Thus far, 2015 has been the year of Kanye. Within two months of the new year, we have been bombarded by Kanye’s quest for creativity in fashion, his uncontrollable rants, and huge ego. Wherever you turn, Kanye is there causing us to hate, laugh, or find entertainment in situations that are commonly known as, “Kanye moments.”
On the first day of the new year, West sent a subtle warning shot on his plan for prominence in 2015. He shocked the music world by teaming up with the legendary Paul McCartney for the touching “Only One” which was dedicated to his late mother, Donda, and firstborn, North. A few weeks later, West collaborated with McCartney again for Rihanna’s acoustic-driven, “FourFiveSeconds.”
But then the Grammys happened and it marked the return of Kanye unfiltered. In a scene reminiscent of his infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Awards, West appeared to be about to storm the stage and interrupt Beck, who defeated Beyoncé for Album of the Year. Just as he reached the stage, West turned and walked away, inciting laughter throughout the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But following the awards ceremony, West revealed that he was hardly joking when he announced that the Grammy doesn’t respect artistry by handing an award to Beck. West later called himself a hypocrite and revealed that he hadn’t heard Beck’s album.
West may have been the busiest celebrity during NBA All-Star weekend. With NBA All-Star and New York Fashion Week taking place during the same weekend in New York, West took the opportunity to use his music to promote his new line of sneakers, the Yeezy Boost.
West’s weekend started on Feb. 12 with the unveiling of his fashion line with adidas called the Yeezy Season 1. The outfits appeared to be inspired by post-apocalyptic films such as Mad Max. During the show, West took a moment to rant about the limitations of cultural expression as Beyoncé, Jay Z, P. Diddy, Anna Wintour and Russell Simmons looked on. Some panned West’s presentation, but he deserves a bit of credit for his continuous attempts to push boundaries.
About two hours later, West served as the headlining act for Roc Nation’s first annual Roc City concert in New York’s Flatiron District. West rapped a slew of his hits and brought out Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Pusha T to warm the crowd at the outdoor concert where the high temperature was 19 degrees.
On Feb. 13, West personally delivered his new sneakers to two unexpected sneakerheads at the Adidas Store. Later in the evening, Kanye made an unexpected trip to Irving Plaza for the Drake and Nas NBA All-Star concert presented by Sprite. About 15 minutes into Drake’s set, West walked onstage holding a gray box. He handed the box to Drake, who took out the new Yeezy Boost and glanced at them for a few seconds before laying them on a speaker. The sneakers remained on the speakers until Drake left the stage.
Drake may or may not be a fan of the shoes, but West got a free endorsement by placing the sneakers in Drake’s hand while he was on stage. It was a savvy move that signified Kanye’s approach to the entire weekend.
“Because all of they want to present to young Black men is the idea of being a rapper or making it to the league and not the idea of becoming an owner. And they would do anything they can to make a truthful idea appear to be a stupid idea.”
The following week, West got into a spat with his ex-girlfriend, Amber Rose, after Rose got into a Twitter beef with Khloe Kardashian, who alluded to Rose’s stripper past. Rose fired back by bringing up Kim Kardashian’s sex tape with Ray J. West put himself in the middle by claiming he had to take “30 showers” after dating Rose. But Kanye has also given another perspective on the method to his madness.
During the broadcast of BET Honors, Kanye told the audience how racism has affected his relationship with Kim and how it continues to marginalize young Black men.
“Kim’s father once told her, ‘One day you may have a Black child. A beautiful Black child and it’s going to be hard. You’re going to see how hard it is,’ ” Kanye told the crowd at the Warner Theatre. “We deal with racism because there are different races. The micro is that we focus on different races as oppose to the macro which is the human race. The bitter sound bites that got taken out of context last year came from a place where the reason I’m not allowed to be empowered is because of race and the perception of celebrity. Because all of they want to present to young Black men is the idea of being a rapper or making it to the league and not the idea of becoming an owner. And they would do anything they can to make a truthful idea appear to be a stupid idea.”
The year is hardly 60 days old and West has already made a mark in music, fashion, gossip, and being the perfect jerk. But regardless of your personal opinion of him, it’s hard to deny West’s knack for entertaining and inspiring us with his unwavering belief in himself.
“You all know Kanye doesn’t have a problem believing in himself, right?” Oscar winner Common said before a recent performance in New York. “I would watch Kanye do his listening sessions and he would jump up on the stage and rap songs. I didn’t like some of the songs, but I started liking them just because Kanye believed in them so much, and you know belief is contagious.”