...Who’s letting him do this?
Kanye West’s “Eazy” – a collaboration with The Game that featured prominently in last month’s Donda 2 listening party – was controversial from the get-go. Released January 16, the track initially drew ire from Peta for its Nick Knight cover art (a gory 1997 photo of a skinned monkey), but also from some of Ye’s own fans, for lyrics that encourage a barrage of hatred against Kim Kardashian’s new love interest, Pete Davidson.
Specifically, the lyrics — “God saved me from that crash / Just so I can beat Pete Davidson's ass (who?)” — inspired a wave of derogatory comments on the SNL comedian’s since-deleted Instagram, adding to West’s personal campaign against his ex-wife’s current boyfriend, who the rapper has dubbed “Skete”. This was in particularly poor taste, many Ye dissenters pointed out, given Davidson’s acknowledgement of his own mental health struggles in recent years.
In news that will surprise nobody, however, the newly-released music video for “Eazy” only doubles down on the controversy, in disturbing fashion. Created by azxd and shared exclusively via West’s Instagram, the part-claymation visuals basically present a dark fantasy about kidnapping and killing Pete Davidson.
After being resurrected, a masked Ye places a bag over the comedian’s head, ties him up, and drives him to a remote location on the back of a quad bike (perhaps a full-circle nod to his iconic “Bound 2” visuals). There, he buries him in the ground and plants rose seeds on his head, which sprout toward the end of the video. “Everyone lived happily ever after,” the video concludes. “Except [Skete] you know who. Jk he’s fine.”
If you thought a brief lyrical reference to Davidson detracted from the track’s hypnotic beat and a solid opening verse from The Game on release, then it’s safe to say that these visuals undermine it completely. They also raise the question: who keeps letting Kanye get away with this kind of content?
Needless to say, many creators would jump at the career-making chance to work with one of this generation’s most influential artists. Given his artistic track record, they’re also unlikely to question his creative vision. But at what point does acting as a yes-man veer into enabling what seems like a self-destructive spiral, which has already seen Ye air the details of his divorce and parenting arrangements on the timeline?
In any case, “Kimye” officially reached its legal conclusion yesterday, when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved Kardashian’s petition to end the marriage. Hopefully, that means we’ll be seeing less “Eazy”-esque controversies from Kanye in the future.