Kanye West snapped at an acclaimed photographer who asked him to pose like Elvis Presley during a shoot in a recently emerged video.
In a previously unseen video that surfaced online this week, West was filmed yelling at Korean-German photographer Heji Shin when she gave him advice on posing for a photo shoot in Los Angeles in 2018.
Kanye West snaps on photographer after she told him to “pose like Elvis”
“Elvis stole!” 😳👀 pic.twitter.com/3nTastc3jw
— Hip Hop Ties (@HipHopTiesMedia) September 27, 2023
In the clip, New York-based photographer Shin holds up a reference photo of Presley and asks West to pose like the singer so she can get the right look for the shots.
However, West immediately snaps back at Shin for trying to instruct him to pose like Presley. The rapper refuses to pose like the late singer and refers to long-standing allegations that Presley’s music was heavily borrowed from little-known Black artists in the same era.
“I don’t want nothing that look like Elvis — he stole,” a furious West yells at the photographer.
“I’m talking to fake Elvis’s right now. Give me an African pose. F*ck I’m going to do? I’m Ye, posing like f*cking Elvis?”
West eventually calms down after the clash with the photographer and smiles. He makes a joke to Shin about how he “get[s] that exact feeling from that phone call in the photos” and the photo shoot appears to resume.
‘He Would Only Look Straight Ahead Into The Camera’
In a piece with Interview magazine in 2019, Shin spoke about the challenges of shooting West and his refusal to pose for the camera.
However, the photographer said she understood the rapper’s reluctance to pose for pictures due to his awareness of the medium.
“This was exactly the challenge Kanye and I had. He’s very aware of this dynamic between making images and being made into an image, and he felt uncomfortable being directed,” Shin told Interview.
“I could identify with him. For instance, he told me he wouldn’t do poses. He would only look straight ahead into the camera.”
West has had a tense relationship with photographers over the years. In June, West was sued by a photographer after the rapper threw her phone into the street.
In the same month, West was sued by another photographer for allegedly using her photo without permission to taunt a Vogue editor on Instagram last year.
Image credits: Header photo via Wikimedia Commons.