Kanye West Debuts New Record, With Five Album Covers

The artist find a clever way around his cover controversy.

By Jamilah King Nov 22, 2010

As fans flock to stores and websites this week to grab Kanye West’s highly anticipated fifth studio album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy", they’ll be greeted with several different album covers to help guide their listening. West, who’s notoriously picky about his cover art, sounded off on Twitter back in October after the cover art for his new album had been banned. The cover undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows; it depicts a black "monster" — with wings! — holding a bottle of alcohol and lying beneath a presumably naked white creature sporting a polka dot tail. But apparently it’s only one of five covers the artists has got lined up for the new album. 

According to Pitchfork, the CD packaging will include a front window in which people can slide through all five covers.

All of West’s new covers art have been illustrated by American painter/sculptor George Condo. One more conservative version features a white skinned ballerina in a black leotard, holding what looks like a cocktail and looking like she’s been caught in the act of something shameful, while others feature contorted versions of laughing faces and a decapitated crowned head with a sword piercing through it.

On Sunday, in between trying to understand West’s demented genius, New York Magazine talked to Condo about his five different covers for the singer’s new album. They also put together a slideshow of all five covers.

Back in October, West took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the outcry over the original cover.

"Yoooo they banned my album cover!!!!! Ima tweet it in a few …", West tweeted. Later, he added, "In the ’70s album covers had actual nudity … It’s so funny that people forget that … Everything has been so commercialized now..I know that cover just blew yall minds … I wish yall could see how hard I’m smiling right now!!!"

While it’s unclear who exactly "banned" one of West’s covers (Wal-Mart’s already denied the claim), an unnamed source close to the singer’s record label told the Los Angeles Times that the West was "strongly urged" to use a different cover image.

"What’s happening in their minds should be banned. Not the painting," Condo told New York Magazine about the controversial cover.