Oh Kanye. It was only a matter of time until his bizarre antics once again flooded our feeds. While one can fondly recall an era when the rapper’s infamous interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance at the 2009 VMAs constituted the height of his crimes, Kanye has since undoubtedly upped his game. There have been endless, endless petty feuds with fellow celebrities. He has requested Mark Zuckerberg bail him out of his alleged $53 million debt. He has made multiple claims to be the “the greatest living rock star on the planet”. Though, personally, I would have thought the ability to play guitar and sing without auto-tune would be prerequisites for the title.
“His erratic onstage behaviour recently is hardly unsurprising”
Like a surreal parody of contemporary celebrity culture, his erratic onstage behaviour over the past week – devolving from standard Kanye nonsense to endorsement of Trump, cancellation of his tour and finally hospitalisation – is, while still abnormal, hardly surprising.
However, something about this latest episode feels different. It seems less amusing; more sinister perhaps, though, just as self-absorbed. I believe the difference is control, or rather lack thereof. Is it a coincidence that Kanye loudly proclaimed to be in $53 million debt and launched into another tiresome round of ‘Twitter beef’ just as The Life of Pablo was released? Previous instances of controversy have been calculated moves on Kanye’s part; publicity stunts to firmly retain his spot in the limelight. These recent unhinged outbursts appear more the result of a huge amount of stress combined with a monumental sense of self-worth.
It is important to keep in mind that Kanye is, after all, only human. He is a human with an ego the size of a small planet, but a human nonetheless. Actively maintaining an enormous profile for over a decade is enough to make anyone go a bit crazy, plus one should keep in mind this meltdown occurred shortly after his wife was robbed at gunpoint; a stressful situation even ignoring the fact it made headlines across the western world.
“His quite frankly baffling support for Trump is at odds with his previous comments on civil rights”
However, at the end of the day it is difficult to feel too much sympathy for a man who can afford his own private jet several times over. Hospitalisation for ‘exhaustion’ is something the majority of us have undoubtedly wished for at some point or another, the difference being that most of us don’t have the luxury to do so. His quite frankly baffling support for Trump is completely at odds with his previous comments on civil rights (though I suppose living under the regime of an absurdly racist demagogue is fine when you’re too rich and influential to be affected). Storming off stage after two songs? That’s just unprofessional; when people have paid extortionate amounts to see you perform, you bloody well owe them a performance!
Though give it a couple of years, Kanye will have inevitably released a new album chronicling the immense struggle of this episode. And, inevitably, it will be annoyingly good. I suppose what I’m saying is, like it or not, Kanye’s not going anywhere anytime soon. All we can do in the meantime is blast Yeezus on full volume and await his next meltdown.