Trump, Beyoncé and exhaustion: a timeline of Kanye West's worst week ever
On Monday morning, Twitter users woke up to a proliferation of #KanyeIsOverParty tweets. In the time-honoured tradition of #TaylorIsOverParty and #ZigiIsOverParty, this can only mean one thing: the rapper has been attracting attention, again.
Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. In February he made headlines after publicly asking Silicon Valley billionaires for money, claiming he was in millions of dollars of debt. The summer was marked by West, his wife Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift feuding over his lyric, in which he claims he "made that b---- famous". Just a few weeks ago it emerged that West had bought a $30,000 sofa only to throw it out immediately.
But such events pale in comparison to how West spent his weekend. Here, in order, is why West has made the headlines:
Thursday, November 17 – West admits he supports Trump
West, who is in the middle of his Saint Pablo Tour in North America, played at the SAP Centre in San Jose, California, an area that was supportive of Hillary Clinton in the recent US presidential election.
West took to the stage at 10pm, 90 minutes after his expected set time, but within 10 minutes had restarted his Life of Pablo song Famous several times. Worst was yet to come: West admitted that although he didn't vote in the election, if he had, he would have done so for President Elect Donald Trump.
The admission came during what local reports call at "25-minute-long rant" in which West spoke about his frustration with politics and telling his crowd, "Specifically to black people, stop talking about race so much."
Kanye West tonight speaking on racism in America. "Specifically to black people, stop talking about race so much." pic.twitter.com/HTWlJgdq7E— Brandon E. Patterson (@myblackmindd) November 18, 2016
“If I would have voted, I would have voted for Trump” West said. “I wanted to say that before the election, but they told me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t say that aloud,’”
Not only did I not vote, but there were a lot of things I actually liked about Trump’s campaign.”
His approach was (expletive) genius — because it worked.”
Video footage of West's outburst appeared online while people attending the gig shared his quotes on social media. Local newspaper The Mercury News reported that attendees left early, but only after throwing shoes and hats at West, whose outburst was met with booing from the crowd.
Saturday, December 19 – West rants at Jay Z and Beyoncé
The Saint Pablo tour's next stop was in Sacramento, California, and West appeared to stick to his more recent set list of embarking upon a monologue within minutes of starting his show. The Sacramento Bee reports that “after just two songs and 30 minutes – about half that time spent on a stream-of-consciousness rant against everything from MTV to Hillary Clinton – the hip-hop star abruptly pulled the plug.”
While Trump wasn't on the agenda, West did take a pop at music's golden couple Beyoncé and Jay Z. Those familiar with West's escapades will remember his controversial MTV VMAs 2009 moment, when he defended Beyoncé over Taylor Swift via a stage invasion. However, he was, he told several thousand people who weren't Beyoncé, “hurt because I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me and over Hotline Bling”.
Kanye West exposes Beyoncé and Jay Z at his concert pic.twitter.com/mTo9Q60h5Z— EXPOSED (@Exposing_celebz) November 20, 2016
He then took umbrage with her husband and former West collaborator, Jay Z, suggesting that he hadn't heard from him in a while: “Jay Z, call me, bruh. You still ain’t calling me. Jay Z, call me. Aye, bruh, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man.”
After these public service announcements, West then explained that “the show's over” before “dropping the microphone and running off the stage.”
The venue later released a statement explaining that those who bought tickets from Ticketmaster or on the phone would get an automatic refund, but with no updates for those who had acquired their tickets through the secondary market.
Sunday, November 20 – West updates his Instagram account and cancels his show
The social media blacklash that followed West's San Jose and Sacramento shows reached West's neglected Instagram account which, until Sunday morning, had just one photograph posted on it. This received more than 160,000 comments, largely from irate fans posting abuse.
Perhaps in an attempt to drown out the anger, 99 photographs from vintage Mason Margiela lookbooks were uploaded to the account in a matter of hours.
Then, with just three hours before West was due to take to the stage on the next leg of his tour in Los Angeles, he cancelled his show at the Inglewood Forum. The venue notified users on Twitter, although at the time neither promoter, Live Nation nor Ticketmaster, gave a statement:
Following the cancellation an LA Times reporter tweeted that West had told his crew that the rest of the tour had been cancelled along with the Inglewood show. There has, however, been no official statement from the rapper and his website maintains that the shows are going ahead.
Monday November 21 – Snoop Dogg joins in the #KanyeIsOverParty, West cancels his tour, is admitted to hospital with 'exhaustion'
The hashtag first trended on Saturday afternoon, but Twitter users are still reveling in the virtual festivities, fuelled by rapper Snoop Dogg's live narration of West's rant, which appeared on Instagram on Sunday night.
Hours after speculation that West had cancelled the rest of his tour, a representative for the rapper told Pitchfork that all of the remaining tour dates had been cancelled, and ticket-holders will be refunded at the point of purchase.
Within hours, reports were emerging that West had gone to hospital after police responded to a medical welfare call.
At 1.20pm, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an unspecified medical aid request in the 900 block of North Laurel Avenue, reporting that "an adult male described as medically stable was taken to an area hospital for assessment."
There has been no official statement from West's camp yet, but his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, said at a red carpet event on Monday that the rapper was "exhausted".
A source close to West denied that he was having a breakdown, but said that he had been dealing with a large workload:
"He's just exhausted. He's been working around the clock on fashion design, both on his own line and the Adidas line. He's a notorious workaholic, so balancing both that work – which is extremely important to him – and the rigors of the tour every night, it really wore him out," a source told People.
Tuesday, November 22 – concern pours out for West
As reports emerge that West is suffering from "exhaustion" and "sleep deprivation", fans and fellow musicians have shared their concern for the star online:
The easy thing to do is make Kanye West jokes.— andy lassner (@andylassner) November 22, 2016
The compassionate thing to do is hope he's ok and gets the help he needs.
I dont see why people can joke about @kanyewest being hospitalised. mental illness is no laughing matter & I hope he gets the help he needs— Wendy Connor (@Wendyclairex) November 22, 2016
I wish @kanyewest love and support through his journey. Mental health is no joke and a constant battle and I hope he makes more dope music.— Ronald Funches (@RonFunches) November 22, 2016
And I hope u all pray for @kanyewest too. He's not just an artist but he's a father, a son a husband and above human. Get well soon— marlon wayans (@MarlonWayans) November 22, 2016
JayZ, you need to go to @kanyewest now.— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) November 22, 2016
Hey @kanyewest , get better man! People are making jokes right now, but having been there myself, I hope he gets the help he needs.— emile hirsch (@EmileHirsch) November 22, 2016
It's hard to root for and easy to criticize @kanyewest but I hope that he gets the help he needs. Mental illness doesn't discriminate.— Drew Garabo (@DrewOnTheRadio) November 22, 2016