I used to really like following Kanye West on Twitter mainly because he barely used it.
When he did occasionally take advantage of the platform, it meant something and it held weight. I appreciated that it wasn’t a social media outlet he abused like so many of his famous friends do. It was nice when I didn’t have to read about him starting rap beef via tweets and it was hilarious when he said things like “I don’t text Kim first.” That was classic Kanye and I adored him for it. He was elusive and masterful, and in turn, it drew me in deeper as a fan. Even though I’m about to do a ‘Ye rant myself, I want to make it known that I’m here for him everywhere but on Twitter. He’d even get my vote for president in 2020. Retweets are endorsements these days and he’d get mine.
But then the Life of Pablo happened and it changed everything. It broke my heart, but I unfollowed one my favorite rappers of all time on Twitter. I had to do it. ‘Ye lost me somewhere amidst his frantic tweeting. It’s not so much the tweets themselves (although the Cosby one definitely cost him a point in my book) it’s the media’s coverage itself that has become a problem. We’re smart enough to know he loves it and has us completely under his control. So while we smile and make memes about him preparing his next Twitter rant, ‘Ye is in a room of mirrors so he can be surrounded by winners, fully knowing that whatever thought he chooses to share will be discussed at length moments after he sets them free.
We’ve all got eyes in his account’s direction and Kanye is very much aware of this. He’s a proud user of the app. So much so that he asked the founder of Facebook for financial support via Twitter. He’s out here #blessing our timeline, but somewhere along the line, when his tweets became news, he lost me.
While the beauty of Twitter falls under its accessibility to break news, it’s almost a small curse that every single outlet in rap media has felt compelled to cover Kanye’s tweets unconditionally. It’s become a daily phenomenon of sorts. No matter which site you fancy, the headlines are there in full force -and it’s annoying. When he tweets, 9 times out of 10 it becomes a news item fueled by click-bait headlines. He’s at it again, you guys! What did he say now?!
However, when Kanye posted about how every post he makes is literally performance art designed to cause a reaction out of those following along, his Twitter moment passed in turn.
The jig is up. And while we 100% deserve to be trolled by Kanye West, proudly admitting he’s doing it on purpose is way less cool than him just doing it on purpose. The allure is gone. Kanye, you played yourself and I, for one, won’t be recapping your tweets for people who have fear of missing out anymore. I’ll leave it for a retweet or a fav and will keep tweets on Twitter where they belong. Don’t get me wrong, some tweets truly are epic and worthy of the extra airtime. But every ‘Ye tweet should not prompt a news alert; I’m content with retiring. Someone else will cover it. The peanut gallery has enough fuel to run forever but I, for one, am out.
In addition to how its become customary to regard his thoughts and inner workings as news, Kanye’s Twitter -as the obscure and opinionated place its become- is resulting in my feeling like I have to defend liking him as an artist in certain scenarios. It’s no longer a sidebar or an extension -it’s a distraction. Since it hit this point, I’ve been sliding back. Kanye, I want to like you but you’re not making it as easy as you used to. You’ve abused your spotlight and I no longer want to help keep it shining on you. Not like this. Not because of your Twitter.
I personally waited a full week to listen to TLOP because I wanted to enjoy it for the art that it is, and try not to have its strategically whack roll-out influence my experience as a listener. I also didn’t read a single review that surfaced within the first 24 hours of its being released in the wild. I wanted to listen and digest it for myself. But separating Kanye from his Twitter has become a key for me to be able to enjoy the music, and consequently, still like him as an artist. It’s kind of like how they say not to meet your idols in person because you may be disappointed. That’s how I feel about following Kanye on Twitter. The more he shares, the more I find myself losing interest. I guess I just miss the old Kanye.
I know someone out there will thank me for this petition for outlets to stop reporting every single Kanye tweet as news but until then, I tweet in peace. See you when I see you, ‘Ye. Maybe on the ‘gram, even.
by KC Orcutt
Brooklyn resident KC Orcutt aims to capture moments found in music. Her freelance writing career has brought her to many places over the years, including London, Croatia, Prague, all over the US and on tour with her favorite hometown rappers. Happiest when working with words and people, KC is first and foremost an enthusiast of her craft and supporter of all things dope.