Published on December 13th, 2013 | by Lydia Brooks0
Has Kanye Got The Answers?
Kanye West has had his share of beefs recently (Drake and Jimmy Kimmel to name a few), and now it looks like he’s found a new arch-nemesis to vent his anger at: the entire fashion industry. True, it doesn’t take much to cause West to flip his lid these days, but this latest issue with the fashion industry has really caused him to go on some unprecedented tirades.
In a recent radio interview on Sirius XM’s Shade45 channel with Sway Calloway, West seriously lost it at Sway after Sway asked him about his recent attempt to break into the world of high fashion. West became seriously aggravated, shouting repeatedly “You ain’t got the answers!” while Sway tried to talk him down from his tirade.
It turns out that West had some pretty good reasons to be upset, however. In the interview, West revealed that he lost $13 million of his own money while he was in Paris trying to become a big-name designer. Nevertheless, the tirade got personal as West attacked Sway for his own failed fashion attempts, shouting “What’s the name of your clothing line? We don’t know.”
Video: Kanye West Losses It On Sway Calloway
The Nike Fallout
This latest beef began when West ended his relationship with Nike because he felt that the shoe company didn’t offer him a big enough royalty check for his “Air Yeezy” sneaker line. The rapper had also expressed disappointment with Nike over the fact that they had delayed the release of his “Red October” shoes. West then publicly vented at Nike on stage at one of his Yeezus tour stops, comparing himself to Andy Warhol, Shakespeare, and Walt Disney, and saying that “everyone at Nike let go of culture.”
West did apologize to Nike for these remarks, saying “I really feel honored to have had the chance to blow Yeezy [sneakers] up with Nike.” And despite the fact that West said “I’m not knocking [Nike] on the way out or burning no bridges,” he has also signed a contract with Nike’s biggest competitor Adidas for a reported $10 million (plus royalties of course).
Further details of the partnership have not been disclosed, although Adidas did release an official statement saying “we welcome to the adidas family one of the most influential cultural icons of this generation, Kanye West.”
This statement appears to have appeased West (despite the fact that the company didn’t call him the most influential cultural icon of this generation), as West later stated that he was happy with the Adidas deal, saying “I feel very comfortable to have a great partner backing my ideas.”
The End of An Era?
While West feels that he has moved on to greener pastures with Adidas, is it possible that the end of Nike’s Air Yeezys could represent the end of an era for West?
While West may not have been happy with what he was making from Air Yeezys, there’s no question that this shoe, which has been in production since 2009 has been a success, especially considering the fact that the resale value on these sneakers has recently jumped as high as $2,750.
The question is, will this level of success continue with every new venture West takes on? If his failed fashion foray is any indication, the answer is no.
While West has been a trailblazer in the music industry, starting from the bottom and making a name for himself by consistently releasing great records, the music legend now appears frustrated that he is being forced to start from the bottom in the fashion world.
During his interview with Sway, West repeatedly claimed that he was being “held back” by the fashion industry, and expressed frustration that he was not allowed the same room for improvement that he had been afforded in the music industry. While Sway suggested that he start with something smaller, West insisted that he could only achieve his creative goals with the backing of a fashion billionaire like Bernard Arnault who can provide him with the right production facilities and brand marketing to create the next Louis Vuitton or Givenchy brand.
The Ever-increasing Ego
But does West have the right to demand this kind of superstar treatment these days, even in the music world? Though he landed huge blockbuster hits with albums like “Watch the Throne” and “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” his latest effort, “Yeezus,” has a lot of people scratching their heads.
Though the album was met with rave reviews from critics, it seems that some fans have finally reached a breaking point with West over the album and the accompanying “Yeezus Tour.” Upon West’s first live performance of songs from “Yeezus,” Rolling Stone reported that “Half the crowd cheered, half almost audibly rolled their eyes.”
Fans too appear to be tiring of West’s increasingly ridiculous ego and his off-hand statements that he is the “nucleus of all society,” “a God,” and on the same level of influence as people like Steve Jobs and Walt Disney.
On top of this, his relationship with fiancée Kim Kardashian seems to be pushing many people’s buttons, especially when he claims that she deserves a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, or that she’s more influential than Michelle Obama. Fans in Vancouver were especially disappointed when West cancelled his tour stop there on the same night that he made his extravagant proposal to Kardashian in San Francisco’ AT&T Park.
Is Kanye Losing It?
Perhaps the most telling part of the interview with Sway was not the argument over “who’s got the answers,” but what happened when Sway asked West for a verse at the end of the interview (after West apologized for the blow-up and the two made up).
“I ain’t got no new verse,” said West.
Sway did finally manage to coax a short freestyle out of West (which West called “the first freestyle with no rhymes), but it ended up sounding more like a comedy verse than a rap.
“That’s what you’re gonna leave us with?” asked Sway, almost in disbelief over what had just happened.
This little interaction tells us a lot about where West is at right now. A year ago West would have thrown down like nobody’s business on a freestyle, but now he barely seems interested in rapping at all. Could this be the end of Kanye West’s rapping genius?
West has been making a lot of big claims lately. In the past, it seems that his fans have been willing to let him get away with his arrogance as long as it’s backed up with the talent and artistry that West has become known for in this industry. But if West can’t prove himself with his talent, then his arrogance just turns to hot air with no substance behind it.
For the sake of hip-hop fans, let’s hope that West can find some answers of his own soon. In the rap game, it’s not enough to just fall back on past successes. Right now West seems to think that everything he touches turns to gold. But if he really wants to show that he’s as good as he says he is, he’s going to have to start backing it up with some real talent soon.
Video: Kanye Wests Performs Worst Freestyle of All Time