Kanye West Album Cover BANNED! Or … Not?

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Kanye West Album Cover Controversy

Hyperbole is a regular feature of rap music, where every emcee believes that he or she is the greatest of all time. So when [lastfm]Kanye West[/lastfm] took to Twitter over the weekend and proclaim that the album art for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy had been banned, we took it with a grain of salt.

Now, an anonymous source at Island Def Jam, West’s label, is saying that West’s preferred album cover, depicting cartoon versions of himself and a phoenix in female form naked on a couch, would have been backed by the label.

Kanye West album cover edited

According to the source, West was “strongly urged” to use alternate art, but told that if he had his heart set on the nude drawing, Def Jam would stand behind him.

The biggest concern for the label, of course, would be the reaction of retail outlets. While online music sales are taking over, more than 10 percent of the physical sales of a new release take place at one of two outlets: Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Keeping those two places happy can be the difference between a hit or a mega-hit.

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This would especially be true in the case of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is being released on November 22nd. That is just days before Black Friday, the busiest brick-and-mortar retail shopping day of the year.

When  grandparents head to Best Buy to figure out what their grandchildren might want for Christmas, they’re less likely to want something with crude drawings of a naked phoenix on the cover.

West, of course, knows the argument. He just doesn’t care. “In all honesty … I really don’t be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!” he Tweeted.

But if the label would stand by it, then the ball’s back in Kanye’s court. If he pulls it now, does that mean this was all just a publicity stunt?

You can also check out our review of Kanye West’s new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy here!

[Source: Los Angeles Times]

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