Kanye West isn’t shy about his love of anime and Japanese culture. He’s defended Akira as the greatest anime movie, played hentai on screens during a “Graduation” listening party, and has collaborated with Japanese artists for promo art.
Fans and music critics can never agree on West’s best album, but “Graduation” is almost always the top pick. In 2007, he talked about how Tokyo fueled his creativity for the album. You can see it in his music videos, fashion choices at the time, and the album cover.
Famed artist Takashi Murakami drew the album art for “Graduation.” His “superflat” artist received international recognition thanks to the cover, and he has maintained a close friendship with West ever since.
And it’s all thanks to anime tiddies.
Murakami is known for creating sculptors of busty and borderline-grotesque anime women as a critique of sexual views found in otaku culture. According to a New York Times interview, one of his sculptures touched West.
Image via Complex
“Kanye’s record label contacted me and said that he really liked a sculpture of mine – a woman with huge breasts. They asked if he could come to see it. It just so happened to that the sculpture had just returned to the studio for repair. I said sure. Kanye came into the studio and stared at the sculpture, completely without words, just silently looking at it. I think he was moved by it, because he took hundreds of pictures with his digital camera.”
The visit to see anime tiddies would score Murakami a job with designed West’s “Graduation” album and kick-start a life-long friendship.