Kanye West and PornHub: a marriage made in meme hell

Rapper served as creative director for PornHub’s awards ceremony, which he streamed on his site

Kanye West and Lil Pump: a forgettable nugget of horny hip hop

Kanye West and Lil Pump: a forgettable nugget of horny hip hop

 

YouTube’s number one rated video this week was a track by Lil Pump ft Kanye West. Entitled I Love It, it’s a forgettable nugget of horny hip hop, recognisable to anyone familiar with Pump’s oeuvre. What made it more noteworthy was the manner in which it was released to the fans who have, to date, viewed it over 50 million times.

Having had a busy summer collaborating with various artists on their albums this year – and facing backlash for saying that, among other things, slavery was a choice – Kanye chose last week to reveal his latest collaborator as PornHub, for whose inaugural awards show he served as creative director.

As well as overseeing the ceremony last weekend, West also designed the attendees’ outfits and even the “alien sex-toy” statuette itself. He rounded out this bonkers collabo by releasing a tie-in sweatshirt line, featuring crude paintings of porn-stars emblazoned with copy like “Mia Malkova – Hottest Female Ass”, and broadcast the entire ceremony via his own website, www.wegotlove.com.

Kanye confusion

During the live event he launched the aforementioned Lil Pump video, co-produced by Spike Jonze. It depicts messrs West and Pump wearing big, bulky, squared-off versions of Yeezy apparel, ambling down a hallway while praising a much taller lady for her promiscuity. The video, the ceremony, the sweatshirts – all left the internet in a strange, but not unfamiliar sensation of Kanye confusion. How do we categorise the work of a man who seems, simultaneously, to take himself way too seriously, and also to be constantly taking the piss?

When dealing with internet-borne, meme-baiting PR stunts, how do we judge work that seems, on the one hand, so brazenly ridiculous and, on the other, well, just plain trash? Does it even matter if the artist is doing this as a commentary, or to make some grander point beyond the work itself?

Controversy

The usual metaphor to cite in these instances is the Emperor’s New Clothes, a comparison made all the easier by West’s decision to style each of the nominated porn stars in gowns that featured holes which laid bare their “most desirable” features.

In the final analysis, amidst the hows, whys and wherefores of the show, there is one main point elided by all this controversy; I Love It was, for many, simply not that interesting.

“That Lil Pump and Kanye video is like a boring dream” said Blindboy Boatclub (@RubberBandits) neatly aggregating its mundane meme-worthiness. “I had this weird dream where Kanye and lil pump collaborated and they wore giant suits and just said f*ck loads and it was only a minute long lol”

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