The life of Kanye West

 Kanye West began a strange series of Tweets – in what can only be called a Kanye-esque tone, manner, and delivery – following his appearance on Saturday Night Live, capping a productive long-weekend for the artist in which he also released his new clothing line Yeezy Season 3 and debuted his new album at a live-broadcasted Madison Square Garden event.

We could get right to the heart of the matter of these Tweets, and ask why one of the biggest pop icons of our time needs a billion dollar investment into his ideas.

We could ask how exactly Kanye has accumulated $53 million dollars in debt.

 We could get mad at the fact that he thinks a billion dollar investment into the abstract notion of his “ideas” is more beneficial to the world than any sum of money put toward building schools in Africa (or that he of all people refers to Africa as a country).

Or we could be cynical and see this all as publicity to promote his newly released album The Life of Pablo, only available for purchase (maybe? possibly?) on the artist-founded/funded streaming service that is Tidal.

 An album that has had many names, missed a number of announced release dates, was changed at the very last minute to include more tracks, and may still not even be completed despite the fact that it’s available to buy right now.

To this day Kanye has continued to leak new tracks and different versions of songs found on The Life of Pablo throughout the week. Many are versions that were not included when the album went up for sale on Tidal following his Saturday Night Live performance, leading many to speculate that the album was rushed to match the debut of his clothing line, and was not actually finished when it was originally released.

He has released no official statement as to when a finalized album will be completed, or if it will be.

This by the seat of his pants promotion and treatment of The Life of Pablo is another moment in the often spontaneous and controversial life of Kanye wherein his words speak louder than his actions. Never the jump on the couch type celebrity, always the:

It’s the kind of obscurity that gives off the appearance of an artistic vision. That there is something truly groundbreaking teeming underneath each statement by the artist and that he is only held back (like most great artists) by his inability to articulate this vision. That if he could find a way to coherently communicate his message, then maybe we could begin to understand the billion dollar vision Kanye has for his “ideas”.

But there is static there.

His Twitter feed is an autostereoscopic image waiting to make itself clear, while the world looks on trying to make it out, usually coming away with a headache instead of clarity, or wonderment.

Better put: Kayne is frustratingly captivating.

It’s easy to scoff at the notion of a millionaire asking for a billion dollars. Maybe he is the Michael Jordan and Steph Curry of music, but he will lose you when he says that that means he is the best of two generations. And again: that if he spent his money on his ideas he could not afford to take care of his family, despite being worth an estimated $145 million.

Part of this incommunicable captivation has to do with Kanye the brand. He is a producer, rapper, actor, fashion designer, shoemaker, video director and ambassador for many other brands. And in one weekend he was all of these things.

He is too many things to articulate well. He is a man stretched thin.

Which may explain the slipshod release The Life of Pablo had over the weekend. If it seems incomplete, if it seems like too many things all at once, if it’s hard to pigeonhole, then Kanye, the man, himself, is likely the cause of that.

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