Having left us bereft of regular 140-character bursts of genius for the majority of the year, most people were pleased to see Kanye West making a welcome return to Twitter in the past few weeks, tweeting now and again about women’s fashion, Lana Del Rey and his new DJ alias. But what happened next, nobody could have predicted. Late on Wednesday night, West went ‘H.A.M.’ on the social networking website. The sleep-deprived rapper, currently in the UK for reasons unknown, racked up over 80 tweets (although estimates of this number vary in different reports) from around 3am until 6am GMT essentially informing us of his plans for world domination.
The earlier tweets offer us great insight into Kanye West’s creative past. Ever the lyricist, he acknowledges that the reader may be a little confused by this rapid blast of information, writing ‘This is just a train of thought .. but figure it’s better to read than trained thoughts’ [sic]. The tweets that follow, which total up to over 2,500 words, certainly display that West’s thought process, and indeed his thoughts, are anything but the result of training.
This train journey begins with discussion of his fashion line, which received a lot of criticism last year after being unveiled at Paris Fashion Week. After name-dropping enough fashion designers to convince us of the fact that he does indeed have the appropriate credentials to succeed in this industry, he then moves on, passing through flashbacks of his childhood, evidence of his hard work and determination (mostly while on holiday, apparently), proclamations of greatness and genius, acknowledgment of his flaws (he is aware of his poor grammar), the London riots, and an interesting theory of educational reform.
Finally, once it is revealed that he is an advocate of school children using search engines to cheat in tests, the epic rant climaxes with West announcing that he is set to launch a new design company, DONDA, named after his late mother. For this new project, West plans to form a team of creative minds comprised of members from just about any occupation he could think of – architects, graphic designers, app-guys (whatever they are…) and even nutritionists can get involved – with the intention of helping to ‘simply and aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel’ [sic].
However entertaining Kanye’s twitter posts were (which is very), it is the swift reaction that resonated through the internet following this rant that is really astonishing. From some observers providing those who are too pressed for time to read all 86 tweets with an abridged summary of the feed, to thorough translations of West’s thoughts and anecdotes and, my favourite response, illustrations to accompany a selection of the posts. But this isn’t the first time his twitter page has been noticed by online commentators. Back in July 2010, Time Magazine listed some of the things that Kanye West had done in the space of just two days according to the gems found on his Twitter: he had flown on a private jet, complained that the private jet he flew on was too small, referred to himself as a king and posted an accompanying photo of one of Napoleon’s thrones, drank wine out of a gold goblet, listened to “William Tell Overture” whilst telling us that “Classical music is tight, yo”, complained about the lack of cherub imagery on Persian rugs and much, much more. It is even possible to take an online quiz, testing yourself on this Twitter gold, titled ‘Who Said It: Kanye West or a mental patient?’. You may also purchase your favourite Kanye West tweet, hand-stitched and framed, online. The more detached Kanye West appears to be to reality, the more entertainment is provided for the online community that follow him.
But, all jokes aside, in spite of the inherent hilarity of West’s presentation of his ideas, after brushing past the arrogance and some of the less plausible (read less sane) claims that he makes, one declaration that we cannot deny is that of his creativity. Throughout his career, he has pushed the limits of musical creativity, arguably generating some of the best and most innovative hip-hop albums of all time. Even if this creativity may not transcend to all other fields, Kanye West has undeniably left his mark on music. If this is one thing to go on, coupled with the huge following that he has, it may be the case that DONDA does come to fruition in some form. All that is left to see is what effect, if any, this has. And the small matter of what it actually is or aims to do. Though if educational reform plays any part in it, perhaps, Kanye, you would be well advised to stick to your day job.
If you think that you have a mind that is ‘waaaay doper’[sic] than that of West’s, you too can join the DONDA revolution by emailing contactDONDA@gmail.com.