Keeping Up With Kanye West

An exploration of Kanye West’s dive into controversy

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Keeping Up With Kanye West

Kanye West poses with a pair of Balenciago shoes and a jacket over the holiday season. Leading up to 2019, West took to Twitter to post about various topics in a remarkably short period of time, whether it was shopping, mental health, or his spiritual beliefs. Photo taken from Twitter account @kanyewest.

Kanye West poses with a pair of Balenciago shoes and a jacket over the holiday season. Leading up to 2019, West took to Twitter to post about various topics in a remarkably short period of time, whether it was shopping, mental health, or his spiritual beliefs. Photo taken from Twitter account @kanyewest.

Kanye West poses with a pair of Balenciago shoes and a jacket over the holiday season. Leading up to 2019, West took to Twitter to post about various topics in a remarkably short period of time, whether it was shopping, mental health, or his spiritual beliefs. Photo taken from Twitter account @kanyewest.

Kanye West poses with a pair of Balenciago shoes and a jacket over the holiday season. Leading up to 2019, West took to Twitter to post about various topics in a remarkably short period of time, whether it was shopping, mental health, or his spiritual beliefs. Photo taken from Twitter account @kanyewest.

Wesley Henshaw, Managing Editor

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Whether it’s his political or personal life, the year 2018 has been quite a controversial one for Kanye West. Now that the year is over, and West shows no sign of slowing down going into 2019, it would seem the perfect time to look back on his many controversies last year.

2018 is not West’s first dive into controversy. Whether it was the “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” comment in 2005, the infamous interruption of Taylor Swift’s VMA awards acceptance speech, or his now numerous rants and bizarre interviews, West had already built up a persona of unpredictability and controversial antics.

However, 2016 signaled a explosion of his persona.

In November 2016, West was hospitalized due to a “psychiatric emergency,” according to the New York Times, resulting in him opening up about his bipolar disorder, the stress in his life, and his struggles with both. During that same month, West would also say at a San Jose concert that he would’ve voted for Trump, if he had voted.

A month later, West visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to discuss Chicago’s high murder rate. When asked, he said that he simply wanted to make a change.

West would only continue his deep dive into polarization in 2018. On April 25, 2018, Kanye West released the now famous “Dragon Energy” tweet. In the tweet, he discussed how he considered Trump a brother and wouldn’t let the mob change his mind, supporting free thought and saying that he and Trump had “dragon energy.” Trump would iconically respond “Thank you Kanye, very cool!” West would go on to receive a signed MAGA hat from Trump himself.

In a May TMZ interview, West seemed to catch everyone by surprise by suggesting that slavery was a choice.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years?” West said. “That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? We’re mentally in prison.”

Although tried to backtrack, many had an issue with these comments and he apologized for comments.

However, this would not be the last time he would make a comment like this. On Sept. 30, 2018, the day after he announced changing his name to his nickname, “Ye,” West posted a picture of him wearing a MAGA hat in what seems to be a private jet. The caption included a suggestion that we need to repeal the 13th amendment, the amendment that made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal.

Immediately people took him to task, such as actor Chris Evans who criticized West’s ignorance of history, calling it “frustrating.” West would apologize for how his words made people feel, but not for the comment itself.

Leading up to a Saturday Night Live appearance in October, West declared that he had stopped taking his medication for his bipolar disorder, in an act, as he posed it, of liberation.

West went onto SNL, breaking into a rant towards the end of the closing performance, wearing his MAGA hat. He began with the “Democrat plan,” suggesting they wanted to take black fathers out of the home. However, he then transitioned into a more lucid point of allowing dialogue to improve society, thanking the SNL cast for allowing him to come on despite his personal views. He would also talk about free thought and being yourself, claiming he had been bullied for wearing what he called his “Superman cape.” Many would not see this rant in its entirety as SNL pulled the rant off air before it could go into full swing. However multiple videos, including one filmed by comedian Chris Rock, began to circulate the internet.

Afterwards West met with Trump once again, this time in the White House. The content of this discussion was very scattered, from the idea of alternate universes, to prison rates and mental health, to the 13th amendment, and to reasons he liked Trump, notably a “male energy” he felt he lacked due to the absence of his father. Trump even commented on West’s speech afterwards, daring someone to try and follow that.

By this point, West’s antics online would keep at a steady rate for the next few months. He discussed his mental health a lot, got into a small feud with Ariana Grande because of her promoting her new song using West and Drake’s feud to do so, and began to discuss his own Christian beliefs more and more. Overall, just remaining Kanye.

Bringing in the new year, West took to Twitter to complain that no one wants to have a genuine interview regarding mental health, to which Joe Rogan, host of the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast as well as comedian and mixed-martial artist commentator, volunteered. Shortly after his initial tweet, West tweeted that he and Rogan had talked and that everyone should expect a podcast coming soon.

For those unfamiliar with the Joe Rogan Experience, it is well-known for having anyone on. Astrophysicists, conspiracy theorists, comedians, UFC fighters, and more have all come on. Rogan is celebrated for his ability to talk with anyone in a genuine way, ignoring political barriers and controversy in an effort to further his own understanding and have a good time. For this reason, the internet rejoiced at the prospect of these two minds coming together. As of publication, a date has not been released for the podcast in question, but upon its release an update will be released on the newspaper’s online site.

Aside from this news, West continued the past two months relatively uneventfully. News has been released that he may be working on some Christian music, though this isn’t exactly surprising from Kanye. All-in-all, it would seem that West’s eventfulness will continue into 2019. For West, one of his biggest draws is his bizarre behavior, proving that there really is no such thing as bad publicity. Do you think Kanye deserves credit for his work, or that he’s dangerously unstable? Go to pchcorral.com and answer a poll to let us know what you think.