WASHINGTON • Last Friday, before a live audience at Inglewood, California's Forum, rapper Kanye West premiered the much-anticipated music video for his song Famous from The Life Of Pablo.
Whatever fans were expecting, it probably was not this: a tableau of naked celebrities - presidential candidate Donald Trump, former president George Bush, comedian Bill Cosby, pop stars Taylor Swift, Rihanna and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown - half-covered in an apparent tangle of post-coital white sheets.
Available exclusively through Tidal, the music streaming service owned by rapper Jay Z, the not- safe-for-work, nearly 11-minute-long video sets West and his wife Kim Kardashian West at the centre of a giant bed, surrounded by sleeping celebrities. The scene is a recreation of painter Vincent Desiderio's work, Sleep, recast with stars and newsmakers, many of whom have floated in and out of West's orbit.
Audiences are left to wonder which celebrities actually participated in the shoot and which ones had their likenesses inserted into West's bed through the magic of digital editing, make-up and doubles. The cast of characters includes Kardashian's step-parent, reality television star Caitlyn Jenner; West's ex-girlfriend, actress Amber Rose; Kardashian's ex-boyfriend, singer Ray J, who rocketed across the public radar in 2007 when his sex tape with her was made public; and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.