You could watch the maybe-NSFW video above, but that's only if you're alone and/or your office is the kind of place where the idea of Human Resources is a joke. That's how sexual The-Dream's new video for his song "Pussy" (featuring Big Sean and Pusha T) is, and why, according to SPIN, it got pulled from YouTube early Friday morning, less than 24 hours after it had been posted.
A summary of the video's contents, for those unwilling/unable to watch at this moment: There is one woman in lingerie. She starts off gyrating around, smoking a blunt in what appears to either be a very nice apartment but is more likely a hotel room. Though the video appears relatively harmless at first – like anything you'd see in a regular hot-n-sexy-bitches fare – it becomes increasingly sexual, with shots from below of a butt gyrating in a thong. It's only at around 2:30 that she starts to take her thong off, is suddenly oiled up, and we get an extreme close-up of her crotch, which is partially covered by the thong. Then she begins mime-masturbating with The-Dream's album cover, which is shaped like a pyramid that she opens like origami (get it?).
That album, called IV Play, prompted Gawker's Rich Juzwiak to write, "The-Dream’s depiction of single life, its shortcomings and contradictions, will alienate people. But there is an unobstructed honesty here that doesn’t give a fuck what you think of its creator." The titles and lyrics The-Dream has chosen back that analysis up; for instance, "Climax" is the name of the bonus disc, and the chorus for "Pussy" includes the line "I got my left hand on that booty/Got my right hand on that pussy."
In March, Robin Thicke's video for "Blurred Lines" featuring T.I. and Pharrell faced a similar fate as "Pussy." Though decidedly different in tone, it was also pulled from YouTube for female nudity. That video is less sexually explicit than that of "Pussy," but Thicke's video had more actual nudity in it than The-Dream's. The unrated version of "Blurred Lines" is now being hosted in Vevo (though the SFW version lives on in regular YouTube land) and features moments like this:
Both of these songs have been banned for their visually explicit content, it appears, and not their sexually explicit lyrics, despite the fact that Thicke's song has numerous references to rough sex and light drug use.
This is not even close to the first time this has happened; music videos (especially Madonna's) have been banned numerous times by MTV and YouTube. The ones that stay up are often just a fine line away from being "inappropriate" – Nelly's "Tip Drill" is one example, or probably anything in this slideshow. A few weeks ago, David Bowie's "The Next Day" was pulled from YouTube, only to be put back because, in a statement given to Billboard:
"With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it."
The distinctions here between what's YouTube/MTV/anything appropriate and what's not remind me of that famous Judge Potter Stewart quote from the Supreme Court case 1964 Jacobellis v. Ohio about hard-core pornography: "I know it when I see it." Whoever is working at these companies, whose job it is to look at this stuff and give it a judgment knows what they're seeing is "too much" in some capacity, but they don't quite know how to articulate it.