“I’m a human being. I’ve got opinions, I’m not always right, I’m not always on time, I don’t always say things in the proper way, but my intentions are always extremely pure.”
That was Kanye West in a 2015 interview. A year later, following his bizarre claims that he was $53 million in debt, the acclaimed hip-hop artist and fashion designer had a mental breakdown that landed him in the hospital and led to a canceled tour that resulted in a nasty legal battle with his insurance company.
But following a prolonged social media cleanse (during which he quietly produced two new albums) the “Louis Vuitton Don” has reemerged a new man—online at least. West’s first week back on Twitter caught millions off-guard. Encapsulated in a series of tweeted rants—essentially a self-help book “to-go,” penned by a “proud non-reader of books”—Yeezy’s philosophy nestles somewhere between shameless self-love and consequentialist sensitivity to Newton’s third law. Much like Rupi Kaur’s poetry on Instagram, or other wellness guides you might have mindlessly inhaled, West’s Twitter is utterly cliche, yet perfectly on-the-nose.
Always mercurial, there’s no guarantee West’s Twitter phase will stick. (Eight days in and he’s already waning toward shoe-promotion.) To be sure you don’t miss out, we’ve curated some of Yeezy’s best gems:
Like many of West’s quotes (consider this one, from 2016: “I think people think I like to think a lot. And I don’t. I do not like to think at all”), his ideas about consciousness sit somewhere between profound senselessness and uncanny accuracy. May the balance tip in his favor.
On creativity and originality
It’s easy to roll your eyes at anyone who claims “I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice.” And yet, Yeezy’s experimental, and largely successful, approach to rhyming, rapping, producing, and cross-genre collaboration cannot be ignored.
His breed of creativity intentionally deviates from the pack—for better or far worse. As he stated in 2013: “I think I do myself a disservice by comparing myself to Steve Jobs and Walt Disney and human beings that we’ve seen before. It should be more like Willy Wonka… and welcome to my chocolate factory.” Sure!
Like all of the latest self-help gurus, West couldn’t preach without pondering productivity and Marie Kondo-style minimalism (an unexpected deviation for the king of lavish):
On being present
No self-help guide would be complete without a healthy dose of “be here, now.”
No one can be sure where Yeezy is taking things. Surely it will be someplace interesting. After all, as West once said of himself, “I still think I am the greatest.”