Why we love to love / hate Kanye West

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Between existential crises, regular meltdowns, and general controversy, Kanye maintains his status as a misunderstood fixture in the world of rap.

He’s not good at Twitter

Kanye West’s online meltdowns no longer surprise anyone. After an extended feud with Drake, who he publicly attacked, the Atlanta rapper created a scandal when he popped off about American slavery, declaring, among other highlights, that African people enslaved in America chose their condition.  Further unravelling was dreaded by his wife, Kim Kardashian, who doesn’t shy away from baring the emotional behind-the-scenes of her life with the rapper in her reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Kanye’s crisis of faith

Christ-like tableaus and fiery sermons: for months, the artist behind The College Dropout has seemed like he’s in the middle of a spiritual crisis. Every Sunday, in an open-air religious service that looks a lot like a traditional American Baptist Church, the rapper performs his classics for a crowd of the faithful, in front of an 80-person choir. Is it a homecoming for the guy who has always sprinkled references to Christ in his music? Whatever it is, his personal coming-to-Jesus has a distinctly commercial element: ever the savvy businessman, Kanye offers merchandise with religious messaging at each of his Sunday Services. For prices ranging from $50 to $225, supporters can buy sweatshirts stamped with “Holy Spirit,” t-shirts that say “Trust God,” and socks with “Jesus Walk,” all of which are becoming collectors’ items.

His problematic support for Donald Trump

Just a year ago, Yeezus angered and dumbfounded fans when he released a surreal video that was picked up by the international press and social media. In it, the winner of 21 Grammy Awards met with American President Donald Trump. Sporting one of the infamous MAGA hats of Trump’s supporters, Ye made an incoherent speech that was, at the very least, embarrassing. Despite declaring afterward that he would no longer be sharing his political views in public, Kanye seems to have changed his mind. While passing through Salt Lake City for a Sunday Service celebration, the newly-minted modern-day guru reaffirmed his unwavering support for President Trump.

Still waiting for the album

A few weeks ago, Kim Kardashian stirred up the internet as only Kim Kardashian can, posting the full track list of Ye’s long-awaited album “Jesus is King” on her instagram. Initially scheduled for release on September 27 2019, the album drop still hasn’t happened, to the chagrin of Kanye’s (last?) fans.

Can Kanye’s talent as a designer save him?

The one thing about Kanye that everyone can agree on is his brand Yeezy. Regularly praised for his inspired designs, Kanye has made must-have sneakers year after year, creating suspense with the most unlikely releases, like his recently unveiled Yeezy Foam Runner, which has divided public opinion. Despite the fact that the design looks like something you could find at the Crocs store, they’ve already found a fan in Ariana Grande, who poses proudly in them on her instagram. Well-played, Kanye, well-played.

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