"Did we mention sex?"
Since Hugh Hefner's death in 2017, Playboy's been re-branding itself to appeal to millennials by hiring fine art photographers for high concept photo shoots, naming a gay man and proud Taylor Swift fan as its executive editor, re-committing to printing nudity, and replacing its original motto, "Entertainment for men," with "Naked is normal."
The next issue of the 66-year-old publication will feature Kylie Jenner, the make-up mogul and "self-made billionaire" who was raised before America's eyes on Keeping Up with the Kardashians (you know, that 17-season reality TV show about the millionaires who make their livings as walking Instagram ads, because they're "self-made").
The 22-year-old posted a photo on Instagram of herself and boyfriend Travis Scott (the two share a one-year-old daughter, Stormi). Jenner poses nude in just a cowboy hat, embracing a shirtless Scott for Playboy's "Pleasure" issue. According to Playboy's website, the theme "is a celebration of the things that bring us joy: sex, art, food, music, spiritual connection, travel, cannabis and community. And did we mention sex?"
The magazine adds, "In this issue, we aren't only showcasing the artists and creators who bring us joy; we're also shining a light on visionaries and revolutionaries who are fighting to expand access to pleasure for all."
Even if we put aside our wonderment at what cultural, linguistic, and spiritual rot we're witnessing in the pages of Playboy these days, since when is a "men's lifestyle" and entertainment magazine ever not about "pleasure?" And when did Kylie Jenner become a "visionary?" And if she constitutes one, where is the adult film world's rising auteur, Bella Thorne, who recently directed a "beautiful and ethereal" film as part of P*rnhub's Visionaries Director's series? The questions are endless.
- Is that Lil Nas X's hat?
- How does Kylie manage to look both 17 and 53 at once?
- What does Travis Scott, like, do all day?
- Is this photo a philosophical take on how only nature can nurture true love?
- How much did that watch company pay to be included on Travis Scott's wrist?
- How do we know that's really Kylie?
- Then again, what percentage of Kylie is really Kylie, these days?
- What happens if I sort of dig this?
- Would Gloria Steinem hate me if I kind of dig this?
- Was Kylie Jenner popular in high school?
- How hot was it outside? It looks hot.
- Didn't a cowboy hat make it feel even hotter?
- Why wear a cowboy hat on an already hot day if your hot cakes are out?
- Is "Kylie Jenner" a palindrome?
- Oh. No. "Kylie Jenner" backwards is "renneJ eilyK." What's up with that?
- Why did Travis Scott get to wear clothes?
- Was that a sexist thing? I'd hate to think Kylie was involved with a sexist thing.
- What does their daughter want to be when she grows up?
- If their daughter grows up to be a Playboy bunny, will Travis Scott be fine with that?
- Who's going to send this cover to their daughter on her 18th birthday?
- If art is dead, did Instagram kill it?
- What happens if I think Playboy's "Pleasure" theme sounds pretty cool?
- Also, why does the theme sound like the description for a music festival?
- Is this subliminal advertising for Coachella?
- "Are you there, Coachella? It's me, Kylie": Is that the caption?
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Progressive psych-rock with trippy energy.
Hidden Beams, the Brooklyn alt-electronic project of Carlos Argon, introduces his new single, "Reveal."
Travis Scott sure knows how to make an entrance
Travis Scott's highly anticipated third album recently released and it's come with more baggage than anyone could have imagined. The 17-track amusement park themed experience exudes a creepy, disturbing, haunted feel that mirrors that of American Horror Story meets rap.
Top tracks are definitely "Carousel," "Sicko Mode" and "Stop Trying to Be God" — perfectly complimenting to each other and the album. "Carousel" boasts a strange beat and a heavy bass, setting the perfect mood for Scott and Ocean to recount their days taking various drugs and just living in the moment. Along with an intro from Big Tuck, this track is the perfect second song to Astroworld.
"Sicko Mode" is another essential hustle song about finally making it and being above all the other competitors — Drake and Travis Scott rap about how they're in "sicko mode" over an ever changing beat and sound. You can also hear lowkey creepy amusement park theme in parts of the song, contributing to this ode to Astroworld, a
failed park back in Scott's hometown of Houston.
Features can either make or break the album — and in this case, Scott made sure he wasn't short of any. Some favorites include Frank Ocean on "Carousel," Drake on "Sicko Mode," Swae Lee on "R.I.P. Screw," and a part of Migos for "Who? What!" Tracks like "Stop Trying to Be God" and "Skeletons" boast a huge number of features from three or more big names, which makes us wonder what the budget for this album was...
Amid accusations of Scott never mentioning his baby mama, he delivered this time with numerous mentions of Kylie Jenner and their daughter, Stormi Webster, in Astroworld. In "Stargazing," Scott mentions how a girl saved his life out of nowhere and that his "baby mama is a trophy." However, in this context, it seems like the couple enjoys the phrase "trophy wife" — quite a contrast from its usual insulting tone.
Money is definitely a big component of their relationship — "We just rocked Coachella, I gave her half the check." This mention on "Skeletons" doesn't seem like Jenner is the sugar baby type though — she definitely contributed to his huge crowds at the performance too.
However, my favorite is definitely "Baby mama cover Forbes, got these other bitches shoot" — Jenner is definitely not reliant on Scott for his success or money. She's got her own life too as part of the power couple.
Album releases don't drop without their fair share of controversies — Scott's particular issue comes from his exclusion of Amanda Lepore from his album cover, shot by David LaChapelle. Some fans and outsiders accuse Scott of being transphobic as Lepore is a famous, groundbreaking trans model — others cry of overly P.C. culture and that Scott meant nothing by it.
Nobody knows why Scott removed Lepore, but there have been lots of accusations of transphobia within the rap community lately —
Migos were rumored to not want drag queens even in the room at their SNL rehearsals and Cardi B was called out for defending her man.
Whatever Scott's intentions were, the album cover somehow doesn't look complete without Lepore in the left background — David LaChapelle is a renowned photographer and it seems like he would know what he's doing. And thankfully, Lepore responded with grace and dignity.
In this world today, song and album releases aren't just about the music anymore — if you want extra attention for your work, you may need to add more spice to your character. And Travis Scott did just that.
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- #astroworld hashtag on Twitter ›
- Six Flags AstroWorld - Wikipedia ›
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