The Kanye Cycle
New York magazine|July 20 - August 02, 2020
The Kanye Cycle
The danger in believing the rapper is serious about anything.
By Craig Jenkins

IT’S A SPECIAL KIND OF HELL we live in when a celebrity who has admitted to never voting could claim to be running for president four months before the general election and catapult the internet into many days of trenchant debate about his motives for entering a race he had already lost. That’s the rarefied air occupied by Kanye West, one of the most famous people on the planet, and one of the least predictable figures in a sphere of American celebrities who move with careful intention, as defined by the strategic poise of megawatt stars like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. West, by contrast, moves like summer rain: He sneaks up, empties out everything that’s been brewing upstairs, and moves on while we splash around in the puddles he leaves behind. After dividing his fandom by showing loud support for Donald Trump over the past four years, West backtracked during a peculiar Forbes interview earlier this month in which he insisted his maga years were an act of protest against “the segregation of votes in the Black community” and inspired in part by his admiration for the décor inside the Trump hotels. There is a chance that seeing the president he once called a father figure enter a White House bunker to avoid George Floyd protesters was the impetus for all of this; the retraction came with the caveat that West thinks Trump is “the closest president we’ve had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation.”


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July 20 - August 02, 2020