And art continues its march into mainstream pop culture … with the newly released/leaked (who can tell anymore) Kanye West track featuring Jay-Z, “That’s My Bitch,” includes the following artful references …

First, Kanye West tips his hat to Basquiat (00:56):

She say I care more about them Basquiones, Basquiats, she learnin’ the new word is yacht.

Then, Jay Z calls out Picasso and Mona Lisa (02:12):

If Picasso was alive, he would’ve made her. That’s right n***** Mona Lisa can’t fade her.”  That’s right.

And Jay Z again with a mention of Larry Gagosian (02:26), which Jay-Z seems to have had a tough time rhyming with and finally came up with a creative pronunciation of museums.

Call Larry Gagosian, you belong is mo-seums.

Kanye West & Jay-Z (image via

There’s a joke in art circles that no artist has become a household name since Warhol, looks like that could change very soon if these hip-hop giants continue to show their love for the stuff in the white box galleries.

We already knew Kanye has a thing for George Condo, and he’s even been tweeted some thoughts on art recently. We also know that Jay-Z collects art, and his wife Beyonce holds some sway in that department (in fact, she introduced him to the hobby). I’m curious where all this may lead.

The song in question is a celebration of black women and it is generally a pretty sweet tune.

Btw, if the YouTube video above is disabled (which could happen at any moment), you can download it here or listen to it here. You may also want to follow the hashtag for the rumored album, #WatchtheThrone.

Hat tip Nate Hill

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

2 replies on “Gagosian, Basquiat…Get Shout Out From Kanye & Jay-Z”

  1. “The song in question is a celebration of black women”

    Funny, then, to mention only one black person in all this art banter.. and someone black who notoriously (at the time, at least) dated white women almost exclusively. In fact, I am trying to think of black female artists who are decently well known… and can’t come up with more than two or three… and even they aren’t all that well known.


  2. I assume you’re referencing Basquiat with your comment, obviously. Nice observation.

    I was hoping Hrag’s comment that “The song in question is a celebration of black women” would provoke more comments on if in fact a song titled “That’s My Bitch” could possibly. But this is an art blog and maybe no one really cared. Hrag did throw the word “generally” in there. This song has a lot going on and a celebration of black women is just one of them in Jay-Z’s rhyme. But then Jay himself raps the the bitch lyric and says “get your own dog” himself so there’s an obvious contradiction there… whatever it’s complex.

    I’m proud of Jay’s verse though. Most mc’s don’t talk about those issues since Public Enemy, The Coup, or Common. It’s just not common much to hear these ideas (of celebrating black women) in recent pop rapping. I hope there’s more of this and the influence of the art world more and more in kanye’s and jay’s music.

    On the other hand, could someone claim there to be a “whitening” of hip hop with the integration of the art world and its aesthetic? For example, Kanye’s runaway short film, etc.. blah blah blah sorry this isn’t a rap blog.

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