First things first: This isn't an explainer, because there is very little use in trying to explain the man wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a $3,250 jacket that is Kanye West.
But as Kanye gears up to release Waves, his eighth studio album (formerly known as Swish), he's been causing a stir on Twitter by teasing his upcoming album in ways both inscrutable and deliberately provocative.
This is not album of the year. This is album of the life.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 26, 2016
On Wednesday, he channeled some of his infamously prolific energy toward Wiz Khalifa in a rant that continued for more than 30 tweets.
As is typically the case with Kanye, the rapid-fire dispatches were alternately hilarious, poignant, disappointing, and deeply confusing.
So what the hell did it all mean, anyway?
Wiz Khalifa challenged Kanye West's decision to rename his forthcoming album
When Kanye posted that he was changing his album title from Swish to Waves, Wiz tweeted that it would co-opt the "wavy movement" — a more chill, smoother brand of hip-hop with sung hooks — pioneered by rapper Max B.
Wiz tweeted that Max B created "the wave," and that "there is no wave without him."
Kanye tweeted, "All respect to [producer] Andre Harrel and Max B."
Wiz, not buying it, replied with a terse, "Yea aight."
And the beat goes on.
But Kanye only went off because he thought Wiz was tweeting about Kim Kardashian. (He wasn't.)
Several hours after tweeting about Kanye ripping off Max B, Wiz tweeted the following:
Hit this kk and become yourself.— KOE (@wizkhalifa) January 27, 2016
Kanye, fresh off Wiz's recent accusations, assumed Wiz was still talking about him and that "kk" stood for "Kim Kardashian." He responded in kind — and then some.
Here are some "highlights":
The thing is, Wiz wasn't actually talking about Kim Kardashian — he was talking about Khalifa Kush, his own branded marijuana strain.
So Kanye was wrong. He soon realized this and promised to delete his disparaging statements about Wiz, the better to promote "good energy, positive energy."
I’m happy that I now know that KK means weed… please excuse the confusion … now back to #WAVES— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 27, 2016
Performing damage control "within the hour" isn't fast enough to make people forget your weirdo tweets, especially when you're Kanye West. You could practically hear the frantic snaps of screenshots being captured (mine included) as people watched the tweets roll out. Etsy might as well go ahead and prepare itself for a sudden flood of needlepointed pillows emblazoned with snippets from the ill-advised rant.
This is the world we live and type in now. So while we're here, we might as well break down what Kanye actually said.
good great best that's ever been in this world ever of Kanye's Twitter rant
As Kanye went to work dismantling Wiz limb by gangly limb, he still made time to share some truly bizarre tangents that, out of context, are pretty great.
The best, by a mile, was when Kanye paused his anger to compliment Wiz's style, and more specifically, his pants:
Bonus points, I suppose, for using a meme of his own wife's crying face to make a point (or something approaching a point, anyway).
The one tweet that will inevitably rise in triumph from the ashes of this bizarre debacle should have also been Kanye's mic drop:
Whether or not you agree that Kanye is the greatest artist of all time, this tweet is, objectively, one of history's very best.
Sadly, in between complimenting Wiz's pants and reaffirming his self-proclaimed status as the greatest artist to ever walk the face of this godforsaken Earth, Kanye had to go and drag Wiz, his music, and his family through the mud.
The bad and the ugly of Kanye's Twitter rant: Kanye made it personal
Kanye believed that Wiz was personally attacking his wife, and he was not about to let that happen. Unsurprisingly, the ensuing (one-sided) conversation almost immediately got ugly.
After dissing Wiz's music ("corny as fuck"), Kanye went all in on insulting Wiz's complicated relationship with Amber Rose, as well as the child they have together.
The key thing to remember here is that Amber Rose is also Kanye's ex-girlfriend; they dated from 2008 to 2010. It's safe to say there's no love lost between the two — mostly because whenever Kanye talks about her, it goes something like this:
Independently of what Wiz said — or, in this case, didn't say — this is a pretty disgusting way to talk about a woman and child.
And it's far from the first time Kanye has dismissed Amber Rose as just some gold-digging stripper. In February 2015, he even said he "had to take 30 showers" between dating Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian — although when you consider that two years passed between his breakup with Amber Rose and the start of his and Kim's relationship in 2012, that isn't actually that many showers.
No matter what, it was a gross thing to say, and the comment actually inspired Amber Rose to throw a "SlutWalk" in October 2015, aiming to fight back against derogatory statements against outwardly sexual women like herself.
This time, Amber Rose made sure to drop the mic:
— Amber Rose (@DaRealAmberRose) January 27, 2016
But the day after Kanye deleted all his disparaging tweets, he still found time to respond to Amber Rose with a tweet that spawned a thousand gleeful Twitter memes:
Exes can be mad but just know I never let them play with my ass… I don’t do that… I stay away from that area all together— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 29, 2016
Kanye: If you want to make it clear that you're over your ex, maybe you should stop tweeting about your ex.
For what it's worth, his wife seems to agree — or at least wanted to make sure everyone knew she has no hard feelings towards Amber Rose personally.
Kanye has deleted this particular Twitter rant, but more will inevitably spring up in its place
Reading any Kanye rant is an exercise in frustration. For every hilarious "#Wizwearscoolpants" tangent, there's usually a more insidious "you let a stripper trap you" lurking not far behind. When Kanye speaks his truth, he speaks all of it — for better and for worse.
Kanye has deleted all of his tweets about Wiz and Wiz's family, apologized for the misunderstanding, had a "great convo" with Wiz, and pledged that he's all about "positive energy blessings blessings positive energy blessings", this is the internet, and he is Kanye West. This incident will live on forever — or at least as long as people care about it — in Google's very deep memory.
And while there might be no explaining Kanye West, this tweetstorm's tangled web of ego, personal history, and hot-tempered attacks comes pretty damn close.
Update: Now includes Kanye's response to Amber Rose, Amber Rose's follow-up with Kim Kardashian, and the fact that Kanye and Wiz have had a "great convo" that has killed this beef — for now.
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