Kanye West: Walmart denies banning his racy cover artwork

kanye-westImage Credit: Jun Sato/WireImage.comWalmart had nothing to do with nixing Kanye West’s NSFW cover artwork for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, reps for the retail giant tell EW.

West referenced the chain in a snarky tweet last night, writing, “In all honesty … I really don’t be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!” A report in the Los Angeles Times cited concerns within West’s label about “whether or not mass-market retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart would carry an album featuring venomous nudes.” But Walmart is doing its best to stay out of this story.

“We’re excited about Kanye West’s new album and we look forward to carrying it in our stores on November 22nd,” a Walmart spokesperson says in a statement provided to EW. “As always, it’s our standard practice to carry the edited parental advisory version. We did not reject the cover artwork and it was never presented to us to view.”

Note especially that last part: Walmart never even saw the cover artwork, let alone “banning” it. So any internal Def Jam debate involving the store must have been a strictly hypothetical one.

What do you think of this latest update? Sound off in the comments.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter:@EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (21 total) Add your comment
  • Jay

    LOL, probably just Kanye saying his stuff was “banned” so he would seem all edgy and controversial.

    What a fake! MAJOR FAIL

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    So Kanye said/did something to garner attention by making something up? Wow I’m shocked! He’s never done this before /sarc

  • u

    Clearly a well-calculated publicity stunt on Kanye’s part. He knows that controversy sells, so he deliberately chose a provocative album art, then stages a censorship of his album that doesn’t even exist yet.
    “When you try hard, that’s when you die hard.”

  • Marc

    It’s absolutely ridiculous that this has apparently become a big deal. Kanye was pretty obviously joking with that “banned” thing. Does nobody understand sarcasm?

  • Miss Talk

    What amazes me the most is Kanye writing “Kanyeshrug” in his own tweet LOL
    I don’t know what to think about the cover, it’s just Kanye doing Kanye!
    Yet I heard through the blogvine that the blonde phoenix is the blonde girl we all know…*kanye shrug*

  • Lady Gaga

    i’m not buying Kanye’s tweet nor his album! It will fail… mark my word!

    • GSK

      I like your play on words — well said.

  • the girl

    Now that I’ve read his original statement, I can’t see why anyone took it so seriously as to claim it had somehow been “banned”. On top of which but as Wal-Mart mentions they only carry censored version of music anyway so this would never have been an issue for them.
    Nevertheless, Team Kanye. This man is an artist, a performer, a character. I love him for his antics, he knows how to put on a good show and compel the people. That is fame at its core.

    • mary q contrary

      There were several other tweets mentioning the issue, including one in which he actually said his album art had been banned

  • LJ

    Need I point out that he never said Walmart banned the cover? He said it was banned, and that he didn’t think about Walmart when making it.

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      Yes but the cover was NOT banned and mentioning that “he didn’t think of Walmart when making it” means he was implying that Walmart did ban it.

      Stop spinning this around, Kanye lied to try and create controversy, it backfired. Live with it

  • Kanyesus

    Kanye West saying things for attention?!? I’ve never heard such nonsense, every word the man says is basically divine scripture. He would never say anything unless it was honest, sincere, and appropriate.
    (sarcasm, all sarcasm)

    • mary q contrary

      I wish you had left out the part where you explained your sarcasm. It would have been so much funnier.

  • ntvnat

    You should ban him for being a dou|che!

    In a chicken-the-egg scenario, I wonder… did dumb, dead Dondre West raise an arrogant son, or did his fame cause her to be poisoned by the same arrogance? But I wish him well. :]

  • JT

    Dishonesty is not a cool trait.

  • ks


  • ShutUpKanye

    I guess his mother died before she could teach him proper grammar. “I don’t be thinking”? Oy, gimme a beark.

    • mary q contrary

      That’s really just a terrible thing to say. Why bring up his dead mother? I mean, seriously, why even go there? There were so many other ways you could have poked fun at his grammar, but you chose to say something cruel and awful because you’re sitting in the comfort of your home and will never actually have to own up to being such a hateful coward.

  • mel

    I am so tired of Kanye West!

    • Angelo

      Who cares about kanye, i dont like him and he needs prayer!!!1

  • Veronica

    I’m quite certain the cover wasn’t presented to ANY retailer. Kanye never said Wal-Mart rejected it. Most likely it was the LABEL that nixed the cover, fearing it would have a negative impact on sales. Kanye’s point was that he was being more true to the creative aspect of his work as opposed to the potential financial gain. Does that really have to be explained — THINK PEOPLE.

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