. ‘Sleep’, pictured below, depicts a massive bed; full of bodies of varying gender, all blissfully asleep, all naked.

Watch 'Famous' here

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