Kanye West has pushed the public’s buttons before, but when it came to conceiving the cover image for his latest album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he wanted to push them intentionally.
In an interview with The New Yorker, album cover designer George Condo claims that the rapper specified that he wanted “something that will be banned.” A few weeks after they spoke on the phone, ‘Ye went to his New York City studio where they listened to Kanye’s music while Condo crafted eight or nine paintings over the next few days.
Out of a handful of renderings that included depictions of a decapitated Kanye and a ballerina, West settled on the infamous image of an armless, winged woman straddling a demonic Kanye, shown clutching a bottle with a creepy smile on his face. The final portrait was blurred out to be consumer friendly.
“Banned in the USA!!! They tried to play me fam! They don’t want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!” ‘Ye tweeted after originally posting the controversial cover. “In all honesty … I really don’t be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers.”
Walmart later disputed his claim that the artwork was banned from their stores. “We did not reject the cover artwork and it was never presented to us to view,” stated a rep.