Kanye returned to Twitter this week. It was the end of a long time spent in the limelight, after a hospital stay and a highly publicized visit to the then-elected president at the Trump Tower. It's already here: fans are looking for snowy Instagram stories from rappers or producers – or the weed-makers of said rappers or producers – for any indication of who's flown to Wyoming to work on his presumably next album; he is on family feud; he kisses Kim; He's doing screenings for Lady Dash at his office in Calabasas; He wears Yeezy clothes while walking through Calabasas. But this is not the uncut access to his thoughts and feelings that we refer to when we say phrases like "Kanye is back on Twitter", a feeling that people have obviously missed and that he brought back this week with revenge.
It started with an interview. Last Friday, The Hollywood Reporter published a conversation between Kanye West and interior designer Axel Vervoordt. It was unveiled as Kanye, who interviewed Vervoordt, who has a book published, but that premise was quickly abolished in favor of Vervoord's interrogation of Kanye (it's hard for anyone to get out of the interesting Yeezy). In it, Kanye Vervoordt said, "I do not want to be number one anymore, I wish to be water" and promised a book of philosophy called Break The Simulation .
The interview also mentioned the announcement that longtime Kanye employee Virgil Abloh was the newly appointed Artistic Director of Men's Fashion at Louis Vuitton. Kanye had some things to clarify: "If they say he was my creative director, that's wrong, he was a creative employee" ̵
It makes sense that Kanye, the self-proclaimed Louis Vuitton Don, had some feelings for one of his closest associates in his protracted, battle-swept takeover of the fashion industry , which took a leading position at LV. Kanye described Abloh's move to Vervoordt as "not good or bad," but obviously she was a heavy burden on her conversation and has been a hot topic of conversation for almost a full month. Not long after the interview went live, Kanye made his triumphant return to Twitter.
Kanye's abilities on Twitter are nearing the legend. He usually uses it in the run-up to a big release, but he does not collect any advertisement for anything special except Kanye himself and his unrestricted thoughts. He develops poetry about design, water bottles, or becomes emotionally about writings, showing a talent to articulate every thought in his head in a dizzying stream of consciousness feed that, somehow, always seems to cut through the noise. This time, after his long silence, he slowly began playing "subtitle" games with his 10.6 million followers. Since then, he has been spinning and throwing haughty aphorisms that plead with us to lead and specify better, more mindful lives. Break The Simulation It seems it will be posted on Twitter. Taken together, it's Kanye's headspace, an admonition to be in that moment, be your best self, and let no one restrict your creativity no matter what the cost. It's all very Westian, and people open it.
Then: the pièce de résistance. Kanye announced four albums on Thursday. One for him, a seven-track record debuting on June 1st. Then a joint album with Kid Cudi, his longtime colleague and protégé, as Duo Kids See Ghost, on June 8th. He also announced that Pusha T, who will be returning his album, probably produced by Kanye for years, will have a release date on May 25, and Teyana Taylor will release something on June 22. Def Jam, the label responsible for this ambitious release, of these release dates, as they were announced,  The air was sucked out of the proverbial space. Kanye still knows how to make himself the center of attention.
What makes it incredible is how striking this week was. Just this Monday, Kendrick Lamar was the first to win a Pulitzer Prize for Damn. a hip-hop (and any genre that is not classical or jazz). Drake announced that his album Scorpion will be released in June, which could well be the hottest episode of his career. J. Cole, the dark horse candidate of the HipHop-A-List, announced an album on Monday, listened to a select group of fans during the week, and then released it on Friday. Even without Kanye's announcements, this was the biggest week in the rap news at least last year and possibly much longer.
It is impossible to know if Kanye is pursuing any kind of offensive here. Kendrick is an unlikely target of his anger – they are collaborators and have gotten each other out of the way. Drake was traveling in Wyoming and probably has his own magical touch, whatever we hope to get on June 1st (hopefully). J. Cole is a not-so-subtle critic of Kanye and, according to Charlamagne, Kanye is not a fan of the attempted patricide of "False Prophets" of 2016. But that does not feel like sabotage.
It seems more likely that Kanye was ready to step back into the limelight, and that's no coincidence following his closest associate's new job and a string of news from his closest rivals in the rap game. Kanye realized everyone was talking and decided instead that everyone was talking about him. Impressive, though perhaps not surprising, is how effectively he could achieve that.
Kanye West is apparently still Kanye West .