And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week Digital

CMU Beef Of The Week #296: Kanye West v Deadmau5

By | Published on Friday 4 March 2016

Kanye West

Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. What are we to do with you? Barely a day goes by at the moment without him saying something on Twitter that draws equal accusations of genius and idiocy. This week the tweeting sent him head to head with BOTW favourite Deadmau5.

It all started when Kanye posted a screengrab (well, photo) of his laptop screen showing that he was using YouTube to listen to Sufjan Stevens’ heartbreakingly brilliant ‘Carrie & Lowell’ album. This would have been quite enough to send a lot of people into a spin, though it’s worth noting that he was at least listening to an official upload of the album on the video site. But there was more to his ‘screengrab’ (shift + cmd + 4, Kanye. Come on) than that.

Having posted a picture of his entire screen, the other tabs he was viewing as he listened to that sweet acoustic music were on display. Browser tabs that seemed to show that Kanye had been inspired to make some new synth-based music. There was a tab with an info page for Xfer’s Serum synth plug-in open. There was an article on ‘the 50 best VST/AU plug-in synths in the world today’, which contains a five star review of Serum. And in between the two was a Pirate Bay page which appeared to be offering illegal downloads of the software.

People noticed. Deadmau5 noticed. “What the fuck @kanyewest? Can’t afford serum? Dick”, he wrote bluntly.

Yeah, sure, Kanye might be $53 million in debt, but he should still be able to offset $189 against future Sufjan Stevens-influenced records, surely. Especially now all that good Tidal referral money is rolling in. And maybe he’ll win some damages if he goes through with his threat to sue, erm, The Pirate Bay.

At this point, Kanye could have engaged in a debate about file-sharing, or denied that he was actually planning to download the software illegally, or any number of things. Instead the reply he went with was, “Is this person’s name pronounced dead-mow-five?”

To be fair, it’s a thought that’s crossed all of our minds at some point, I’m sure. In a pondering mood, he began to wonder about Deadmau5’s stagewear too. He continued: “# whose job is it to carry the head on the plane # hash tag # do you check the mickey mouse head or carry on # does it get hot?”

Yeah, no one said Kanye understands how hashtags work. But he was warmed up now. “Do you do birthday parties?” he asked. “My daughter loves Minnie Mouse. Can you please bring the Minnie Mouse head? Not yours, she specifically likes Minnie Mouse. I need you to perform at her party with specifically a Minnie Mouse dead-mow-five head… not a Mickey Mouse dead-mow-five head”.

It’s possible that Kanye was cleverly questioning Deadmau5’s right to call him out for copyright infringement, when there have been accusations that his ‘mau5head’ stagewear takes food out of the mouths of Disney’s babies. Or he might just have thought it was funny to pretend to try to book the producer for a children’s party. Anyway, he finished, “I’m very detailed oriented and I will know the difference so don’t try to just throw a bow on the original head”

Kanye also brought up the two artists’ joint shareholder status at Tidal, claiming that Deadmau5’s involvement in the streaming service had failed to drive very many downloads. Though, to be fair, the combined power of all the major artists who appeared at that embarrassing press conference when Jay-Z bought the streaming service haven’t exactly managed to turn it into a world-beating digital set-up. Even the boost from the exclusive on Kanye’s new album hasn’t stopped speculation that the company won’t last out the year.

Could Kanye have an idea to change that though? “I want to stream you performing in a Minnie Mouse head on Tidal”, he tweeted. So, no.

“Imma let you finish… But you should probably be saving the money for a fourth grade education”, Deadmau5 responded, adding: “I can out idiot an idiot. It’s what I do”.

It’s not the first time Kanye West has been involved in a file-sharing controversy, of course. Way back in 2011, he was one of the parade of artists to appear in MegaUpload’s ‘Mega Song’ video, shortly before the site was taken down and its executives arrested. Deadmau5 was nowhere to be seen, with any sort of mouse head or otherwise.

Meanwhile, the latest place West’s ‘exclusive’ Tidal album ‘The Life Of Pablo’ turned up this week was on PornHub. It’s been taken down now, but the site’s founder reckons that an official release on the site would be the answer to all of Kanye’s money worries.