They Mad They Ain't Famous: A Kanye West Story
In which Kanye West pitches his "Famous" video idea to Kim Kardashian, the Jenners, Tyga, and a few celebrity guests.
Illustration by Kat Aileen
*Kanye sits at the head of a white fiberglass table, looking at Kim Kardashian, Matthew Barney, Kris Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Pusha T, and a random white man named Keith who offered to help fund the video if he could have a Real Doll® of Rihanna. Kanye surveys the table, fully pleased with himself and ready to blow minds*
Kanye: Okay, look, I made 15 videos for Famous so far and none of them are what I want.
Kanye: After directing myself back into debt, I have finally realized my true vision for Famous: naked celebrities.
Kanye: So, I saw this piece by Vincent Desiderio called "Sleep". It's gorgeous. People are naked, and there are titties.
*Kanye presses a remote and a projector shines the "Sleep" painting on the wall behind him*
Kanye: I have made a list of the celebrities that I want in it.
Kris: *whispers* oh god *grabs Kim's wrist*
Kanye: First and foremost, me and Kim will be in it, since we are the celebrity of celebrities.
Kim: Of course.
Keith: For shizzle.
Kanye: We'll be in the middle of the bed like we just finished fucking.
Kris: This is… this is great.
Kanye: Is that sarcasm, Mom?
Kris: I'll let you know in five minutes.
Kanye: Now, next to Kim is going to be Ray J.
Pusha T: lmao
Kris: It was sarcasm.
Kris: So you're going to hire Ray J to lie next to Kim?
Kanye: No. Matthew is going to put prosthetic makeup on a real doll to look like him.
Kris: I don't like this.
Caitlyn: I mean, it's art, Kris.
Kanye: THANK YOU, ALSO-MOM
Kanye: Everything is art. Our breathing is art, taking a shit is art.
Kanye: No art is more beautiful than the human body.
Kanye: By human body, I mean human titties.
Kris: Kim, please tell me you still have some sense
Kim: No, he's right; art is for the artist to create and for the viewer to interpret.
Kanye: You have art in your house, KrisMom.
Kris: It's not Ray J lying in bed next to my daughter.
Kanye: But Amber will be lying next to them.
Kris: *guzzles a flute of wine* More.
Tyga: Yes, ma'am *Takes wine flute and runs to kitchen*
Pusha T: So your exes are lying next to each other? Naked?
Kanye: Exactly. It symbolizes how we made them famous.
Keith: Technically, Ray J made… uh… her famous.
Kanye: I'm sorry, is it called the Ray J sex tape or the Kim K sex tape?
Kris: It is "the Kim Kardashian Official Sex Tape®." I can press charges if it's said incorrectly.
Kanye: But, yes, they symbolize the paparazzi of the past, exposing our personal lives for their own selfish gain.
Pusha T: You just said—
Kanye: If there's one thing art means, Terrence, it's that art means a lot of things
Pusha T: Oooookaaaay
Kanye: Now, next to me is going to be Taylor Swift. She's gonna be facing up, breasts blaring
Kris: Kanye, seriously!
Kris: Haven't you pestered Taylor enough?
Kanye: Art doesn't pester, though, mother; it inspires discourse.
Matthew: There's no such thing as bad discourse.
Pusha T: What if you don't speak the same language?
Caitlyn: Or what if, like, you're underwater? Like "blub blub blub."
Kanye: Perfect, see!? Discourse!
Kris: This is so dumb.
*Tyga returns with Kris's drink*
Kris: You took forever
Kris: Taylor's entire team won't be happy about this.
Kanye: I got permission last time and she went to all the blogs and said I didn't.
Kris: Did you get that argument from Ian Connor?
Kris: He wants to put a statue of you between a statue of him and Ray J!
Kanye: They're actually custom-made Real Dolls with additional prosthetics.
Kris: Either way, it looks like something off of tastyblacks.
Pusha T: What you know about that?
Kris: Have you seen my boyfriend?
Pusha T: Touché.
Kanye: So you notice the juxtaposition? Me between two white women and Kim between two black men? The aesthetic is orgasmic. This just inspired Yeezy Season 6.
Kris: I feel like people are just going to see you next to a topless pop star and freak out.
Kanye: But, look: next to Taylor Swift is gonna be Chris Brown.
Caitlyn: Now, Kanye.
Kris: Kim, you're really on board for this?
Kim: Chris is a really nice guy.
Caitlyn: He's a know assaulter of women and gay men.
Kanye: Exactly. The—
Kris: Don't say juxtaposition or aesthetic anymore.
Kanye: That's why Rihanna is next to him. They both were famous before… the incident…
Kris: When he assaulted her.
Kanye: … their argument…
Kris: You're really doing this.
Kanye:. … disagreement
Kanye: But afterwards, they became forever connected through fame. Their fame is their gift and their curse because their personal issues were broadcast to the world.
Kris: This is fucking dumb. Why would you put him next to her when he hit her?
Kanye: Allegedly hit.
Kris: Shut up.
Kanye: Look, I'll call him.
Kris: Please don't.
*Kanye picks up his phone and presses, like, two buttons*
Chris: What's bracking, Banye?
Kanye: You know my name doesn't start with a C right?
Chris: But it's a C sound. Don't play me like no mark ass buster hahaha.
Kanye: Look, man, I'm about to shoot one of the most important videos of the century and you're in it.
Chris: Awesome. How?
Kanye: A model of you is going to be between Taylor Swift and Rihanna.
Chris: What? Why?
Kanye: Because you're famous and people talk about you.
Chris: But… you know… I made that mistake with Rihanna…
Kanye: Alleged mistake!
Kris: He was convicted!
Chris: And Taylor Swift? Look, man, that's your beef.
Kanye: But putting you, R&B's bad boy, between Rihanna, pop's bad girl, and Taylor, the symbol of white pop purity, is an artwork in itself.
Chris: You sure that's not just controversy, man?
Chris: Can't you at least replace Rihanna with Karreuche?
Kanye: No. Not famous enough.
Chris: My sponsor says if I'm overwhelmed with feeling, I should, like, let it out.
Kanye: That's good. That's art.
Chris: Thank you.
Chris: Well, can I at least not be touching Rih? Like, can my arms be to my side or something?
Chris: Oh, and can I be wearing a Bape hoodie and
Kanye: You're going to be naked.
Kanye: It's art, bye.
*Kanye puts his phone facedown on the table*
Kris: Am I the only one listening to this shit?
Kim: It’s art.
Kris: Someone kill me.
Kanye: So, next to Amber is going to be you, Caitlyn.
Kanye: Did you want to be in it?
Caitlyn: Will I be… naked?
Kanye: Do you have breasts?
Caitlyn: Mighty fine ones, if I do say so myself.
Kanye: Then they will be out.
Caitlyn: Awesome! I'm very body positive, and I want to inspire all women to be proud of their bodies.
Kris: So all of the women are just gonna have their breasts out?
Kanye: Except Kim.
Kanye: She's gonna have her ass out.
Kris: *gets a headache*
Tyga: Can I be in the the video?
Kanye: Hahaha, I don't even want you in the the studio.
Kanye: No offense.
Tyga: Yes, offense, man.
Tyga: No offense.
Kanye: None taken.
Tyga: I made "Lime in the Coconut" and "Rack City". I was signed to Young Money.
Pusha T: If you consider those highlights, it explains a lot
Tyga: I've been through a lot, okay
Kris: Weren't your parents well off?
Tyga: I mean with rap and making a name for myself. I had to get from behind Travis's shadow
Pusha T: The Gym Class Heroes nigga? What?
Caitlyn: That's his cousin.
Pusha T: Fuck outta here.
Tyga: And I feel like people are racist towards me because I'm part Vietnamese. It's holding me back.
Pusha T: It’s because you're a cornball, fam. Drake is damn near as corny as you are and he still manages to make good songs and get respect.
Pusha T: You made some shit about how Kylie Jenner is a big girl when she's stimulated.
Kris: That was about her?
Keith: Are you serious?
Tyga: But I'm still here. Y'all know my name. I deserve to be in the bed.
Kanye: Do you see this, Kris? Tyga wants to be in the bed.
Kris: Are you going to tell everyone your celebrity friends wanted to be in the bed, now?
Keith: I want to be in the bed.
Pusha T: I'm good
Caitlyn: I'm already in the bed *chuckles*
Kris: What about penises? All these women are exposed and not one man's penis is out?
Kanye: God, no!
Pusha T: The fuck? Ew!
Keith: I hate dicks.
Caitlyn: I think we can all agree no one wants to see penises.
Kris: But what about art and the human body being beautiful and all that crap?
Kanye: Not men's bodies, though.
Pusha T: Hell no.
Matthew: No thanks.
Keith: I'm not paying for penis.
Kris: No to guys' butts, too?
Kanye: Kinda. Guys' butts are funny. We’re giving Donald Trump kind of a plumber's crack.
Kris: Excuse me?
Kanye: The exposure of a man's ass, in many forms of entertainment, is a source of juvenile humor. Men's asses make farts and are just gross, yo. Have you seen Assy McGee. Or Cow and Chicken?
Kris: Did you say "Donald Trump"?
Kanye: He's going to be laying next to Rihanna, facedown with some of his crack out. Like, I want people to imagine him farting.
Pusha T: *fart noise*
Caitlyn and all of the dudes: Lmaooooooo
Kris: You and him can never live in my house again.
Kim: Oh, mom.
Kanye: Donald Trump is like the ultimate celebrity right now, bro. Like, hate him or love him, he's the most popular guy in America.
Caitlyn: He's just a very charismatic fella, I think. Once people give him a few dozen chances, I'm sure everyone will see how great he is for our country.
Pusha T: I disagree vehemently.
Kanye: You can Google one word and he comes up. "Trump." He's trumping all of us.
Kanye: Matter of fact, do you have his number, Caitlyn?
*Caitlyn hands Kanye her phone and watches as he goes through her contacts to find Donald Trump. He calls from his phone*
Trump: Is this an African American? How did you get my number? Is this one of those black lives matters dorks?
Kanye: I'm Kanye West.
Trump: Ohhhh, the "apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur" guy. Ya know, I love that song. When I play it at my rallies, the old broads go nuts. Start jiggling and wiggling.
Kanye: What? Are you being funny?
Kanye: This isn't funny.
Trump: It’s not funny. You're being a coward. You won't even tell me who you are.
Kanye: Then Google me.
Trump: Okay. Conyay. . . West.
Trump: Oh, you're the guy that said George Bush doesn't like black people.
Kanye: You mean told the truth? Yes.
Trump: What do you want? Money? I've heard you've been begging for donations because rap is finally going out of style.
Kanye: I wanted to see what you thought about a video I'm making.
Trump: Are you about to blackmail me? I have failsafes, just in case. No one can get over on me. People try to get over on me, they can't do it. Impossible.
Kanye: No, I'm going to have a Real Doll made in your likeness and it will be sleeping between Rihanna and Anna Wintour.
Trump: Replace Anna Wintour with Kate Upton.
Kanye: Not how art works.
Trump: Or I can pay some art school dropout to draw what you said and make all of the money. That's how art works in America.
Kanye: Nope. My artistic vision can't be compromised. Even for you, Donald.
Trump: I respect that. You know what, I like you, Conyay. You've got chutzpah. You could be a great man, but you rap.
Trump: I support your video. I think it could help me with support from the African Americans.
Trump: Not that I need it. You people love me like you hate your women.
Kanye: Lol okay
Trump: Kanye, I'm telling ya, if me and you join forces, we could be a power couple. Not in a gay way, but in a Lethal Weapon way. If you're serious about running in 2020, I could be your campaign advisor. Better yet, your running mate.
Kanye: Too late. Jay is my running mate and Obama is my advisor. I'm a great fan of your work, though.
Trump: Thank you. I like your song about women being gold digging whores.
Kanye: I'd love to have you at the video premiere in LA.
Trump: Can't make it. I'll be in Scotland. I might just come dressed as a leprechaun. They'll be too drunk to notice.
Kanye: You might be thinking of the Irish.
Trump: I've got to go. Remember to tell your homeslices to vote Trump in November.
*Kanye puts his phone down*
Kanye: Trump loves it.
Kris: Great. Just great.
Kris: Why did you have to put Anna in this? Is she naked, too?
Kanye: Of course she is.
Kris: *headache intensifies*
Kris: What, Kanye, what?
Kanye: Just so you know, Anna's naked, but she'll be, like, sideways. You can't see her boobs.
Kris: Her boobs.
Kanye: Yes, you can't see them. It's tasteful.
Kanye: I respect Anna too much.
Kris: So, the women you respect don't have their breasts showing?
Kris: Do you hear yourself speak or do you just not listen to anyone else?
Kanye: Both, momster.
Caitlyn: So you don't respect me?
Kanye: Of course I do. My respect for you is why your breasts are out.
Kanye: It's important your breasts are out because you're a transgender woman.
Kanye: I need people to see I'm not transphobic.
Kanye: Now, Anna is gonna be between Donald Trump and George Bush.
Kanye: We all know George Bush and I are a part of each other's history thanks to my important statement during Hurricane Katrina.
Kanye: He'll be at the end of the bed, facing away, curled up like a child. It'll be like he's fading out of my sphere of famous influence into the coldness of irrelevance, you know?
Kanye: When people think of George Bush Jr., they think of Kanye.
Caitlyn: And 9/11
Keith: And the "fool me twice you won't fool me again" shit
Pusha T: And the nigga throwing the shoe at him
Kris: And the Chappelle's Show skit
Kim: And the war in Iraq
Kanye: Are you all just trying to disrespect me?
Kanye: This meeting is about what is going to be the biggest art installation of 2016. I need this to be taken seriously.
Kanye: Bill Cosby is going to be in the bed next to Caitlyn, and he's go—
Kris: No. No. I draw the line. I am leaving. I won't support this. What is wrong with you?
Kanye: I'm an artist. I'm making art.
Kris: You're sick.
Kanye: They say that to every genius.
Caitlyn: I don't think I'd want my likeness naked in bed next to Bill Cosby.
Kanye: lol but Bill Cosby wouldn't do that to y— anyone.
Caitlyn: Believe what you want, buckaroo. That guy's a mickey slipper.
Kanye: See, that's your opinion being brought forth by art! Through discourse, we are sharing with each other as people!
Kanye: Now, next to Bill Cosby, I'm gonna put Beyoncé.
Kim: Okay, now, wait.
Kris: You've definitely crossed the line.
Tyga: That might be a bad idea.
Kanye: Airplane mode.
Tyga: Okay, my bad.
Kanye: Its art! How many times do I have to say that?
*Kanye's phone rings*
Kanye: Hello. You only called because I'm me.
Beyoncé: Don't do it, b.
Beyoncé: Whatever crossed your mind involving my name or my image, destroy it.
Kanye: How did y—
Beyoncé: I always know
Kanye: Its just art, sis
Beyoncé: You've nowhere near earned the right to call me that.
Kanye: You were going to be sleeping in a bed with me, Kim, Rihanna, Donald Trump—
Beyoncé: Play with me if you fucking want, Kanye.
Beyoncé: I will flay you and your cabal of sex offenders and make furniture.
Beyoncé: Next time they search your name, Google will ask, "Did you mean 'Beyoncé's new leather chair'?"
Kanye: The fact that art cou—
*Beyoncé hangs up*
Kanye: New plans. Due to bro code, Beyoncé will not be in it.
Matthew: Oh, god. That was close.
Pusha T: I felt myself dying as soon as he said her name.
Kris: "Bro code"?
Kanye: Yeah, that's Jay's wife. That would be weird.
Kris: But it's okay to use the likenesses of single women.
Kris: You are patriarchy in the form of an Urban Outfitters employee.
Kanye: As if I'd ever be caught near an Urban Outfitters.
Kanye: They my employee, if anything.
Kris: Okay, so this is art. What do you think of this, Matthew?
Matthew: I love it. I like how Kanye is kinda sampling the original "Sleep" painting and making his own artwork. It's very similar to what he does with his music.
Matthew: Like, he'll sample a German rock band and then rap about pussy and slavery. It's really great.
Kris: You are a cocksplat.
Matthew: Insulting people for their taste in art is pretty ignorant.
Kris: Hush. T.
Kris: Never you. Pusher T?
Pusha T: Yes, ma'am.
Kris: You support Kanye in this?
Pusha T: Its definitely gonna… start some discourse…
Kris: What if you were in it?
Pusha T: I'd be between Kim and Amber
Caitlyn and the dudes: lmao
Kris: You're really going to make this video? How is it even a video if it's based on a painting?
Kanye: See, that's how I know you're not an artist like me
Kanye: The camera is going to pan around the bed and get different angles of the sleeping celebrities.
Kanye: It will be sex tape-esque.
Kanye: The models and/or, maybe, real dolls will be breathing and everything.
Kanye: You'll be watching the bodies resting and alive; the viewer is going to be unnerved by how up close and personal it is.
Kris: Maybe—and this is a huge maybe—maybe, they'll be unnerved that Bill Cosby is in the bed, also.
Kanye: You're saying it like he's a creep or something.
Kris: That is exactly "like" I'm saying it.
Kanye: There's no evidence. He hasn't even been convicted.
Kim: A college student was just given only six months in prison for rape and you'd rather wait for a conviction as proof?
Kanye: Wow, you too?
Kim: Just kidding lol.
Kanye: Lol you almost got me.
Kris: I can't take this. I'm leaving. You will not be using my money or anything else if you're going through with this.
*Kris Jenner grabs her bag and leaves the house*
Kanye: Look, I just thought of something
Kanye: "My mama-in-law try to tell me I'm sexist"
Kanye: "She so old, I think she forgot what sex is"
Pusha T: *Takes off hat and fans self* Whoo
Matthew: That was dope spit
Keith: So when do I get my Rihanna Real Doll?