If you’ve been anywhere near the internet at all over the past month and a half, the saga of Kanye West has been exhaustively unavoidable, from his Trump tweets to two-hour interviews, all finally culminating late last night with the Wyoming bush party-release of his latest album, ye.
To say the least, it’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and we’ve broken down a timeline of takes to prove how much of a ride this whole thing has been:
Mid-April: The Trump Tweets
It all started with West blasting Twitter with preachings of “free thought”, retweets of Dilbert creator/famed misogynist Scott Adams, and showing off his turd-trophy of a MAGA hat:
This was seen, with right reason, as career suicide. Both fans and detractors saw this as the end of Yeezy, a new low he couldn’t sink any deeper into:
— Lucas (@lucaxarruda) April 25, 2018
But this is Kanye we’re talking about, notorious for surprising us in the most surprising of ways — including the ability to find a new low to sink to. Enter, my friends…
Early May: The TMZ Interview
The early days of last month saw Kanye dropping a two-hour interview with Charlamagne tha God in an attempt to diffuse and contextualize the brain-vomit he had been tweeting out to the world. It doesn’t matter whether you find the interview interesting or incomprehensible, as any good will he could’ve achieved from it was immediately dust in the wind: that same day, the rapper appeared on TMZ to let everyone know how slavery was, apparently, a choice:
For many, this was the confirmation that Kanye had now cemented himself as a right-wing figurehead:
Congratulations to new Fox News hire Kanye
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 1, 2018
While some of his famous friends held out hope that maybe, just maybe, this was all a big, egoistic prank from the man who once interrupted a live broadcast to let everyone know that George Bush didn’t care about black people:
What in the Andy Kaufman is going on here? https://t.co/uvpJ37opyR
— T'Questlove (@questlove) May 1, 2018
Early May Detour: Devil in a New Tesla
Following the quite-justified uproar inspired by his slavery comments, Kanye took a breather from engaging in the directly political, instead taking to social media with the same fervor, only this time to keep trying to slide into Elon Musks’s DMs?
All music coming out of Yeezy sound has to ride like the new Tesla Yeezy sound is Tesla radio
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 6, 2018
Unfortunately for Kanye, Elon had just announced, with an internet-breaking weight rivaled only by Mr. West himself, that he was no longer on the market; his head currently in the clouds, shooting through space, on its way to Mars with indie-pop internet darling Grimes. That didn’t stop the internet from shipping the trio into Black Mirror fanfictions, however:
News in 2008: the Dow Jones has gone down. What does this mean for America?
News in 2018: Kanye West calls Elon Musk “wack” when their planned unveiling of the Yeezy Tesla is cancelled due to Grimes “accidentally” launching herself to Mars in Elon’s rocket
— jul Ya (@binchcity) May 11, 2018
Although Musk may never pull Ye closer in the backseat of his Tesla, West still took a page from the king capitalist’s book and set out to recruit brave souls to help in building the multi-industry Yeezy empire… by posting on LinkedIn:
“requirements: self-starter, sense of humor, ability to travel back in time and talk client out of terrible decisions” pic.twitter.com/FeC8jPZ7mT
— PAPPADEMAS (@PAPPADEMAS) May 18, 2018
Mid-May: Hints of wokeness?
Although it doesn’t come close to making up for his slavery tirades and support of the alt-right cabal, Kanye, in addition to tweeting out some dorm-room-level philosophical pleas to emancipate ourselves from our phones (advice that West himself should probably take), also tweeted out a full length documentary by left-wing filmmaker Adam Curtis:
the century of self https://t.co/JVvJby2TFq It’s 4 hours long but you’ll get the gist in the first 20 minutes Basically Sigmund Frued’s nephew Edward Bernays capitalized off of his uncle’s philosophies and created modern day consumerism
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 21, 2018
Curtis, for those not in the know, is known for his work that exhaustively explores how fascist systems come to be normalized and accepted through the influence of media and culture —which maybe, just maybe, Kanye will learn a thing or two from:
Me: "Wow, it seems like Kanye might, after a time, end his flirtation with conservatism and compensate with more leftist politics."
Adam Curtis narration: "…but it was all an illusion."
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) May 21, 2018
Late May: The DAYTONA Saga
Not only has enough ink already been spilled about the Pusha T-Drake beef that’s swarmed every media outlet since the drop of DAYTONA, but it’s enough of another story entirely that to write about it here would make this exhaustive timeline even more, well, exhausting.
What’s of note here, rather, is that Kanye’s notoriety for announcing projects that never see the light of day —Remember Cruel Winter? Yeezus Pt. 2? No? What about TurboGrafx 64? — is a trait that kinda put into question that the slew of G.O.O.D. music releases that Kanye promised would ever even come into fruition. DAYTONA might’ve given us the most exciting beef in years, but in this context, what it also gave us was hope that maybe, just maybe, this new Kanye album might actually come out.
album 1 PUSHA T DAYTONA dropping 2mrw pic.twitter.com/M1UPvax5fa
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 24, 2018
This hope was however sullied by a divisive album cover that featured the drug-laced bathroom of Whitney Houston, in the throes of her addictions. Even if Kanye’s new album was to come out, this album art, on top of everything else, had people wondering —from both sides—whether or not this indicated the music would even be in good taste:
fuck every single person involved with choosing pusha t's album art. can't believe y'all are disrespecting Whitney like this.
— king crissle (@crissles) May 25, 2018
Nothing about Pusha T’s album cover is disrespectful. It’s not like Whitney is actually in the photo. Had they not explicitly told us whose bathroom it is, we wouldn’t have even known. Y’all fake sensitive and annoying as fuck.
— Khy ❤ (@itskhyraa) May 25, 2018
And then it happened. Surrounded by horses, campfires, and, uh Candace Owens, Kanye unleashed his newest album onto the world in the wee hours of the Wyoming morning — and despite the long, winding, painful, politically-gross road it took to get here, well… It seems that it might’ve been worth it?
this album nuts. kanye still a musical genius but socially an idiot lol 😂
— Chido (@ChidobeAwuzie) June 1, 2018
Well, I’m two tracks in & I’m loving this Kanye so far… it reminds me of 808’s
— Sizwe Dhlomo (@SizweDhlomo) June 1, 2018
The music doesn’t excuse his politics, but it also seems creatively-inspired and politically-muted enough that we might just be able to enjoy it on its own terms and put this whole album-release fiasco behind us — that is, until the inevitable Alex Jones feature on Kids See Ghost.
What really matters, is that after a month and half of this, we can finally log off. Remember outside?