Kanye West, or rather, YE, had a very wild weekend.
Let’s start with the name change. Hours before he was to grace the Saturday Night Live stage, West went on his Twitter account on Saturday morning (Sept. 29) to announce that he’s no longer responding to his given name and that he will now call himself “Ye.” The name Ye was the title of his last album, released back in June, with the phrase, “I hate being bipolar. It’s awesome” on the cover. West’s other rap nicknames include Yeezy, Yeezus and Yandhi, which is reportedly the title of his next album.
Ye also promised a new album that he never dropped…
The veteran rapper-producer promised fans to release it on Saturday night but it never came to fruition. In hindsight, Ye has been late with album releases before. During his weekly G.O.O.D. Music album releases in June, all except for Pusha-T‘s fantastic album DAYTONA suffered from delays. Teyana Taylor‘s album K.T.S.E. suffered the most – not only was her project delayed but several of her songs were remixed and missing key samples, much to Taylor’s chagrin.
Then YE performed on SNL dressed like a bottle of Perrier.
For the first set, Ye partnered with Lil Pump for a somewhat odd rendition of their viral hit “I Love It.” The song was initially recorded for a porn website Ye admitted that he visits frequently. Dressed like a Perrier bottle, Ye performed a sanitized version of the explicit track but still got bleeped by the NBC censors. Meanwhile, Pump donned a costume resembling a Fiji water bottle. Both rappers awkwardly danced around on stage as comedian Adele Givens watched from a huge screen behind them.
Ye’s second performance, a duet of “We Got Love” featuring R&B singer Teyana Taylor. In addition, Ye performed another song that was cut from the live broadcast, “Ghost Town” with Kid Cudi and 070 Shake. Ty Dolla $ign and West’s longtime musical collaborator Mike Dean were also there playing guitars with the band.
Afterward, Kanye rambled on and on about how much he loves Donald Trump while wearing his favorite MAGA hat, got booed by SNL’s audience, said he’s running for president in 2020 and claimed he was bullied backstage.
After his performance of “Ghost Town,” Ye proceeded to talk about President Donald Trump. Although Ye’s opinionated rant didn’t make it to air, it was captured on video and circulated on social media. In it, Ye donned a red MAGA hat, which he redesigned, and talked about racism, liberals and Trump.
“Actually, blacks weren’t always Democrats,” he began. “It’s like a plan they did to take the fathers out the homes and promote welfare. Does anybody know about that? That’s the Democratic plan.”
Some audience members clapped but many booed at Ye’s rhetoric. He then defended Trump by calling him “a builder.” He also said Trump’s 2016 win gave him hope that he could run for the presidency in 2020.
“You see they laughing at me. You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me,” Ye said. “They bullied me backstage they said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me. And then they say I’m in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? Okay, I’ma listen to y’all now.”
“I’ma put my Superman cape on, which means you can’t tell me what to do,” he continued. “Follow your heart and stop following your mind. That’s how we’re controlled. That how we’re programmed. If you want the world to move forward, try love.”
At the end of his speech, Ye thanked SNL and the audience for allowing him to speak his mind.
“I know some of y’all don’t agree. But y’all be goin’ at that man neck a lot, and I don’t think it’s actually that helpful,” he said. “I think the universe has balance. 90 percent of news are liberal. 90 percent of TV, L.A., New York, writers, actors, rappers, musicians. So it’s easy to make it seem like it’s so, so, so one-sided. And I feel kind of free. I thought this country said I couldn’t be me.”
Nevertheless, SNL producer and creator Lorne Michaels has reportedly promised Kanye to invite him back to Studio 8H before the year is over.
Kanye’s SNL performance naturally caught Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s attention.
After the whole SNL thing, Kanye went on Twitter and said the 13th Amendment should be abolished. That really pissed off Captain America.
The 13th Amendment, which was ratified in 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude following the end of the Civil War. On Sunday, Kanye went on Twitter Saturday afternoon, and said repealing the 13th Amendment would result in providing jobs “for all who are free from prisons.”
It seemed that Kanye was trying to make a point about the correlation between slavery and prison labor, which was covered in Ava Duvernay’s award-winning documentary on the subject, The 13th. That’s when Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the popular Marvel films, got involved. He called Kanye’s rhetoric “terrifying.”
Questlove, Swizz Beatz, Lana Del Rey and David Crosby had some choice words about everything that went down.
Later that day, Kanye clarified that he meant the 13th Amendment should be amended, not abolished
Ye said the 13th is “slavery in disguise, meaning it never ended,” in a clarifying statement on Twitter. “We are the solution that heals,” he wrote.
Kanye capped everything off by saying he’s headed up to TMZ.
TMZ’s Van Lathan, who famously challenged Ye during his last appearance there when he said “slavery was a choice,” sarcastically said he plans to have the flu during Kanye’s visit.
We’ll have to see how that visit pans out.