There’s little doubt that Kanye West is the most influential fashion icon in hip-hop right now. While he’s frequently, loudly, and lengthily detailed his struggle to earn respect in the fashion world, he’s succeeded in turning legions of fanboys into couture-loving goth ninjas and minting fortunes for labels like Hood by Air and Been Trill in the process. His shoe fixation has resulted in one of the few big successes he’s had in his pursuit of a career as a fashion designer: the Nike Air Yeezy, which has become the center of an entire cult of fervently devoted sneakerheads.
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Kanye West is famously as fastidious about security at his recording sessions as he is about bathroom arrangements at his wedding, so when a previously unheard song purporting to come from his follow-up to last year’s Yeezus hit the Internet last night it was a big deal. While West has remained uncharacteristically silent about it, the lo-fi two-minute clip seems legit. The voice on the recording sounds like him, and the lyrics match up with the excerpt from what he called his “new single” titled “All Day” that he teased in a recent GQ interview. It’s also hard to imagine any fakers coming up with anything as clever and Kanye West-ish as “middle finger longer than Dikembe” or the offhand reference to “Rico Suave.”
If this version of “All Day” really is intended for inclusion on the next Kanye West record it’ll probably sound radically different by the time it’s released. His past few albums have been heavy on psychedelically complex, prog-rock-influenced arrangements, and something about the straightforward loops of vaguely Timbaland-sounding drums and digitally harmonized vocals seems a little to basic to pass his strict standards.
Kanye West really, really likes to interrupt his live performances to deliver impromptu lectures—usually on the nature of his own genius and the world’s attempts to hold him back. His audiences, on the other hand, don’t seem so hot on them.
Just three weeks after getting booed at Bonnaroo, the same thing happened again at London’s Wireless fest. While the Bonnaroo incident was largely due to residual animosity over his disastrous appearance at the festival six years ago, the crowd at Wireless turned against West during an on-stage tirade about the difficulties he’s had establishing himself as a serious player in the world of high fashion, among other things. It lasted a reported 20 minutes. READ FULL STORY
Kanye West has expensive tastes and exacting standards—”picky” doesn’t even come close to touching it—so it wasn’t surprising that in the lead-up to his wedding to Kim Kardashian, he revealed himself to be a groomzilla. The nuptials featured a dress by Ricardo Tisci, decorations by “Runaway” video director Vanessa Beecroft, and music by Andrea Bocelli and Lana Del Rey. One thing he couldn’t pull off, though: Having celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz shoot the extravaganza.
While speaking to press in France Tuesday, Ye reportedly slammed Leibovitz (who shot the couple’s controversy-igniting Vogue cover) for backing out of the gig on short notice—leaving him to spend four days of their honeymoon setting up a faux nuptial photo that went on to become the most liked pic on Instagram ever. Today, West and Leibovitz released a joint statement in which he alleges that his comments were taken out of context. “Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding,” it reads in part, “he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way. Kanye and Annie’s representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding.”
The statement goes on to quote a representative of Leibovitz who says, “Annie would have been happy to do the portrait but she was never confirmed.”
“Kanye West dreams big,” it continues. “He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event.”
Hit the jump for the full text of the statement.
Kanye West’s show last night (Nov. 23) at Madison Square Garden so closely mirrored his Yeezus sets at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Tuesday and Wednesday that, bizarre as it sometimes seemed, you could never rightly call it random.
I’m duty-bound to report that he did unleash another “rant,” once again past the three-quarters mark of the night, between “Street Lights” and “Stronger,” when he could just as easily have remarked “Are you not entertained?” and been guaranteed a bloodthirsty roar of approval.
This rant (a term he mentioned and dismissed) didn’t interrupt the show so much as strip it down to its raw essence: Literally screaming—it’s a wonder he hasn’t already shredded his voice on this tour—with only a little Autotune and synthesizer to blunt him, Kanye drew the audience in close to better take on the world. (Or Nike and Hedi Slimane, at least.) “Don’t ever let ‘em tell you that I’m crazy,” he shouted, “‘cause I believe in you!”
Somebody at MTV better get their croissant guy on speed dial — Kanye West is coming to the VMAs.According to the channel’s press release, it’s actually historic:
Following his performance of “BLKKK SKKKN HEAD,” Kanye will triumphantly enter the history books by tying Madonna as the artist with the most VMA performances. Both artists have notched performances at seven separate VMAs.
In celebration of the forthcoming performance and feat, MTV Jams, MTV’s 24-hour hip-hop music channel and MTV Hits, MTV’s 24-hour music channel, will feature an hour block of Kanye West videos and performances from 4-5pm ET/PT. On Wednesday morning, MTV’s AMTV will feature playlist of Kayne videos and performances.
So put that one in your day planner, T. Swift!
The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on August 25 at 9pm ET/PT.
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