'My Beautiful Dark Twitter fantasy'

Analyzing Kanye West's recent social media resurgence, album announcements

brenton_new

It’s been nearly 10 years since I first started listening to Kanye West. In the past decade, I’ve learned only one thing about Ye.

He’s unpredictable.

He does what he wants, when he wants. He creates at his own pace. He says what comes to his mind. But most of all, when he announces an album, you can almost guarantee that he’ll push it back. And when he’s active on social media, fans are either going to be thrilled or completely turned off by what he shares.

On April 15, Kanye came out of hiding and resurfaced on Twitter. He just ranted as per usual. He tweeted about his favorite t-shirt designs, consciousness, creativity and trends, finding ways to somehow make each tweet less transparent and more inspirational than the last. But even with inspiration coming from his fingertips, Kanye still managed to rile some fans up.

On April 25, Kanye further endorsed President Donald Trump, something that goes against a lot of what Kanye based his early career on.

Seemingly, many agree. Artists and collaborators Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna unfollowed Ye shortly after these Trump endorsements.

Kanye shying away from his usual behavior bothers me, especially after his 2016 tour cancellation and hospitalization. He took a lot of deserved time off, and I truly hope that this means he’s in a healthier place.

But even after these recent political tweets that I can’t get behind, I was most surprised by Kanye sneaking two album announcements four days into his Twitter rampage. Ye is dropping a new 7-song project on June 1, with a Kid Cudi joint record coming the following week.

But I don’t really care. I think I’ve just grown desensitized to Kanye-related announcements. This is something you have to adjust to as a fan of his music. Ye may make a schedule, but the chances of him following through on that schedule are worse than the chances of him consistently using social media, or even the chance of predicting his social media behavior.

You’ll never be able to put a pin on Kanye and say “this is what he’s going to do” because most of the time –– if not all of it –– you will be very, very wrong. You can never predict West’s Twitter persona, but you can predict that whenever his two projects come out and however he chooses to package them should be fantastic.

At first, this drawn-out Twitter rant made it seem as if Ye was back to his old self. The first batch of tweets felt far more inspired and optimistic than his usual rants. He wasn’t calling out Mark Zuckerberg, he wasn’t joking about his nearly non-existent smile and he wasn’t voicing his dislike for in-app purchases in kids’ games.

He seemed at peace.

Kanye was tweeting about his love for life. He was tweeting about not having any enemies. He was tweeting about staying away from phones and living in the moment.

I’ve never seen him in a state of mind like that, but it shifted on Wednesday. Kanye’s relaxed tweets turned to self-hyped thoughts and more of the usual name dropping. At first I thought that his tweets meant he put his all into this upcoming project, but now I’m not totally convinced.

These rants could easily be a way to gain traction for his upcoming music, or they could be telling of Ye’s current state of mind.

Regardless, I hope Kanye West is in a better place. His influx of Twitter input was confusing to say the least.

I don’t care when his two albums finally drop. And quite frankly, as much as I say that I don’t care what Kanye tweets, a few of the recent ones really left me confused, and even disapointed. I don’t care where he stands politically, but after trying to be the voice of Chicago, I’m not sure if a Trump endorsement backs that.

Still, I just want to hear the music and hope there’s still some connection in it for me. What actually matters in the long run isn’t his attention-garnering social media personality or his political leanings, it’s what he can do for our ears and what he can do for his own well-being.

Brenton Blanchet is the managing editor and can be reached at Brenton.Blanchet@ubspectrum.com