Earlier this year, Kanye West shook up his inner circle. In late March, Billboard reported that he had split with his longtime manager Izvor “Izzy” Zivkovic; the following month, he parted ways with co-manager Scooter Braun, saying in a tweet, “I no longer have a manager. I can’t be managed.”
Now, West is reassembling the team around him. In an interview today (Aug. 29) on 107.5 WGCI Chicago, he announced that he was reuniting with another former longtime manager, John Monopoly, who he worked with for the first decade of his career and who served as his manager through his first three albums. Monopoly and West initially parted ways in 2008, following the release of West’s Graduation.
Braun, who began co-managing West alongside Zivkovic in March 2016 and whose company kept working with him over the past six months, explained in June that their split “was more about wording than anything,” and that he was working “kind of in the same role, but more [as] an advisor.” Billboard has learned that Braun is now co-managing West alongside Monopoly moving forward.
In the interim between management teams, West had a busy summer. Between May 25 and June 23, five albums that he produced were released in successive weeks, including a solo project of his own and a collaboration with Kid Cudi; in order, Pusha T‘s Daytona; his album ye; the Kanye-Cudi release Kids See Ghosts; Nas‘ Nasir; and Teyana Taylor‘s Keep That Same Energy.
He also got himself into hot water with a few ill-advised comments, most notably during an appearance on TMZ Live when he said that slavery was a “choice.” In the WGCI interview today he addressed those comments, and apologized for “how the slavery comment made people feel.” He also spoke about his struggles with mental health, which was a topic of several songs on ye and which he also addressed on the album’s cover art, and his support for Donald Trump.
For more from West’s interview, click here.
Additional reporting by Melinda Newman.