Kanye West Unveils Opera To Premiere “Nebuchadnezzar” Production In November

kanye west, racism

 

Kanye West is expanding his repertoire to include opera, premiering a new production entitled “Nebuchadnezzar” in Los Angeles on November 24.

West tweeted art announcing the new production that will feature music from his Sunday Service choir over the weekend, as southern California’s Hollywood Bowl venue said tickets would go on sale Monday.

Exactly what the opera, which is directed by Italian performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, will depict is unclear, but the title suggests it will focus on the ancient Babylonian king it’s named for.

West had discussed Nebuchadnezzar in a wide-ranging interview with Apple music while promoting his recently released gospel album and Imax film, “Jesus Is King.”

READ ALSO: Oscar-Winning Actress Mo’Nique Sues Netflix For Pay Discrimination

The mercurial rapper, who in recent months has shed his myriad personas to reveal himself as a born-again weaver of gospel and rap, described how the ancient ruler had inspired him, saying they had both been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“Nebuchadnezzar was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and he was still king,” West said. “So not only was I diagnosed with mental illness, but mental illness was something that was used to… wash me out, to control me.”

The Bible does not explicitly mention “bipolar disorder,” a modern term, but the book of Daniel does describe Nebuchadnezzar as experiencing a period of mental instability and troubling dreams.

Some critics link West’s biblical shift to his tabloid-perfect outbursts, brush with politics, and struggles with mental health in recent years.

The Grammy-winning performer has openly discussed his battle with bipolar disorder, telling talk show host David Letterman this year: “I feel a heightened connection with the universe when I’m ramping up.”

“It’s like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more. With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse.”

AFP

The World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars (Full List)

Kanye West becomes No. 1 earner for the first time in his career.JAMES DEVANEY/GC IMAGES, NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, JOHN PHILLIPS/GETTY IMAGES, JENNIFER GRAYLOCK/GETTY IMAGES, TAYLOR HILL/WIREIMAGE. DESIGN: NICK DESANTIS/FORBES

 

For the first time in his life, American rapper and fashion designer, Kanye West has been named the highest-paid hip-hop act in the world.

According to the latest Forbes World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars List, Kanye who is also a designer earned 50 million dollars in a year.

Kanye pushed down the ladder, Mogul JAY-Z who earned 81 million dollars and Drake who made 71 million dollars, leaving them in second and third place respectively.

In recent years the top spot have been coveted by JAY-Z who in 2007 got an ode from Kanye when the rapper released a song called “Big Brother”.

Those who made the top ten include Eminem, DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, and Childish Gambino. The only female artists who made it into the top 20 are Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who came in at number 12 and 13 slots respectively.

Nicki Minaj made 29 million dollars earnings, and Cardi B, the youngest to make the list at 26, raked in 28 million dollars in earnings.

READ ALSO: Tubaba Celebrates His Birthday With Big Brother Housemates

Below is the Full List of the World’s 20 Top-Earning Hip-Hop Stars

20. Pitbull ($18 million)

19. Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)

18. Nas ($19 million)

17. Future ($19.5 million)

16. Birdman ($20 million)

15. Meek Mill ($21 million)

14. Swizz Beatz ($23 million)

13. Cardi B ($28 million)

12. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)

11. J. Cole ($31 million)

10. Childish Gambino ($35 million)

9. Migos ($36 million)

8. Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)

7. DJ Khaled ($40 million)

6. Eminem ($50 million)

5. Travis Scott ($58 million)

4. Diddy ($70 million)

3. Drake ($75 million)

2. Jay-Z ($81 million)

1. Kanye West ($150 million)

It’s A Boy! Kardashian, West Welcome Fourth Child

In this file photo taken on May 06, 2019, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York. Superstar Kim Kardashian West said Friday, May 10, 2019 that she and rapper Kanye West have welcomed their fourth child, a boy born via surrogate. ANGELA WEISS / AFP

 

Television reality star Kim Kardashian West said Friday that she and rapper Kanye West have welcomed their fourth child, a boy born via surrogate.

“He’s here and he’s perfect!” the 38-year-old Kardashian, who also has her own make-up and fragrance lines, tweeted.

She had announced the couple were expecting in January, telling the US program “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” that the youngest Kardashian to keep up with was due “sometime soon.”

The new baby joins three other siblings: sister Chicago, who was born last year via surrogate, five-year-old sister North, and three-year-old brother Saint.

The couple has yet to announce the new baby’s name.

Kardashian said the newborn was “also Chicago’s twin lol I’m sure he will change a lot but now he looks just like her.”

Kardashian has been open about her struggles with pregnancy and decision to use a surrogate, as she had previously suffered from placenta accreta — a serious condition where the placenta becomes too deeply attached to the wall of the uterus.

I’m Distancing Myself From Politics, Says Kanye West

 

Rapper Kanye West, who has been outspoken in his support for President Donald Trump, now says he’s going to focus on his music and fashion after being “used” in the world of politics.

In a series of tweets, the 41-year-old West lashed out at conservative pundit Candace Owens for saying he had designed apparel for the so-called “Blexit” campaign, or “Black Exit” from the Democratic Party.

“My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in,” Westwrote. “I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!”

He did not say if his support for Trump had changed in any way, but he was unsparing in his criticism of Owens.

“I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn’t want their name on it so she used mine. I never wanted any association with Blexit. I have nothing to do with it,” he wrote.

“I would like to thank my family, loved ones, and community for supporting my ACTUAL beliefs and my vision for a better world.”

Earlier this month, West met with Trump in the Oval Office — a surreal tete-a-tete that included a hug from the rapper as well as an on-camera rant featuring an expletive not often repeated for the White House press corps.

The rapper, who is married to Kim Kardashian West, has broken ranks with much of the left-leaning entertainment industry to support Trump.

At the White House, he said he felt like “Superman” when wearing one of the red baseball caps handed out at the president’s raucous “Make America Great Again” rallies.

On Tuesday, West said: “I support creating jobs and opportunities for people who need them the most, I support prison reform, I support common-sense gun laws that will make our world safer.”

He also voiced “love and compassion for people seeking asylum” — a position seemingly at odds with Trump’s anti-immigration platform.

Two weeks ago, West was in Uganda finishing up his delayed ninth studio album “Yandhi.” He visited the country’s president Yoweri Museveni, and gave him a pair of his own Yeezy brand sneakers.

“Yandhi” — first expected to be released on September 29, to coincide with West‘s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” — is now due out on November 23.

AFP

Amid Criticism, Kanye West Shows Love For Trump

US President Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2018. SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

Rap megastar Kanye West loves Donald Trump and proved it in dramatic fashion Thursday, leaping from his seat at a White House meeting to hug the president.

“I love this guy,” Kanye declared in the Oval Office.

The rapper had been invited to lunch to discuss prison reform but turned what was would ordinarily have been a staid White House photo-op into what must have been one of the most unusual encounters in the Oval Office’s storied history.

Talking at speed on everything from Trump’s protectionist trade policies to black gun crime and “infinite amounts of the universe,” Kanye left the normally talkative president almost speechless with his performance.

“That was quite something,” Trump said at the end Kanye’s freewheeling soliloquy.

“It was from the soul. I just channeled it,” the musician said, adding — to gasps from presidential staff — that Trump “might not have expected to have a crazy motherfucker like Kanye West supporting him.”

The rapper, who has broken ranks with much of the left-leaning entertainment industry to come out in support of Trump, even said he could be president himself — but “only after” Trump in 2024.

AFP

Kanye West Changes Name To Ye

kanye west, racism
Kanye West

 

Kanye West has decided that he now wants to be called Ye. But on political matters, nothing has changed for the pro-Trump rapper.

“The being formally (sic) known as Kanye West. I am Ye,” he wrote on Twitter.

Ye has long been a nickname for West, along with Yeezy, and he chose “Ye” as the title of his last album.

He has previously said that he found a spiritual significance to “Ye” — the plural or formal version of the second-person pronoun in Middle English — as he so frequently read it in the Bible.

West — or, rather, Ye — announced the name change shortly before he appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” the widely watched television skit show.

He performed with fellow rapper Lil Pump dressed as water bottles, drawing an overwhelmingly negative reaction on social media where a number of professed fans questioned his creative direction.

West closed the show by singing a track off “Ye” while wearing one of President Donald Trump’s signature red “Make America Great Again” caps.

After the live show ended, West stayed on the microphone and gave an impromptu speech about politics, again voicing his support for the president.

“So many times I talk to a white person about this and they say, ‘How could you like Trump? He’s racist,'” West said, according to footage posted on Instagram by comedian Chris Rock.

“Well, if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago.”

He also accused the rival Democratic Party of seeking to keep people dependent on welfare payments and repeated his interest in running for president himself in 2020 — when Trump would face re-election.

His speech was met with a smattering of applause but louder booing from the New York audience.

West has stunned fans by becoming one of the few celebrities — as well as one of the only prominent African Americans — to support Trump.

West went to visit Trump in 2016 shortly after the rapper disappeared to seek mental health treatment. His wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian, has gone twice to see Trump at the White House.

West recently promised that a new album, called “Yahndi,” would come out on Saturday but no work immediately appeared.

AFP

Judge Clears Way For Trial Over Kanye ‘Exclusive’

Kanye West attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York. A judge cleared the way on June 22, 108 for Kanye West to face trial for allegedly duping fans into subscribing to the Tidal streaming service to hear the rap superstar’s album “The Life of Pablo.”
Angela Weiss / AFP

 

A judge cleared the way Friday for Kanye West to face trial for allegedly duping fans into subscribing to the Tidal streaming service to hear the rap superstar’s album “The Life of Pablo.”

A fan is seeking a class-action case — in which other disgruntled fans could join and win damages — after West tweeted that the 2016 album would only be available on Tidal, the platform spearheaded by fellow rapper Jay-Z.

West tweeted that his album “will never never never be on Apple” — but, with Tidal trailing in subscriber numbers, his album became available six weeks later on the tech giant’s streaming service Apple Music as well as largest streaming platform Spotify.

The rapper’s lawyers argued that his statement was true when made and that, as he was repeatedly fine-tuning “The Life of Pablo” on Tidal, the album was effectively a new, remastered version when it went live on other platforms.

Gregory Woods, a federal judge in New York, called West’s argument “tenuous.”

“Regardless of whether or not Mr. West’s argument will persuade a jury at a later stage in the case, the court has little difficulty concluding that the (plaintiff) plausibly pleads that Mr. West’s statement that his album would never never never be on Apple Music or for sale was false,” Woods wrote.

He largely cleared Tidal’s parent company Aspiro, saying that its tweet about “The Life of Pablo” — saying “it’s streaming exclusively on Tidal.com” — was indeed correct at the time.

But complicating the case, the judge said there was no reason for it to move forward in New York as both the plaintiff, Justin Baker-Rhett, and West live in California. Aspiro had requested moving the trial from California to New York.

Baker-Rhett enjoyed a one-month free subscription to Tidal and then paid $9.99 for a second month before he canceled. A self-described fan of West, he said he would never have signed up had he known it would be available elsewhere.

The chaos over “The Life of Pablo” has led to a feud, fought through song lyrics, between onetime collaborators West and Jay-Z.

Despite the star power behind it, Tidal has struggled to catch up with Spotify and Apple Music. Tidal saw a burst of new app downloads last weekend when Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce released a surprise joint album, “Everything is Love,” exclusively on the platform.

But in a telling sign, the couple kept it as a Tidal exclusive for barely a day before distributing it widely.

AFP

Kanye West Cries As Muse Makes Debut At Louis Vuitton

kanye west, racism
Kanye West

 

Rapper Kanye West and his friend and muse Virgil Abloh cried in each other’s arms Thursday after the US designer made his Paris debut for Louis Vuitton.

The pair embraced after Abloh — who worked hand in glove with West for more than 15 years as his creative partner — showed his first menswear collection for the world’s top luxury brand.

Relations between the pair have been tested since Abloh was headhunted by Louis Vuitton in March, with the rapper saying it was “hurtful” to lose his erstwhile artistic director.

But in a touching scene as the show ended on Thursday, Abloh ran down the catwalk to hug West after taking his bow, with the two later wiping away tears.

West has made no secret of his own ambitions to lead a major luxury brand as a designer himself.

Yet the rapper turned up with his wife Kim Kardashian to support Abloh’s first show in the formal gardens of the Palais Royal in the French capital.

It was the first time the reality television star and fashion icon has appeared in public in Paris since she was tied up and robbed in a luxury apartment there in 2016.

Significantly, she also wore a bright blue wrap coat with prominent pockets by Abloh that echoed several utilitarian pieces in his collection.

Diversity in DNA 

Rihanna and rapper ASAP Rocky were also on the front row to applaud the American’s vision of luxury streetwear for the jetset.

And Abloh — whose parents were immigrants from Ghana — marked the changing of the guard with a show that stressed the global diversity of his vision.

He dressed his first 18 models — who were black — all in white before mixing the colour and ethnic palette into a picture of the planet.

Each guest at the show was given a diagram showing his models’ birthplaces and that of their parents.

In an Instagram post explaining the gesture, he told his 2.3 million followers that “essential to my show concept is a global view on diversity linked to the travel DNA of the brand” — which began making trunks and suitcases 154 years ago.

Abloh also gave guests the first issue of his “Dictionary of Terms”, a sometimes tongue-in-cheek A to Z manifesto where under K he wrote: “Kanye West. A mentor and friend to Virgil Abloh.”

Earlier this week he had described the rapper, who designs his own Yeezy range for Adidas, as “the architect of it all”.

Abloh is only the second black man to rise to the top of a major luxury brand. He did he so by studying engineering and architecture rather than fashion.

Hitting back at his critics, who dismiss the streetwear style he champions as a fad, he said, “Like some kids today I started the surreal mission without ‘fashion school’ but a blank T-shirt, a screen printed idea for it and a dream.”

“As a nod to that” he gave everyone at the show a “T-shirt I made (during) the early days @louisvuitton once I learned how to use the photocopier in the office,” he joked.

 Van Noten’s retro revamp 

In another self-deprecating observation in his dictionary, he defined irony as “the presence of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton”.

The designer, however, did not stint on luxury silks and leathers that have been Vuitton’s trademark down the years.

Tellingly, he drew the line at bling, however, making a point of redefining jewellery in his dictionary. Instead of “all-that-glitters-is-gold”, he stressed that the jewellery in his spring-summer collection “appears in unrarefied metals denoting a contrasting celebration of non-precious materials”.

Elsewhere Thursday, Dries van Noten, one of the world’s most admired designers, proved it was business as usual with a summer show that demonstrated once again his genius for prints.

His decision to sell the controlling stake in his label to the Spanish group Puig last week sparked much soul-searching about the death of the independent designer.

On the catwalk, however, his whole spectrum of beachy looks to suits was a feast for the eyes, especially a string of gorgeous shiny rain macs and shorts for summer showers that went from rich orange to red, blue, purple and green and back again.

Not for nothing is Van Noten called the “King of Prints”. He took a wavy 1970s orange wallpaper pattern that once might have adorned a thousand dim bedsits and gave it a glorious afterlife lapping across much of the collection, from double breasted suits to coat linings.

AFP

After Pro-Trump Bravado, Kanye Turns Inward On Album

kanye west, racism

 

Kanye West succeeded in rocketing back into the headlines through his stubbornly contrarian lovefest with Donald Trump. But on a new album, he offers a reminder of what made him a rap superstar — introspection.

“Ye,” the eighth studio album by the artist turned omnipresent celebrity, touches on the depression behind a year-long disappearance and the anxieties that still plague him, even if the seven-track work shies away from the palpable ambition of West’s sprawling earlier output.

True to form, the 40-year-old released the long-mysterious project with ample servings of bravado and chaos. West invited dozens of guests including hip-hop heavyweights to listen to “Ye” for the first time in view of the snowy mountains in the tony Wyoming ski resort of Jackson Hole.

Clad in a glowing shirt that read “Following the Light,” a beaming West danced with guests around a bonfire as live streams premiered the album, which nonetheless remained absent from streaming sites and iTunes hours after its official release.

The comedian Chris Rock announced for the first time the album’s title, an Old English-sounding nickname for Kanye. After quipping at how few African Americans are ordinarily seen in Wyoming, Rock called West a “free black man,” an allusion in part to the rapper’s increasingly unorthodox politics.

West has voiced admiration for Trump’s outsider persona, making him one of the few major entertainment figures — and even rarer among African American stars — to back the tycoon president, who for years promoted unfounded conspiracy theories about his predecessor Barack Obama’s birthplace.

“I said, ‘Slavery a choice.’ They say, ‘How, Ye?’ Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day,” West raps on the album, referring to one of his most inflammatory comments as he promoted the album.

But just a few lines later, West shows a more emotional side as he says he told his wife — the reality television star Kim Kardashian, by his side in Wyoming — that she should consider leaving him.

West — whose litany of past controversies include a boast that Taylor Swift may sleep with him — elsewhere on “Ye” reveals on a track with leading female rapper Nicki Minaj that he has evolved as the father of two daughters.

“Father forgive me / I’m scared of the karma / ‘Cause now I see women as something to nurture / Not something to conquer.”

– Dark and sparse –

West emerged from Chicago with rhymes about his struggles to strive and soon won critical acclaim for his innovative musical sense, blending the energy of electroclash and the lushness of strings into hip-hop.

“Ye,” apparently recorded in seclusion at the Wyoming ranch, harks back to West’s roots with samples from soul, his vocals taking full dominance in the mixing over the beats.

The album opens darkly and sparsely as West contemplates his mental state and repeatedly intones, “I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you.”

He also speaks of bipolar disorder, rapping, “That’s my superpower / Ain’t no disability!”

But West would not be himself without lyrics sure to stir conversation. He throws his lot with hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, a longtime defender of West who has quit his business empire after multiple allegations of sexual abuse.

“Russell Simmons wanna pray for me, too / Wanna pray for him ’cause he got #MeTooed.”

And in an aside that could either flatter or infuriate his friend Trump, West name-checked Stormy Daniels, the pornographic actress in a court battle with the president over a purported fling that he denies.

“I could have Naomi Campbell / And still might want me a Stormy.

Kanye West Sparks New Outrage In Calling Slavery ‘Choice’

kanye west, racism
file photo Rapper Kanye West Credit: AFP

 

Rapper Kanye West, on the receiving end of criticism in the music world after backing President Donald Trump, sparked fresh outrage Tuesday when he called slavery “a choice.”

The rapper, never shy about expressing himself, made the comments in passing during one of two free-flowing interviews he gave as he promotes two upcoming albums.

“You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” West told TMZ Live, the broadcast wing of the celebrity gossip site.

West elaborated little on his statement but appeared to be drawing a parallel to how he is presumed to hold certain views as an African American artist.

“We’re mentally in prison. I like the word ‘prison’ because slavery is too direct to the idea of blacks. Like Holocaust is Jews, slavery is blacks,” West said.

West’s remarks immediately sparked an uproar on Twitter, his favorite medium, and he was taken to task live by a TMZ employee who said he was “appalled.”

The 40-year-old rapper, designer and husband of reality television star Kim Kardashian re-emerged last month after a year-long absence that followed a purported mental breakdown.

He enraged many fellow artists — but was embraced by conservative commentators — as he praised Trump, who has since cited the rapper’s words as evidence of minority support.

In a separate interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God, West said he had not followed Trump’s policies but, “When I see an outsider infiltrate, I connect with that.”

West — who in 2005 made headlines by saying that then-president George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” — is one of the few prominent African Americans to support Trump.

The president built his political career by promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about his predecessor Barack Obama’s birthplace and has been embroiled in a number of racial controversies since taking office.

Speaking to Charlamagne tha God, West said he was upset that Obama invited other rappers to the White House such as Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z.

Obama, in off-record small talk with a reporter in 2009 that leaked, called West a “jackass” after the rapper disrupted the MTV Video Music Awards to say that Taylor Swift did not deserve her prize.

“You know, he never called me to apologize,” West said, explaining that Obama had met him and his mother before being elected president.

“The same person who sat down with me and my mom, I think should have communicated with me directly.”

AFP

Kanye West’s Abloh Takes Over Louis Vuitton Menswear

In this file photo taken on January 17, 2018 US fashion designer Virgil Abloh acknowledges applause following the presentation of the men’s Fall/Winter 2018/2019 collection he designed for Off White in Paris.
FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

 

American designer and celebrity DJ Virgil Abloh is to take over at Louis Vuitton, the brand said Monday, in a dramatic shake-up at the top of men’s fashion.

The appointment of rap star Kanye West’s longtime creative director to the French luxury label shows the massive impact street style is now having on fashion.

Abloh, 37, a former architect, who has won plaudits for his own Off-White label, posted a picture of a vintage Louis Vuitton travel chest to his 1.6 million Instagram followers to announce the news.

“It is an honour for me to accept the position of men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton,” he said in a statement released by the brand.

“I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times,” he added.

Abloh takes over from British designer Kim Jones, and will stage his first Vuitton show during Paris men’s fashion week in June, the label said.

He looks set to continue Jones’ high-profile hook-ups with street style labels, with Jones famously teaming up with New York street brand Supreme.

Abloh — who has an address book full of celebrity friends that goes from the Kardashian clan to the art world — is responsible for some of the most sought-after trainers of the moment.

The “Ten” design his Off-White label did for Nike has reportedly sold for as much as $2,000 (1,600 euros) a pair, with his Air Jordan 1s on sale for up to 950 euros on eBay.

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Announce Birth Of Third Child Via Surrogate

 

Reality star Kim Kardashian and her rapper husband Kanye West Tuesday announced the birth of their third child, a baby girl who was born via a surrogate.

“She is here! We’re so in love,” Kardashian, 37, wrote in a post on her website which she then shared with her 58.3 million Twitter followers.

In a brief message, she wrote that their “healthy, beautiful” daughter was born Monday at 12:47 AM local time, weighing 7.6 pounds (3.3 kilograms). The baby girl’s name was not announced.

“We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care,” said Kardashian.

“North and Saint are especially thrilled to welcome their baby sister,” she added.

Kardashian and West married in May 2014, and already have two children: daughter North, 4, and 2-year-old son Saint.

The couple chose to use a surrogate as Kardashian suffered from placenta accreta – a serious condition where the placenta becomes too deeply attached to the wall of the uterus – during her second pregnancy, making a third pregnancy too risky, according to celebrity website TMZ.

TMZ also reported that the Wests paid $45,000 to the surrogate — who was banned from smoking and taking drugs as well as taking hot baths, dying her hair and eating raw fish during the pregnancy.