Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
Feb 24, 2016
For Kanye West's 19.4 million Twitter followers, their feeds in the past month have been dominated by his bizarre, incoherent and seemingly unending Twitter rants.
The 38-year-old US rapper's online diarrhoea usually details his greatness, others' inadequacies or shocking personal revelations.
West, who released his "greatest album of all time" The Life Of Pablo this month, had also used the platform to promote his work.
But his social media stunts have been overshadowing a release that is messy and problematic in itself.
The album, available exclusively on his website and on the streaming music service Tidal, became a hit on piracy websites and is said to have been downloaded more than 500,000 times as of yesterday.
Fans who downloaded the album on Tidal after West's recent Saturday Night Live performance were charged for it, but were told that a partial version of the album, which underwent several changes, was only available for streaming and not for download.
Being a Tidal exclusive has also hindered the album from charting on the US Billboard chart.
West has become such a joke that even his loved ones are concerned. People magazine quoted a source who likened his rants to a tic that he has and that it has been "exhausting" for his reality TV star wife Kim Kardashian.
New York Post's Page Six quoted a source who said that West's mother-in-law Kris Jenner "fears that he's taking the family down". According to the report, she wants him to "hire someone to handle all the noise and drama so he can focus on being an artist".
Fellow celebs have been weighing in, too.
US comedienne Chelsea Handler said on ET Canada on Monday that West is unstable, delusional and a maniac, adding that "he'll (now) have a mental breakdown in front of everybody, even though he's been in this state for years".
US actress Kristen Bell posted a photo on Instagram that showed her and her Bad Mom co-stars Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn holding a "vigil" and mock-praying for West on the set of their new comedy film.
Here are the top four signs that the father of two is losing it.
SIGN #1: SHADING WIZ KHALIFA
Rapper feuds are a dime a dozen, but this was probably one of the earliest, most telling triggers of the trainwreck that you can't look away from.
It began late last month when US rapper Wiz Khalifa, 28, called out to West for changing his album name from Swish (previously So Help Me God) to Waves, which he felt was a slap in the face for the originator of the wave movement, US hip hop artist Max B.
West told Khalifa that no one ever listened to his albums from start to finish and that West is his "OG (original gangster) and will be respected as such".
Then came the final burn: "Maybe I couldn't be skinny and tall but I'll settle for being the greatest artist of all time as a consolation."
Realising his mistake soon after, West decided a suitable apology should come in the form of style compliments like "I went to look at your Twitter and you were wearing cool pants" and "I screen grabbed those pants and sent it to my style team #Wizwearscoolpants".
SIGN #2: TAKING DOWN TAYLOR SWIFT
When it comes to picking celebrity fights, West should have learnt by now that targeting one of the biggest female pop stars in the world never ends well.
Then again, West doesn't exactly think before he speaks.
It was only last year that the pair mended fences after the infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards on-stage fiasco.
But the rift was renewed after West included the crass lines "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why, I made that b**** famous" in his song Famous, taken off The Life Of Pablo, and falsely claimed he had her "blessings".
The tide swiftly turned against him, with many celebs flocking to her defence.
Swift responded by shutting him down last week during her Grammys acceptance speech for Album Of The Year, while the 26-year-old's Scottish DJ boyfriend Calvin Harris stood up for her in a series of Snapchat videos, in which he said: "Spread love, happiness and positive energy. Try that... Makes you feel good. It's way better than sitting on the Internet and saying everything's s***."
According to Entertainment Weekly, West addressed the drama - albeit in a roundabout way - when he told reporters: "I want the best for that person (Swift) but there's people going through real issues out here... I don't think people care about me or her in that way. People care about their families, their kids. If you like my music, listen to it. If you like her music, listen to it."
SIGN #3: HAVING A BACKSTAGE MELTDOWN ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
His performance on US sketch show Saturday Night Live on Feb 13, where he premiered new tracks live, seemed to have been glitch-free. But an audio of his angst-filled outburst before it was leaked soon after. In it, he was heard raging about a last-minute set change: "Look at that s***, they took my f****** stage off a 'SNL' without asking me. Now I'm bummed. That and Taylor Swift, fake ass."
West also claimed he is "by 50 per cent" more influential than US film director Stanley Kubrick, Apostle Paul, Spanish artist Pablo Picasso or "any other human being".
This audio even inspired a Deadpool video spoof, courtesy of the superhero movie's star Ryan Reynolds, who cheekily claimed to be "50 per cent more influential than MC Hammer, Apostle Judas Iscariot, the Kia Sorrento ... 3 per cent more than Wolverine".
SIGN #4: BEGGING FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG FOR MONEY
This is a man who believes "anyone that has money... know the first rule is to use other people's money" and that buying "furs and houses" ranks higher on his spending list than his own "beautiful ideas".
After revealing he was US$53m (S$74.3m) in personal debt, West asked Zuckerberg on Feb 14 to invest US$1 billion in his business projects.
After all, he claims to be "this generation's Disney".