“Art is therapy, just like this view. Art is protected as freedom of expression. Art inspires and simplifies the world. Art is not a substitute for any harm or evil Any other suggestions regarding my art are false and ill-intentioned. This was Kanye West’s response to the backlash he received for the music video for his song “Eazy,featuring The Game. The clay animation video shows West abducting actor and comedian Pete Davidson and killing him by planting roses on his head. Davidson is dating West’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and West has publicly expressed his resentment towards him online, which resulted in the depiction of Pete’s death in the video.
Although West adamantly denies any intent to harm Davidson, one line in his song says otherwise, with West rapping that he wants to “…beat Pete Davidson’s ass”. At the end of the video, ominous text appears on screen reading “Everyone has lived happily ever after”, flashing to another text reading “Except Skete”, referencing West’s nickname for Davidson; the name Skete is then scribbled down and replaced with “you know who” to imply that West doesn’t even want to mention the comedian by name. This is quickly followed by a final on-screen text that says “Jk, he’s fine” as if West takes back everything he said. Regardless, many found the music video strange and disturbing, voicing their concerns on social media and prompting West to issue a statement.
Despite the backlash, West says his video was not intended to harm anyone and that those who believe it misunderstood the message. While West’s statement is right about the inspirational power of art, in this case his treatment of Davidson feels more like bullying and harassment than artistic freedom, especially given the events. that led to the creation of the video. His intentions, even though he did nothing physically to Pete, are clear and can be threatening. This isn’t the first time West’s artistic freedom has sparked controversy, as he has a habit of doing things without people’s permission or doing whatever he wants under the guise of creative expression.
Take, for example, West’s artistic decision to create a music video for his 2017 song “Famous.” Inspired by the painting by artist Vincent Desiderio “Sleep,“The video features several celebrities and public figures such as Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, Bill Cosby, Rihanna and Caitlyn Jenner among others as naked wax figures sleeping side by side. The video has polarized the internet and sent social media into a frenzy since the wax figures appear to be real, prompting representatives of some of those featured to clarify that they were not involved.
West was well aware of the music video’s provocation, saying the next day in a now-deleted tweet, “Can someone sue me already? #I’ll wait.” West also didn’t ask for permission to use the people’s likenesses in his video and didn’t tell the people featured what he would be doing, which drew widespread criticism online. Not only did he use their likeness without their permission, but they were also naked, which violates their privacy Unfortunately, West’s questionable creative choices wouldn’t stop there.
West also used a photo of the late Whitney Houston’s bathroom as the cover art for a 2018 rap album he was producing for rapper and labelmate Pusha T. The bathroom was littered with cigarettes, lighters and paraphernalia of drug use, evidence of Houston’s struggle with addiction. Whitney’s ex-husband Bobby Brown said what West did was “in very bad taste” and Houston’s family were also shocked and disgusted by his actions, unsure why he would even want to use the picture in the first place. They were not told about the album cover until the project was released, stating that the use of the sensitive photo made them sick.
West’s tendency to act without permission crosses the boundaries of artistic freedom or not, and comes across as insensitive rather than creative. The only reason most people watched the “Famous” music video, or even heard of it, was because of the video’s provocation – so it calls into question whether West did it for art or to attract attention. And while her intentions behind using Whitney Houston’s house photo aren’t entirely clear (although fans have speculated), the controversial image of the late singer’s drug-strewn bathroom has drew attention to the album he produced.
Kanye West’s questionable motives can also be seen in the cover art of an abandoned 2018 album titled ‘Love Everyone’. The album cover had a photo of Jan Adams, the doctor who operated on West’s late mother, Donda West, who sadly passed away due to complications from the procedure in 2007. In the aftermath, Dr Jan Adams attracted negative media attention because of people associating her practice with the death of Donda West.
Either way, West felt it was time for him to move on and wanted the album cover’s message to be about forgiveness and positivity. However, Dr. Adams responded to West’s artistic choice to use his mugshot photo in an open letter, expressing that he felt misrepresented by the media following his mother’s death and cautiously questioning the sincerity of West’s actions. artist, saying:
“I’m impressed that you want to ‘forgive and stop hating’. That’s impressive…I don’t mean to sound ungrateful…I just think if in fact this conversion to love is genuine on your part…then it’s inappropriate to bring the negativity of the past with it.
By using his photo, as Adams puts it, West reinforces the idea that the doctor was directly responsible for his mother’s death and introduces negativity from the past into the positive headspace that West tries to embrace. As tragic as Donda West’s death is, Dr. Adams’ concerns that West’s artistic choice to feature him on the cover sends the wrong message are entirely valid. West ended up dropping the entire project altogether and releasing another project in its place called “Ye” (2018).
West’s “Eazy” music video seems to combine questionable intentions and personal feuds. The events leading up to the video’s creation make it hard to believe West meant no harm. West has repeatedly followed Davidson online, posted memes about him and told his fans to harass the actor if they see him in public. On top of that, the “Eazy” video shows West abducting and killing Pete, along with lyrics describing his desire to assault Davidson, and it doesn’t help his case. It is simply bullying, which is neither inspiring nor uplifting and does not embody artistic freedom, as West points out in his statement.
While West is a controversial figure, he has established himself as a musical icon, influencing many hip-hop artists today like Tyler, the Creator, J.Cole, Drake and Travis Scott, to name a few. -ones. His creativity knows no bounds and he is a true visionary who seeks to share his artistic passion with his fans and the world. West can create beautiful works. His music video for his 2010 song “Stronger” was heavily influenced by the Japanese anime film “Akira” and he recreates scenes in his music video, paying homage to his favorite movie. West also created and directed a short musical titled “Runaway,” an introspective story about a relationship between a man and a phoenix-woman hybrid, which fans have described as a masterpiece. It shows his innovation at work.
However, some of his creative choices are more stunt-like and seem insensitive rather than creative. While West is right about artistic freedom and pushing boundaries, if pushing boundaries involves hurting, harassing, or bringing negativity to a situation rather than inspiring others, it ruins the impact. . It’s unfortunate that the “Eazy” video is marred by West’s personal feud with Davidson. The video’s visuals, which combine clay animation and live-action scenes, are original and innovative. The dark landscape, dark atmosphere, eerie vibe, and clay models would have been more appreciated if they hadn’t been marred by West’s vendetta against the actor.
Kanye West can make creative choices and use artistic freedom to express himself in a way that doesn’t bring negativity or harm to others, and his music discography has plenty of examples we can look up to. However, it’s clear from the music video for “Eazy” that he intended to do harm given the situation. Harassing and bullying his ex-wife’s current partner is unnecessary and wrong. We can only hope Ye gets the help he needs and in his own words to Dr Adams, “forgive and stop hating,so he can continue to share his creative vision with his fans and the world without controversy.