September has been a MONTH for Kanye West, to say the least. Since his emergence from the sunken place, the 41-year old rapper directed the first ever Porn Hub Awards, debuted I Love It (a raunchy, yet catchy radio hit with Lil Pump) and sparked a beef with Nick Cannon and Drake over Kim K rumors. Now, he seems to be self-appointing himself as the spokesperson on mental health and the negative impacts of social media. For the latter, I couldn’t give him a bigger round of applause, but not without a side of side-eye, for this all comes ahead of his big end of September reveal.
On September 20, Ye took to Twitter saying, “…just like how we can turn off the comments we should be able to turn off the display of followers. This has an intense negative impact on our self worth.”
Agreed. A study in 2017 found increased anxiety in young adults were tied directly to social media. The is also parallel to the overall dramatic increase of teenage suicides. Ye followed with a post deeming the heads of various social media platforms accountable. Two days later, he went as far as to post a convo between him and Snap Inc’s V.P. Ben Schwerin on how to resolve the issue of “people who are committing suicide due to not getting enough likes.” West called for a live-streamed meeting between Snap Inc. co-founder Evan Spiegal, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Instagram’s Kevin Systrom Mike Krieger.
Bravo, Yeezy for the swift course of action. However, my side-eye ensues when these tweets are – dare I say – “strategically” laid in between adverts of the latest installment to your shoe collection (Yeezy 350 v2) which was released on September 21. This appears to be just one of many seemingly orchestrated actions leading to his big September 29 release.
While West is asking social media’s founding fathers to change the name of our “followers” to “observers” he’s also teasing his impending Saturday Night Live performance scheduled on the same day he’s expected to drop a new album, Yandhi. The rumored record is said to be the follow up to Yeezus, since the artwork and portmanteau followed suit: Yeezus = Yeezy + Jesus and Yandhi = Yeezy + Gandhi.
Self-care has never been more important, but it shouldn’t and come at the expense of those who are in fact ill. The father of three’s recent releases Ye and his collaboration with Kid Cudi Kids See Ghosts highlighted depression and mental health issues, which I’d like to view as honorable. I understand he’s been through a lot and his openness to speak out is appreciated, but I do hope its not at the cost of those who are in need of real help. Just as Ye’s brilliantly plastered New York City with Instagram posts of models imitating his wife in Yeezy season clothing or made the most irrational claims (i.e. “Slavery was a choice”) to command our attention, Ye has proven time and time again that his true mastery is in the art of marketing, and that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Fam, where there’s a Kanye, proceed with caution.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.