This guide will be updated on a regular basis to keep you in the loop on all things Kanye West. Whether you love him or hate him, Kanye is important. Few people have had such a lasting impact on art or culture and each of his actions, ideas, tweets, and thoughts are history in the making. Enjoy.
Without further ado, what has Kanye West done in 2020?
We can all agree that 2020 has shaken the very foundation of humanity and disrupted society at its core, leaving a permanent mark on cultures worldwide. Through the thick fog of COVID-19 news and incomparable energy of Black Lives Matter (BLM), many news tidbits that would have once been the center of attention have now been buried under the weight of far more important and pressing issues. Still, in between the cracks of this revolutionary change, Kanye West has quietly prepared to strike; and now he’s ready to remind the world of its single most impactful artist, billionaire, Christian, and human being of this generation…
Ye isn’t the easiest to keep up to date with because he is ALWAYS on the move and is what you could call filterless. In the last few weeks, he’s peed on a grammy, spear-headed a movement to give artist’s their masters back, doxxed the Forbes editor, and gotten kicked off of Twitter. Let us take it from the relative top before we get into all that…
Ah yes, Ye had indeed been missing the spotlight, and on July 4th he successfully reclaimed the public’s attention and created waves across America… all in one tweet.
Yep, you read that correctly. Kanye disgusted some, and prompted national, even worldwide, debate with his independence day tweet. I’m sure that you, just like the entire population, have questions about all of this. Where has Kanye been this year? What’s he been up to? And where did this come from? With or without news coverage, 2020 Kanye has been up to much more than you might think.
Immediately after tweeting his bombshell announcement, his wife Kim Kardashian, billionaire Mark Cuban, and tech mogul Elon Musk voiced their support; the most eloquent of all being Kim K’s retweet of a lone American flag emoji. Kanye’s run would indeed pit him against Donald Trump for whom he’s been very outspoken about supporting in the past, but according to a recent Forbes article he has since “lost confidence” in Trump and is forging his own path.
There are many theories and speculations surrounding Kanye’s run, ranging from it being a publicity stunt for his upcoming album God’s Country, to a ruse meant to further split the vote and get Trump re-elected. He spoke to Forbes about his campaign and, to summarize his cryptic and nonsensical ramblings, doesn’t seem to have thought this campaign through. He admits that he has no knowledge on taxes, foreign policy, or politics in general, he’s never voted and wasn’t even registered to until recently, and he throws around staunch Christian rhetoric in every answer. Some of his most notable statements include vaccines being the devilish “mark of the beast” through which the government can chip us (?!) and wanting his White House management modeled after Wakanda from the movie Black Panther. He never elaborates much, so it seems that with each statement he makes he is raising more questions than giving answers — but what else would we expect from Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West.
He has lots of projects in the works
He has broken his virtual silence several times throughout the year to tease upcoming projects. As you probably know, Ye wears many hats; from music to fashion to homebuilding (yep, YZY shelters). Dubbing June 26th the #WESTDAYEVER, Ye posted this tweet outlining his current endeavors (although he didn’t include any release dates for most of them).
Wash us in the West
On June 30th, West dropped the music visual for his latest drop, the single “Wash Us in the Blood” off of his upcoming album God’s Country. The overall vibe of the single, and assumedly the upcoming album, is a disconcerting mix of dark, manic visuals and apocalyptic lyrics, all steeped in Christianity. Ye is definitely fulfilling his reputation of a boundary-breaking tastemaker, and it’s evident he won’t be shy revolutionizing the idea of the Christian worship genre.
Gap is back
YZY Gap, aka Kanye’s partnership with Gap, will fulfill Kanye’s vision of making his Yeezy designer clothing line accessible to the masses (and also save Gap from its plummeting relevancy). The line will feature “modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points”, according to a statement in the New York Times.
This comes along with the release of his Yeezy foam runners with Adidas, dubbed “Yeezy Crocs”, and the announcement of modernized tech developments to the Yeezy website in the works.
KSG and JIK
Kanye also mentions a new animated series revisiting his 2018 Kids See Ghosts album with Kid Cudi. The series will be directed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and follow the adventures of Kanye Bear (the character on Ye’s first three album covers) and Kid Fox (Cudi’s character created for the show). No release dates have been released, only a short trailer.
Kanye’s presidential run got off to a disastrous start
Ye has wasted no time confusing the masses and pissing everyone off, starting with his very first political rally. On July 19th, West spoke to a South Carolina crowd with “2020” shaved into his hair and a bulletproof vest on. He raved about everything from abortion to slavery, and practically none of it was good. All of his statements were either wildly offensive, impossible to understand, or just plain ill-informed. He yelled at attendees who clapped and argued with people in the crowd, even having people thrown out. His statements gave the audience a confusing peek into his brain.
He made a tearful statement in favor of the Pro-Life movement, sharing that he and Kim K came close to aborting their first child (North), and how hard that is for him to think about considering how much he loves his daughter. A sweet backstory and a reasonable anti-abortion bid, right? Maybe… until he said that everyone who has a baby should get $1 million. That’s actually a kind of cool idea, but far from reasonable.
He didn’t stop there and continued to make the most controversial statement of the night: “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves; she just had the slaves go work for other white people.” Then, to convince the crowd of his presidential capability, he bragged about his “genius IQ,” how he once “went to the hospital because his brain was too big for his skull,” and his friendship with “superhero” Elon Musk. He also stated that he “doesn’t give a fuck if [he] wins the presidency or not.”
And after all that, a South Carolina publication reported that West didn’t submit any of the 10,000 signatures required to get on the state presidential ballot. Sorry, but no late registration here, Kanye.
Is this presidential run a typical Kanye stunt, a genuine mental breakdown, or a byproduct of genuine political aspirations? We may never know.
A day after his SC rally, Ye flooded Twitter with many concerning and puzzling tweets. His ranting gave fans a much too personal insight into the personal and familial consequences of Ye’s controversial campaign statements — incorrect spelling, grammar, spacing and all. He took shots at a wide variety of celebs, from Anna Wintour to Shia LaBeouf, but most of the shade was thrown directly at his family. He accuses Kim and Kris of trying to “lock [him] up”: “They tried to fly in with 2 doctors to 51/50 me.” 51/50 refers to the California law code for the temporary, involuntary psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to signs of mental illness. It’s obvious that his rally made painstakingly clear that Ye needs help, and his personal statements have cut his family members deep. “Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday,” “Everybody knows the movie get out is about me,” “If I get locked up like Mandela Ya’ll will know why.”
He even went so far as to say that Kris and her boyfriend (aka Calmye) aren’t allowed around his children and that he has “been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Waldorf for ‘prison reform’,” an obvious cheating accusation. Another low blow, Ye mentioning Kim’s sex tape over and over again with scorn: “Kris I’m in Cody [location of his Wyoming ranch] if your not planning another one of your children’s playboy shoots”. His raving tweets have since been deleted.
In a flurry of Instagram stories on July 22, Kim made her first public statement in regards to Kanye’s behavior.
“As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand,’ she wrote. “I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.”
Mental illness stigma is an unforgiving weapon used against those with mental disorders on even the smallest scale, and being in the spotlight is putting Ye’s crisis on display for the whole country.
“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions… He is a brilliant but complicated person who, on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions.”
A whole lot of people don’t agree with Kanye or his actions, but nobody can deny that he is in crisis and at the end of the day, it isn’t him or his family’s fault. There are always consequences that come with fame, but mental illness is a vulnerability that people are rarely understanding or sympathetic of.
“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor,” Kim wrote. “People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try… We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most,” she concluded. “I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this.”
Creative juices flow
As the drama subsides, Kanye has been posting nothing but his creative endeavors with barely any mention of his presidential run. This could point to a descent from mania back to a more grounded reality through the mediums of architecture and design. His tweets have ranged from shoe sketches to YZY clothing colorways to blueprints for an underwater house (?!). The numbers, and federal law, both point to the evident demise of his overall ridiculous campaign, so maybe (hopefully) he is coming to terms with that.
So yes, Kanye’s run for president has become a meme and a spectacle, and it’s never alright for rich people to treat the future of everyday Americans as a playground, but the root cause of this issue is a severe mental illness — one that affects 2.3 million Americans in a very real and life-altering way.
Maybe Kanye just started a much-needed conversation — here’s to hoping people stop and truly listen.
After his singular campaign appearance in South Carolina, Kanye has turned his attention to much more pressing matters than his presidential run… like eating Chick-fil-a with Steve Harvey and peeing on his Grammy. On August 18th, Kanye tweeted pictures and videos of him and Steve Harvey meeting with the CEOs of Chick-Fil-A eating lunch, saying grace, and even playing on the slides in the restaurant.
I’m guessing that he and Steve Harvey were hungry?
Soon enough his Twitter changed course again. On September 14th, he began a flood of hundreds of tweets regarding the “modern day slave ship” of the music industry. Posting his 100+ page contracts with his labels page by page, Ye came for the throats of the entire music industry and called for a complete revolution. He’s also been posting text conversation screenshots showing him reaching out to billionaire businessmen from around the world, lawyers, and label authorities. He proclaims that he will fight to get his and every artists’ masters back to them and liberate the industry. This man is ready to go to war.
And surprisingly enough, he even name-dropped Taylor Swift and her very messy, very public legal battle with Scooter Braun over her own masters. Was this shade? A genuine gesture? Who knows. Still, Swifties are pretty upset about his white-knighting.
And to make himself perfectly clear, he tweeted this video of him peeing on his Grammy. Obviously he means business, but what the fuck Kanye?! I can’t say I’m surprised anymore, though.
It doesn’t stop there. West got kicked off Twitter for 12 hours after he inexplicably doxxed Forbes editor Randall Lane, posting his phone number with the caption, “If any of my fans want to call a white supremacist … this is the editor of Forbes”.
Kanye has since cited Forbes’ failure to correctly classify him as a billionaire as the racist act that sparked his outrage. Forbes themselves backed it up by subsequently publishing an article ““Kanye West Is Now Officially a Billionaire (And He Really Wants the World to Know),” where Forbes writer Zach O’Malley Greenburg belittles Ye’s attempts to be correctly recognized. I wonder if they would’ve written an article like that if it was some Wall Street mogul who they misnomered or left off of the list? Either way, they had a good laugh at Ye’s expense.
Yes, Ye! GOOD
It’s Kanye who’s laughing now. It’s Kanye who is making moves. Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye is calling the shots with some rhyme and reason once more. We can’t condone doxxing, even though we’d love to have seen the look on Lane’s face, so seeing a true glimpse of positivity come out of the Kanye feels so refreshing.
Kanye is taking on the music industry establishment in giving all G.O.O.D music artists back his 50 percent share of their masters, potentially forfeiting millions of dollars in profit and giving it to his artists. He is embroiled in legal battles for his own masters and has laid bare how artists are “buried alive” by their contracts. His new proposed structure is artists leasing one’s masters to record companies and publishers for a finite period of time. This rules. In the streaming era, artists are more consistently screwed over by corporations than ever before. This could be a huge step in the future of the industry, shifting power back into the hands of the artists.
Legendary producer, Hit-Boy’s recent post really breaks down the genuine intention behind this movement. Kanye sharing his take despite the subtle digs at his past shows character growth and self reflection.
He made it to the California ballot! … kinda
Things are getting weirder still as far as Ye’s presidential run goes. He is now listed on the California ballot as a Vice President candidate, and him and his running mate are just as confused about it as we are. The American Independent Party (AIP) is responsible for the pairing of West and his presidential running mate Roque De La Fuente — and apparently the two haven’t even spoken yet.
The AIP’s pick of West should come as no surprise, as the platform of the party is very Christianity-based — and yes, that means pro-life and anti-gay standpoints, both of which are right up Ye’s alley. West hasn’t made any statements further than this ambiguous tweet yet, but the benefits the AIP will reap off his involvement are obvious.
First of all Ye is a full-fledged celebrity, and even better, he is an African American celebrity, and even better, he’s an African American celebrity who is very outspoken about his religious and pro-life views. For the AIP, he’s the perfect popularity cocktail with some diversity on top. I’m not sure that either West or De La Fuente (a Mexican American) appreciate being used like this, but after all, is this really more than a strategic popularity contest to the endorsing party? And the chairman of the AIP is voting Trump anyway so can someone please tell me why this is happening at all?!
The Birthday Party isn’t dead yet
Having thrown only one campaign event, his South Carolina rally in July, most of us have forgotten that he’s still even doing this. Well, he’s here to prove that YES, he is really doing this, and he’s SERIOUS about it. No, it’s not by getting on more state ballots. No, it’s not answering questions about his policies. No, it’s not demonstrating even a semblance of political preparation. It’s better. It’s MERCH.
Kanye’s new campaign site features some minimalistic merch for his presidential run, and sandwiched between that and his donation links is a list of his presidential platforms. There aren’t many merch options — minimalistic just like Ye likes it. The site includes a black hat and hoodie with large white lettering “Vote Kanye”, a black “God Save America” shirt (I’m not sure if he’s referring to himself or GOD God for this one), and a dark purple hat and light purple hoodie bearing “Kanye 2020 Vision”. Fashion is his thing, so of course he had to sprinkle it in his politics.
Now let’s get into his platform, which is quite literally ripped straight out of the Bible. But don’t worry, the merch is still at the top of the site, above any political information where it belongs.
It’s a bit of a mouthful so I will break them down for you. He has 10 main pillars to his platform (in all caps so you know he means business), each of which is based off of the Bible verse it’s listed with. You can read his official statements on his website, but essentially his list is this:
1. Faith is good and freedom of religion is good (yet something tells me he’s only looking out for Christianity here). Prayer and spirituality should be in the classroom (again, I’m guessing Christianity).
2. Restore the economy and reduce household and student loan debt. (Omitted: how)
3. Restructure the education system to better serve vulnerable and at-risk populations.
4. Maintain a strong national defense, but not so quick as to “tie up our country’s young men and women in foreign quagmires” (His words, not mine. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘quagmire’).
5. Reform the legal system to provide equitable justice for all races and those unable to defend themselves in court (I feel like he’s subtweeting his experience with the 51/50 California law code here). Recognizing legal verdict and prison disparity caused by lack of finances or legal assistance.
6. Police reform in favor of racial equality. Refocus police on “real crime”. Eliminating federal sentencing guidelines that legislate harshly for minor offenses.
7. Take care of the environment.
8. Protect America in foreign affairs; fair trade that doesn’t harm US workers.
9. Support faith-based groups on a government and community level.
10. Support creativity and the arts.
As far as the numbers go, Kanye’s campaign is still a long-shot at best. Ye has qualified for ballot access in only 12 states: Colorado, Minnesota, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, Vermont, and most recently, Mississippi. The campaign sued for access in 5 more states (but got denied every time), flat out gave up on 4 other states, and missed the deadlines of 29 states and the District of Columbia.
Kanye also made a bowl.
He then tweeted an onslaught of Catholic imagery which got Catholic Twitter very excited. It seems like the denomination is ready to accept him with open arms.
Perhaps it’s inspiration for his Yeezy Christian Academy (YCA) he has in the works?
For all of Kanye’s ridiculousness, he’s proving he is still a visionary and incredibly powerful figure who is juggling the pressure of the world and the pressure of being himself. For those who believed the Ye’s recent trends were death throes of his career and relevance, it’s clear they are just growing pains. Kanye is far from done with us and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s to come.
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