So Kanye West picked a painting of himself hooking up with an armless, tailed lady to be the cover for his new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and then announced that it was banned. It’s still unclear who banned it, or if anyone banned it at all.
You can’t blame Kanye for at least trying to get his album cover censored. As I noted in 2007, with the announcement of Nas’ N—– LP (which he later re-named Untitled), sometimes the best way to guarantee buzz is to push the envelope with your album artwork.
In this fun video I produced and co-edited back then, I broke down the five ways artists have historically made their way into news headlines with their controversial album art. Whether it’s with profanity, sacrilegious imagery, nudity, sexually suggestive pics or graphic violence, artists from the Beatles to Jane’s Addiction to Slayer to REO Speedwagon have all had their album covers singled out as being too hot for some record stores.
So while we wait for the official word as to whether Kanye’s suggestive painting is actually banned, why not take a trip down memory lane and check out this vid? Honestly, any excuse to bring it back is a good one — it’s still one of the favorite segments I’ve ever produced during my MTV News gig.
Do you think Kanye is drumming up controversy on purpose? Do you agree with West that there’s a double-standard if Nirvana was able to feature nudity on an album cover yet he can’t even show a painting? Watch the video and comment below. And for more pop culture ramblings, follow me on Twitter @jambajim.