US Weekly reported recently that Kanye West has deleted all of his social media accounts. The celebrity news outlet further reports that the rapper has gone to Africa. Exactly what he will do on his visit to the continent was not explained.
West has gone relatively off-grid before, only to come back, using his social media accounts like never before. Speculation surrounds the rapper’s latest moves. His most recent disappearance from social media comes after West made controversial remarks about slavery and President Trump. As the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live,” to kick-off the long-running sketch comedy show’s 44th season, West made some interesting choices in terms of performance aspects, but he also treated the studio audience and cast to some pro-Trump statements while wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat. The video of the after-show remarks captured boos and a sprinkling of applause. But West was apparently not done with controversial comments. He took to Twitter to call for the abolition of the 13th Amendment – – the one that ended slavery. After West received backlash for the comment, he claimed that he meant the amendment should be “amended.” Now, in a turn of events that could be either a publicity stunt, or necessary time off, West has disappeared. He is not the first celebrity to go off the grid at what could be called the height of his popularity. In addition, the release date of West’s new album has been pushed back from late September to November.
Kanye West: hip-hop’s angry young man
Although he is in his early 40s, West still comes off as the angry young man. From his earliest releases, West showed an ability to observe cultural trends and weave them into musical gold early in his career. From “Gold Digger” on, West’s way with words made him a household name. “Jesus Walk” illustrated his spiritual grapplings. A series of albums with college attendance themes helped to cement his fan base. But somewhere, something went wrong. Was it his mother’s death? Audiences can only speculate. And then there were those times when he interrupted award acceptance speeches, most notably Taylor Swift, and also Drake and Rihanna.
But there have also been times when people have liked West’s ability to “not behave” and to speak and act off the cuff. During a telethon to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, West appeared with comedian Mike Myers. At one point, West blurted out “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” The moment caught both Myers and viewers off-guard, but many thought West was correct and the backlash was nothing like he has experienced lately.
Kanye West: What’s next–speculation and bad guesses
West’s disappearance seems well-timed. It comes after his latest album’s release date was pushed back, and after West made a series of notorious comments. Audiences are unlikely to forget him.
The entire thing might remind some audiences of comedian Dave Chappelle’s disappearance at the height of his show’s popularity. Later, after a lengthy period out of the limelight, Chappelle revealed that it seemed like he was being laughed at, not with. Could a similar thing be happening to West? Does he simply feel misunderstood? Time will tell what, if any, specific thing pushed West out of the spotlight, a place he had no problem existing in for more than a decade.