Kanye West posts 'banned' NSFW artwork for 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'

Kanye-WestImage Credit: Will Ragozzino/Getty ImagesKanye West has cooked up another controversy, this time over the cover art for his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

“Yoooo they banned my album cover!!!!!” the rapper tweeted last night. He followed up with a link to the supposedly “banned” image, an NSFW painting with a bright red border in which a leering man clutches a green bottle in one hand while being straddled by a naked woman with white feathery wings, a polka-dotted tail, and menacingly sharp teeth. (See it after the jump.) “Banned in the USA!!!” West added via Twitter. “They don’t want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix… In the 70s album covers had actual nudity… It’s so funny that people forget that… Everything has been so commercialized now… So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they cover but I can’t have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings.”

One slight problem with West’s story: According to the Los Angeles Times, no one exactly “banned” the racy album cover. An anonymous Island Def Jam source tells the Times that while the label “strongly urged” West to ditch the image, he “was told if he wanted to do it, the label would stand behind him.” In other words, he’s almost certainly just trying to stir up some extra buzz for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘s expected Nov. 22 release. Can you blame him?

West’s reps have not responded to EW’s request for comment. Check out his “banned” album cover after the jump. What do you think? Are West’s critics making too big a deal about painted nudity, or is he the one wasting our time with a silly publicity stunt?

More: Walmart denies banning Kanye West’s racy cover artwork

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

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Comments (62 total) Add your comment
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  • Nick

    Sickening…We are trying to teach our kids decent things. Kanye is a Yutz

    • Tony

      Yet Parents buy their kids Voilent Video games and complain… Double Yutz

      • Putt

        Two wrongs don’t make right! Not everyone buys violent video games for their kids but everyone would be forced to look at this nastiness! I applaud WalMart for banning it. The world should ban Kanye and his repulsive disorder!

      • calistoga

        He is most definitely wasting our time with his deliberate and obvious, silly publicity stunt! Yet, here we are!!! West is obviously NOT okay with his own music, otherwise he would let it stand on its own merit without the sideshow. West continually proves to the public what an ignorant jerk he is. He obviously does not know the difference between nudity and obscenity. Anything obscene is obviously lewd, disgusting, repulsive. One might argue, therefore, that to see something as obscene is purely perception. What I see are two creatures, (part human, part fiction) in the process of sharing sex. (Just the thought of this image is nauseating, but I digress.)

        West will be judged by his family, peers, laws of the land, and God. US laws state simply, as regards books, films, music, etc, OBSCENE is that which when judged by contemporary community standards, are found to appeal to a [deviant, perverted] interest in sex…with no serious artistic, scientific, or social value.

        It is obvious West’s more interested in the almighty dollar than he is in artistic or social values.

      • Mark

        people should ban walmart before they ban kanye. they’re one of the things that’s ruining soceity

      • BLT

        Mark, you speak the truth.

    • Jamie

      BARF! I am SO SICK of the whole “what about the children” argument. Give me a break. Guess what – every woman has b00bs (well, unless they have had cancer and had them removed) and it’s really not a big deal for kids to see them – in a drawing no less. Frankly I’d rather have my kids see this than the majority of the violence and stupidity on the news these days.

      • dave

        Agreed @Jamie!

        Sex is natural and needs to be discussed with kids, but this is a hiphop album not aimed at kids, so why even mention kids Nick?

      • Brent

        Yeah but a lot of kids (teens) buy this stuff. This album cover is strait up porn, regardless of who you try to compare it to (Nirvana).

      • Jamie

        Oh my Brent – if this is “straight up porn” to you then I think you have lived a very sheltered life. There is not action happening here – no penetration, no touching, no movement, NOTHING.Get a grip.

      • stickittotheman

        Um, in fact, it IS porn. If that was your computer wallpaper at work, you would be asked to remove it or get fired. If Obama sent this out as a Christmas card he would be kicked out of office.

        Am so tired of you lefties constantly lowering the bar of what is offensive. Just because you are okay with it doesn’t mean everyone is.

        As far as Kanye is concerned, this is a lame attempt to curry up some interest in a faltering career. Just like Madonna’s Sex book.

  • mike

    The most shocking thing about the cover is how ugly it is!

    • Jen

      yeah like really… i feel like this belongs to some classical artist, not kanye west.

    • tinap

      agreed. i would think they would “strongly suggest he not use it” because it sucks. it’s an elaborate napoleon dynamite portrait. this is me chillin’ with my liger.

      • Karate Pants

        Ha! Definitely along the lines of a liger doodle. And crappy.

    • Jenn

      Belongs in the Bad Art Museum.

  • spear

    what a dork..someone drop a house on him stat!..trying to create a buzz for another piece of crap he vomits out…

  • donknottz

    Yes if the rappers won’t teach the kids who will, not their parents apparently

    • Kate

      Thank you; where is parent accountability these days? And please – it’s a crappy plasticene scene that isn’t even clear in what is happening (to children, who wouldn’t know in the first place). If your child briefly glimpses this while walking past, I somehow think they’ll survive. Kanye’s a douche, but if there’s any real controversy here, he should thank the parents’ rights activists for the free publicity.

  • Winona

    It’s no Smell the Glove…

  • My Thoughts

    Maybe if the image was “artistic” instead of so fricken ugly, it wouldn’t be a problem.

  • vader1013

    i added the link to the ew site and the part about that the label never actually banned anything to his twitter feed, and my comment was quickly deleted. so, the answer is yes, he’s only trying to stir up controversy and free publicity.

  • Frank from MusicNerdClub.com

    I think that image was a publicity stunt. The album cover posted on Amazon.com is much different – no nudity but more violent, yet arguably equally tongue-in-cheek.

    • AQS

      The album cover up on Amazon right now is actually the official single cover for “Power.” Not sure if he’s attempting to recycle that image (which I like much more than this strange painting), but here’s hoping at least for something with a little more sophisticated edge than this “banned” cover. Every G.O.O.D. Friday track has been stellar, so the new album is definitely poised to hit HARD.

    • Dern

      yeah, frank from musicnerdclub.com would know what a publicity stunt is. because he adds a comment just to pimp his own site

  • Janizzle

    Wow that’s lame…his whining is always pathetic but it’s even worse when it’s an act.

  • LadyJNewYork

    Kanye needs a “hug”, LOL that cover is just….smh no words, LOL.

  • Bobby’s Robot

    What a class act. sigh.

  • Phil

    Ok, I wanna say this since I’m a Kanye fan, but I also secretly enjoy going toe to toe with Simon. I’ve been saying this on various Kanye posts for the past few months…it doesn’t matter how much free music (GOOD Fridays) he gives away (alot of the songs are actually great posse cuts), if he hires a 19 yr old Harvard kid to be his new stylist, or what kind of cover art his album has…”Power” was not a hit the massive lead-in single he wanted. “Runaway” debuted in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 20 this past Thursday, but with the song sitting at #35 on iTunes this morning, its going to plummet on this week chart. West should have released the album version the Tuesday AFTER the VMAs. He shouldn’t be waiting til the week of Nov. 22nd when everyone from Nicki Minaj (who prolly has more hip-hop fans waiting for her debut these days than Kanye), to My Chemical Romance to Ne-Yo are dropping their discs (mostly cause its the biggest sales week of the year on Black Friday). At the end of the day, Kanye is an artist (regardless of your opinion of him) and all this other stuff, is what he thinks he needs to do to keep his name in the press to make sure people know this album is coming. What he needs a is a hot single. Everything else is POINTLESS because for every fan who can’t wait to see this crazy album ocver, there are now 5 going, WHY DOES HE THINK THIS IS COOL?! If he doesn’t wake up soon, he is going to have a very rude awakening on the Billboard chart released 12-2-10 when the up & comer, Nicki places higher above him on the pop and hi-hop charts!

    • obama!!!!!

      POWER wasnt suppose to be a hit. The song was leaked and he was forced to release it.

      • Phil

        If it wasn’t meant to be a hit, there’d be no reason for him to get Swizz Beatz & Jay-Z to do a remix instead of just putting out another new song. Or him putting out a 2 minute video for the track that was basically a painting, which ahppened to be alot classier & artistic than this supposed cover. I wish some people would think before making such foolish comments.

      • u

        Dude, the hoopla over this album cover = biggest first week album sales of this year. Kanye knows very well what he’s doing. If there’s two things that are guaranteed to sell, it’s sex and controversy, and this cover has the right amount of both. He may not be a musical genius, but he is certainly a marketing genius.

  • Rush

    Silly. Publicity. Stunt. And it’s bad art to boot. Printing it on black velvet would only improve it.

  • anne

    I’m sick of the phrase ‘pushing the envelope’. Trash is trash and filth is the business of Kanye West.

  • Maureen

    What the hell?! o_O

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