Kanye West is back. He’s back on Twitter, he will be releasing new music in June, and he’s got a million other projects in the pipeline. Kanye went quiet for about a year and half, ever since his breakdown and hospitalization around November 2016. We’ve seen him, of course, but he was pretty quiet throughout 2017 and the first few months of 2018. I hoped that when he came back, he would be more reticent, more thoughtful, less… manic. I mean, I’ve always believed that Kanye still struggles with some serious mental health issues, and I hoped that during his 2016 hospitalization, he was diagnosed properly and put on a good medication regimen. But I don’t think any of that happened, because Kanye is basically in the Sunken Place right now.
I guess this round of Yeezy Shenanigans started when Kanye West tweeted his support for Candace Owens, a very right-wing conservative commentator who is awful. After that, radio host Ebro Darden called up Kanye and spoke to him at length, then Darden recounted his conversation on air, on his radio show Ebro in the Morning. According to Ebro, Kanye said he wasn’t hospitalized in 2016 for mental exhaustion or some kind of mental health issue: he was addicted to opioids. Oh, and Kanye still loves Donald Trump.
Over the weekend, Kanye West stoked the outrage fires yet again with more philosophic Twitter musings, this time including vague support for conservative, anti–Black Lives Matter commentator Candace Owens and “the way she thinks.” His tweets sparked a tense phone call between Kanye and Hot 97 host Ebro Darden, which the DJ recapped on his radio show Monday morning. According to Darden, Kanye said he intended to contextualize his Owens tweet and “wanted to have open dialogue,” but then decided “let me just take this heat right now and maybe people will understand when I put the music out.” He elaborated that Owens appeals to him because “she’s challenging conventional black thought,” and he feels “demonized” for attempting to do the same.
Throughout their conversation, Darden says Kanye professed his love for Donald Trump, explaining that he “reached out to Obama for years and couldn’t get anything done, but Trump gave me a meeting.” When Darden questioned the legitimacy of that meeting, saying he allowed Trump to merely exploit him for a photo op, Kanye said Trump is just busy. Kanye told Darden his ultimate goal is to “deprogram” people and “have people think differently than they thought before,” and that he doesn’t believe he’s out of touch. Kanye also revealed that his 2016 hospitalization was due to an opioid addiction and that he still harbors resentment that “nobody really showed love for me” during that time.
This is a mess. Kanye is a mess. I’ve been a long-time Kanye Apologist and I still want to see him healthy, but I strongly suspect he is not healthy right now. His current tweets read like someone in a manic stage of bipolar disorder, and philosophically and politically, he needs to get his f–king head examined. I can’t.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.