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Kanye West's Banned Album Cover For My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy

Should We Embrace Art That Makes Us Uncomfortable?

The planned cover art for Kanye West's new album My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy matches the title. Unfortunately, the image described by Kanye as "me chilling on the couch with my phoenix" has been "banned in the USA!!"

Kanye's tweets on the topic admit that it's not official censorship, but commercial considerations keeping the frightening cover off shelves. He wishes today's sensibilities could mirror the 1970s, when "albums had actual nudity." But while retailers like Walmart worry Americans won't buy music packaged with such nudity, you bet Kanye knows that a controversy will help boost sales. So it's unclear whether Kanye's controversial cover is in conflict with commercialism, or in perfect harmony with the whole game.

Regardless of whether Kanye's cover represents true artistic expression, do you think Americans could be more open to non-mainstream art?

Join The Conversation
dreamalittledream dreamalittledream 6 years
I am always fearful when art starts to be censored...last I checked we're a democracy, not a socialist or communist society.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I don't get why this cover is THAT controversial, either. Seriously? If Walmart doesn't like it, Walmart doesn't have to sell it. Or they can get taller CD dividers so that the cover is not easily seen. But, of course, they have no problem sticking crude Cosmopolitan magazines in the checkout lines for all to see.
stephley stephley 6 years
I think I’m torn. Yes, I think Americans can be too prudish and we should be more open to art that makes us uncomfortable. BUT, I think it’s fair to allow the viewer some control over what they see when. It’s not up to anyone else to decide when & where I need to be shocked out of my complacency or whatever it is they’re trying to do. I wouldn’t ban a cd with a possibly shocking cover, I’d just like a blank card at the front of the bin so I can either read the title strip at the top of the package, or flip the cd’s over and check out the covers.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I wouldn't say that people should just deal with things that truly make them uncomfortable, but on the other hand I do think we are a bit prude in our society
skigurl skigurl 6 years
If it makes you uncomfortable, why embrace it? I wouldn't put something up in my home that I didn't like. That said, I don't care what other people want to buy and I don't believe in censoring things like album covers when they are harmless.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 6 years
I do not understand the complete ban of this. Why do they not just put a black plastic covering on the packaging that is removed when purchased? That's what they do with all the Playboys, Hustlers, and every other pornographic magazine in every gas station, airport, etc. Makes no sense to me.
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