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Pulse Opinion What Kanye West's 'Famous' video means

'Famous' is more than a sex degree of Kanye West. It is a metaphor of the voyeuristic nature of celebrity obsession in our time.

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Kanye West, Kim Kardashian play

Kanye West, Kim Kardashian

(Vanity Fair )

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In typical Kanye West fashion, the Hip-Hop megalomaniac premiered the first video of his latest LP ‘ Life of Pablo’ on Friday, June 24, 2016.

Famous’  featuring Rihanna is one of the standout tracks from the album so it only made sense for Kanye West to liberate it as a single and shoot a video for it. For most acts the video would have played off Rihanna’s sex appeal to sell the video. Well by now we know Kanye West is not like most artistes.

Screenshot from Kanye West "Famous" visuals play

Screenshot from Kanye West "Famous" visuals



At the LA Forum which was host to thousands of people including members of his reality TV extended family Kanye West premiered what can be considered one of the most shocking music videos of all time.

In the visuals of the video we have a slew of celebrities;  George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner and Bill Cosby laying on the same bed nude.

Screenshot photo showing naked Kanye West and Kim Kardashian from Famous video play

Screenshot photo showing naked Kanye West and Kim Kardashian from Famous video



As the ‘ Famous’  track played in the background, the famous people were filmed in a creepy eerie manner- a cellphone footage of a voyeur who broke into a mansion and stepped into the bedroom of the rich and famous.

Vincent Desiderio’s painting Sleep play

Vincent Desiderio’s painting Sleep

(Fader )

ALSO READ: Taylor Swift horrified by Kanye West's new video

Now before you run away with a conspiracy theory that the people in the video were real and they are sleeping with each other, know that the celebs in the video are actually wax replicas that seemed to breathe also.   The video was inspired by Vincent Desiderio’s painting Sleep and the wax figures were inspired by Matthew Barney whose work on living sculptures in the movie ‘ The Cremaster Cycle’  is the stuff of legends.

Kanye West has gone on to explain what the video is really about. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Kanye West ‘Famous’ is “a comment on fame.” This is the synopsis of the video- a comment on fame or as I prefer to say it is a portrayal of the 21st century voyeuristic culture.

Rihanna kissing Leonardo DiCaprio play

Rihanna kissing Leonardo DiCaprio

(Olisa TV )


Here is the breakdown about ‘Famous’.  All the celebrities are nude and are sleeping on a bed. This represents the vulnerability of people who we exalt. Their nudity represents their true nature stripped of publicity, hype, rumours and plugged stories. Laying on the bed in their natural form these exalted stars are open and are comfortable in it. They are not ashamed to be naked in front of themselves because they are celebs and they know what it means to live most of their lives in front of the camera.

Unfortunately we the public are not content with seeing our celebrities just in public. We want to invade their privacy and see them natural, raw and unfiltered. That’s why we creep into their personal lives to have a direct glimpse at them. We creep into their rooms and watch them with no clothes- stripped down to their essence.

Chris Brown reacts to 'Famous' play

Chris Brown reacts to 'Famous'

(Instagram/chrisbrownofficial )

ALSO READ: Kanye West implores celebrities to sue him over naked pictures

We are voyeurs with our smart phones looking for a footage of Chris Brown with his daughter in his mansion, Rihanna kissing an unidentified man in Barbados, Amber Rose leaving the home of a basketball player at 2a.m, and Ray J being kicked out of his home by his girlfriend.

‘Famous’ video is a metaphor of the voyeuristic culture of human beings with regards to famous people and celebrity people. We are obsessed with these celebs that we use our celebs phones to capture, watch and dissect their most private moments. We are the creepy guy in the video recording Kanye West and co. when they are sleeping. That footage will be sold to TMZ and millions of us will watch it on our smart phones.

With the Internet, most celebrities no longer have a sanctuary. Even in their deepest chambers we are willing to get in there and see what they are alike behind close doors. This is what famous people in the 21st century go through- a round the clock scrutiny of their most private moments.

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