A Day-by-Day Breakdown of Kanye West's Headline-Grabbing Return to Twitter
Kanye West is officially back, and his social media activity has skyrocketed since he returned to Twitter during Coachella weekend 1. While the Twitterverse was still recovering from Beyoncé's stellar Coachella performance and locked into other festival performances (in-person or via live stream), West, who didn't attend the annual festival, began to reminisce about his Saint Pablo Tour moments before diving into the first of many Twitter rants days later.
While Yeezy fans were overjoyed when West ended his social media hiatus, his return was not without controversy. Peppered amid the album announcements and philosophical speeches, West sparked outrage when he praised conservative commentator Candace Owens -- and it’s been a dizzying rollercoaster ride ever since.
Here, Billboard breaks down Kanye West’s hyperactive Twitter return.
April 15 - Kanye Takes a Trip Down Memory Lane
Before April 15, Kanye retweeted an old post from Russell Simmons and a “welcome back” tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on April 13 but was inactive on April 14. On April 15, the fun began as West shared 10 tweets in approximately two hours, including his “favorite Saint Pablo tee," a screenshot of him and Lamar Odom at Madison Square Garden in February 2016 (just months after Odom was hospitalized after being found unconscious), and a pair of tweets about people who “work within the existing consciousness” versus those who “can shift the consciousness.”
my favorite moment of walking into MSG to play Saint Pablo, I used to go to the hospital and play Lamar the album when he was learning to walk and talk again Then we walked into the arena together pic.twitter.com/ysC5z5wDUA— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 15, 2018
Some people have to work within the existing consciousness while some people can shift the consciousness— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 16, 2018
often people working with the existing consciousness are jealous of those who are more in touch and they become hard-core capitalist in hopes of creating the illusion that the value of money is worth more than the value of time and friends— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 16, 2018
April 16 - No activity
April 17 - Kanye Sends a Message to Creatives Pt. 1
Kanye returned on April 17 to dole out free wisdom to fellow creatives. “As a creative your ideas are your strongest form of currency,” he began. In just a few tweets, West listed all the ways creatives can maintain their individuality and creativity, such as knowing your worth (“try to avoid any contractual situation where you are held back from your idea”) and staying focus on your own goals (“distraction is the enemy of vision”).
However, Ye caused a bit of confusion in his household when he tweeted, “Sometimes you have to get rid of everything” prompting his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to respond, “Wait...EVERYTHING?!?!?!” and her close friend, Chrissy Teigen, to offer her home just in case Kanye meant “everything” in the literal sense. (Spoiler: All is good in the Kardashian-West household -- more on that later.)
As a creative your ideas are your strongest form of currency— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
You have to protect your ability to create at all cost— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
try to avoid any contractual situation where you are held back from your ideas— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
distraction is the enemy of vision— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
Sometimes you have to get rid of everything— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
Wait...EVERYTHING?!?!?! ----♀️ https://t.co/0wrL1c0shB— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 18, 2018
April 18 - Kanye Sends a Message to Creatives Pt. 2, Announces Self-Help “Book”
West woke up on the morning of April 18 recharged and ready to offer up more life lessons to creatives. The Life of Pablo rapper advised his followers to step away from social media to avoid any distractions or negative opinions influencing their ideas. “Don't follow crowds. Follow the innate feelings inside of you. Do what you feel not what you think. Thoughts have been placed in our heads to make everyone assimilate. Follow what you feel,” he said. West also revealed that his tweets are actually a “book” he’s working on, which won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon.
when you first wake up don't hop right on the phone or the internet or even speak to anyone for even up to an hour if possible. Just be still and enjoy your own imagination. It's better than any movie.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018
You have the best ideas. Other people's opinions are usually more distractive than informative. Follow your own vision. base your actions on love. Do things you love and if you don't absolutely love something stop doing it as soon as you can.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018
oh by the way this is my book that I'm writing in real time. No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write. This is not a financial opportunity this is an innate need to be expressive.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 18, 2018
April 19 - New Album(s) Alert!
Kanye kicked off his day with a tweet that proved to be true by the time April 19 came to a close: “today will be the greatest day so far. Life keeps getting better and better.” He followed up with a snippet of Lauryn Hill’s MTV Unplugged performance, in which the singer discussed exposing her true self to the world despite what naysayers may think. Then, in just six tweets, 'Ye caused fire emojis to flood the social media platform when he announced a series of new albums he and his G.O.O.D. Music signees have on the horizon.
my album is 7 songs— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
June 1st— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
me and Cudi album June 8th— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
it's called Kids See Ghost. That's the name of our group— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018
April 20 - Yeezy Apparel Previews and More
After officially announcing the start of Yeezy Season, Kanye returned on April 20 to preview some of his latest designs from his popular streetwear brand YEEZY, from clear sandals to “grocery store”-inspired clothing and track pant boots, although he didn’t announce when the clothing pieces will be available for purchase. Then, Kanye got a few more ideas off his chest.
“I don’t believe in horizontal hierarchy. If you build a ladder too high it’s actually most dangerous for the people at the top,” he wrote. He added that he believes “sharing is community” and withholding information from one another is a form of capitalism. He ended his brief rant by sharing plans to launch Yeezy offices in New York, London, and Wyoming in addition to his home office in Calabasas.
I don’t believe in horizontal hierarchy. If you build a ladder too high it’s actually most dangerous for the people at the top.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 20, 2018
sharing is community holding information is capitalism— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 20, 2018
April 21 - Controversy
In Kanye’s first tweet of the day, he embraced Candace Owens, a conservative media personality who recently tweeted that she believes Donald Trump “isn’t just the leader of the free world, but the savior of it as well.”
“I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” West tweeted, following up by writing, “only free thinkers.” While much of the internet was up in arms over Kanye’s tweet, he continued to dish out random posts about his views on the term “God-fearing” and his Kids See Ghost collaborative project with Kid Cudi.
I love the way Candace Owens thinks— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 21, 2018
I don't subscribe the term and concept of God fearing. That's a dated mentality that was used to control people. We are in the future. If God is love and love it's the opposite of fear then...----♂️ to fear God makes no sense --♂️--♂️--♂️--♂️--♂️— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 21, 2018
April 22 - Freedom of Speech
Following the wave of controversy from his Candace Owens tweet, West returned with a message about freedom of speech and thought, presumably a subliminal message aimed at those who “demonize people and then they demonize anybody who sees anything positive in someone whose been demonized.”
He went on to say that originality isn’t respected nowadays and then switched gears to share his take on modern-day slavery. “There was a time when slavery was the trend and apparently that time is still upon us. But now it's a mentality,” he said. Shortly after, West poked fun at reports suggesting he’s in the “sunken place” (referencing the 2017 film Get Out) and revealed he is producing all the albums he announced earlier in the wee. He also delivered some good news: “Nas June 15th”
Nas, who hasn’t released a full-length album since 2012’s Life Is Good is finally liberating his long-awaited album, produced by Kanye.
We live in a time where people don’t respect people for being themselves— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 22, 2018
I'm hand producing all the albums I tweeted about. Been chopping samples from the sunken place --Pusha May 25th My album June 1st me and Cudi June 8th and Teyana June 22nd and oh yeah...— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 22, 2018
April 23 - Kanye Salutes Cartoonist Scott Adams
New week, new Kanye West tweets. Kanye shared a series of clips from a recent video Dilbert creator Scott Adams posted titled Kanye West Showed the Way to the Golden Age. In the video, Adams said West “freed a lot of people from a mental prison” following West’s tweet supporting Candace Owens. The rapper shared nine videos from Adams’ 22-minute Kanye West-centered lecture and West seemingly approved: “New ideas will no longer be condemned by the masses. We are on the frontier of massive change. Starting from breaking out of our mental prisons.”
April 24 - Michael Jackson and North West
It was a pretty calm Tuesday morning in the West household as Kanye only tweeted a photo of two plastic dolls -- the late Michael Jackson and himself. A photo of his daughter, North West, playing with dolls followed suit.
and we danced to music Michael all morning pic.twitter.com/cLGK1lIOp8— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 24, 2018
April 25 - Kanye for President?
Earlier in the week, Kanye reportedly tweeted and deleted a poster of himself that read “Keep America Great” and “Kanye2024.” Fans claimed to have spotted the posters in major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, following West allegedly declaring his love for Donald Trump during a recent conversation with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden.
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Kanye succinctly tweeted “2024,” pretty much confirming rumors of his interest in running for president in that year. And what followed next sent the internet into a tizzy as West’s Twitter went into overdrive with tweets ranging from why he cut ties with his former business associates, Donald Trump, upcoming releases and more.
On cutting ties with his former lawyer and former manager, Scooter Braun:
I no longer have a manager. I can't be managed— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
I'm nobody's "client"— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
yes I got rid of my last lawyer why? Because he wouldn't come to work full time. I also asked my last manager to come work full time for Yeezy of course the last lawyer and manager said no. So now I hired a CEO and a CFO and i have two full time lawyers as of now.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
On upcoming music releases with Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, A$AP Rocky and more:
Trav we gotta drop the track with me you and Uzi this week bro. Let's gooooooooooooooooooooooooo------------------------------------— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Rocky we gotta release our songs ASAP— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Kids See Ghost short film will be shot by Dexter Navy— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
need Hype Williams for Nas movie— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
On supporting Donald Trump:
my wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don't agree with everything Trump does. I don't agree 100% with anyone but myself.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
we got love pic.twitter.com/Edk0WGscp6— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
my MAGA hat is signed ------------------------------------------------------------ pic.twitter.com/DrDHJybS8V— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
April 26 - “Make America Great Again” Freestyle for TMZ
As he continued to capture headlines, Kanye invited TMZ's Harvey Levin to his office for a preview of his new album. According to TMZ, Kanye's latest Twitter antics were just a strategic marketing campaign to support the upcoming stream of new releases, including the releases from his G.O.O.D. Music roster.
During the visit, however, Levin was treated to a freestyle from Ye, who performed in his signed "Make America Great Again" hat that tweeted Wednesday evening. "Hopped off the Amistad and made 'I'm a God'/ It’s always a lituation when I’m involved/ It’s always a lituation when I’m involved/ See, I say what they say when the mic is off," Kanye raps in the video. He continued: "Parents are the strippers, strip kids of their confidence, teach White dominance, question your common sense/ See, I been washed in tradition that I'ma rinse," before returning to his opening lines.
Over on Twitter, Kanye shared a text message exchange between him and John Legend, in which Legend called out West for supporting Trump. "I hope you reconsider aligning yourself with Trump. You're way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for," Legend wrote. "As you know, what you say really means something to your fans. They love and respect your opinion. So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump's policies cause, especially to people of color."
He ended the message by reminding Kanye of his legacy: "You're the greatest artist of our generation."