A Social Media Roller Coaster: Kanye West’s Latest Twitter Meltdown
We have always known Kanye West to be a bit of an eccentric. From storming the stage in 2009 during teenage Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards, or going on strange tangents on the Jimmy Kimmel show and Ellen, West has never shied away from strange antics. Most recently, though, West has made his way into the spotlight through Twitter, firing off what seemed to be every thought that was simply entering into his head.
West’s constant Tweeting was looked at by many early on as a simple publicity stunt in order to get his name back into the news for two upcoming album releases this June, but things took a very serious turn when he began to discuss politics. The rapper posted a selfie of his Make America Great Again hat that was signed by the man himself, Donald Trump. West went on to Tweet, “You don’t have to agree with trump (sic.) but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone.”
While there are many words I could use to describe the current President, the one I’m going to use right now is polarizing. With West’s mentioning of Trump, he certainly divided some of his biggest fans. Many people who were upset with him felt as if he is “selling out” in way with his support of Trump on Twitter, straying away from his anti-establishment brand.
Senior Connor Percarpio is an avid Twitter user and a big Kanye fan as well; he shared his thoughts with me on Yeezy’s return, saying, “All I can really say is most of his Tweets are just ridiculous. He hasn’t really made sense at all.”
Percarpio is certainly right. West has yet to Tweet anything that comes close to having much logic, sometimes just Tweeting a random video or picture with a completely unrelated caption. He has even posted pictures private text conversations that he has had with other celebrities such as John Legend. Legend texted Kanye a long paragraph about how many of his fans may feel betrayed after he posted a selfie supporting the controversial President; Kanye’s response? Take a screenshot and Tweet it out to his millions of followers.
West’s return to Twitter has been coupled with a huge jump back into the public eye. Kanye did a two and a half hour interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God to promote his upcoming album releases, but somehow West talked his way into a deep discussion about slavery in the United States, eventually saying, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.”
Understandably, West’s comments started an uproar among his fans and haters alike. The social media and news channel firestorm that ensued was obviously warranted, as West’s comments were extremely offensive and just flat out wrong, but the most well articulated argument came from a TMZ reporter who was listening in on the interview.
The reporter, Van Lathan, got up from his desk and got into a heated debate with the rapper, telling him, “I think what you’re doing right now is the absence of thought…. You’re entitled to your opinion, but there is fact and real life consequence to everything you just said. I’m disappointed and appalled that you’ve morphed into something that’s not real.””
Lathan points out something that Kanye may have yet to considered. His outreach and influence as an international icon is huge, and when he says things like that it can lead younger fans to believe what he’s saying is fact, and eventually they’re saying and thinking those thoughts as well.
Many students at DHS who follow Kanye on Twitter are arguing that caring for his fans is the last thing on his mind, and he’s pulling off this latest stunt simply for publicity. Senior Will Rehm said, “He’s clearly doing this for publicity for his new album in June. Artists have done things exactly like this in the past.”
The argument against the “Kanye is doing this for album hype” is fought by those who mention that, with all of his Twitter antics, he’s alienated a huge percentage of previously loyal fans. Senior Andrew Darby, a follower of West, said, “Giving all of this support to Trump is the exact opposite of giving popularity to this album, most of his fans are just pissed off at him now.”
While this is true, Kanye has been around his Kardashian in-laws enough to know that any publicity is good publicity. If nothing else, people are certainly talking about Kanye non-stop, and with all of this discussion they will be dying to see what this crazy dude has to say in his album.
Kanye’s controversial past few months have been shocking and unpredictable to say the least, but everyone who is angry at him will most likely still listen to his new music. Tired of Kanye? Don’t listen to the album, you’ll be much happier.