Kanye West deleted his instagram and twitter accounts in May 2017; they had roughly 22 million followers. Now, he is back on the scene. He recently became active on twitter again, tweeting about a variety of topics, sparking controversy among his followers and people who know him.
Lately, his tweets have started to become more and more political. At first he was tweeting mainly quotes such as “Spread love. Put more love in the universe.” or “People usually don’t agree with people who don’t agree with them.” Some interpret these tweets as deep and meaningful, others such as singer/songwriter John Legend see it as Kanye trying to portray himself as a profit that is ahead of his time while bolstering his ego.
West’s tweets take on a more overt political tone now, causing debate within his fan base. In one of these tweets, West claims Obama did nothing for Chicago, despite the $12 billion in the form of grants, contracts, and loans that went into the state of Illinois under the Obama administration. (Chicago Tribune) Another tweet depicts a signed Make America Great Again hat. Trump openly responded to this tweet saying, “MAGA!” This open support of Trump not only created a new meme format, but also caused longtime Kanye fans to question their support of him. Celebrities such as Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B and Chance the Rapper unfollowed him after his back and forth with Trump
Things continue to escalate after this when, during an interview at TMZ, Kanye refers to slavery as a “choice” by the African American people. This caused an outcry among his fans and people who watched the interview and heard what he said. Although some may say that he was just alluding to his current view that the media is enslaving the free thought of the American people, he is quoted as saying, “You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.” This is an obvious reference to the slave years of the U.S.
These recent events can be regarded from multiple perspectives and viewpoints, but it is always important to keep in mind that no matter how controversial something may be, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion on topics that are important to them. The reason Kanye is being attacked for this is not because people don’t like his viewpoint, it’s because he has such a large influence and following. People who have been fans and looked up to him for years are now feeling betrayed because he is supporting ideas and people who are contradictory to causes he has supported in the past. Not only do people view him as turning away from his fan-base, but also his race in general.