It’s been many weeks since Kanye West added another chapter to the piecemeal Proustian revelation that is his Twitter feed, and so it is all too likely that you assumed that Twitter had simply ceased to exist and canceled your account. If so—or if you happened to be sleeping around the 11 p.m. EST hour—then you missed out on one of Kanye’s most prolonged thought-volleys yet: Nearly three straight hours of late-night introspection (written, as he noted, around 4 a.m. in London) and ideas, where the “madeleine” that sparked these involuntary memories, in this case, was a return to his longtime love of design. Being back among his fabric swatches in his U.K. “fashion office” set Kanye off on a freewheeling recollection of his many years of struggling against all the setbacks that most first-time designers experience—such as signing a contract with Louis Vuitton that forbids you to accept internships at Fendi and Versace, then not getting a second Louis Vitton collection—that have now led him to redouble his efforts in a more positive and proactive manner, beginning with telling everyone about it on Twitter. Some highlights:
Even little Kanye knew a good fur when he saw one.
After going H.A.M. on his design portfolio, Kanye traced his passion back to its source: “I remember being 5 years old picking and my mother taking me with her shopping at the discount fur spots… She said I would always point to the most expensive furs even as a child LOL… For the first 16 or 17 years of my life the only thing I knew about my woman's clothing was what my Mom would wear. I guess some critics would joke that I still don't know anything LOL… My Mom would wear blue jeans with a fur and an embellished ‘Cosby Show’ sweater : ) to pick me up from school.” He also acknowledges that her unconventional aesthetic seems to have rubbed off on him, sparking one of the great debates of our age: “….hmmmmm what to wear… here I go again… Yeezy the trend setter or complete fucking fashion victim … the verdict is still out.”
Kanye appreciates being a Grammy-nominated, prestigious artist, really, but it is also sort of like being a prisoner in the Matrix.
“I appreciate having the most nominations at the Grammies [sic] but I feel so conflicted by the fact that award shows sometimes are completely… …illogical,” Kanye said, acknowledging, “I wouldn't have the prestige I have if it wasn't partially for the Grammies [sic] validation and I honor that.” But then again, sometimes “prestige” and “Grammy nominations” are sort of like being trapped within a simulated reality where free will is but an illusion: “Good logic tells me smile Kanye… the world likes you again… red or blue pill? … aaaaand Swallow lol.”
For example, it hampers his plans to work on The Jetsons movie, which is happening apparently.
After sighing, “Being a celebrity has afforded me many opportunities but has also boxed me in creatively,” Kanye offers an example: “I was just discussing becoming the creative director for the Jetson movie and someone on the call yelled out.. you should do a Jetsons tour!” Which, of course, Kanye doesn’t want to do that—not only because he wants to focus his creative energies on helping to reboot an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but because he prefers to pursue original projects. “I was very insulted of course because for anyone that's seen the Watch the Throne Tour or Coachella or Glow in the Dark or Runaway, you know I have real ideas,” Kanye said.
That pursuit of real ideas has led him to launch a company, one that will redesign the entire world and also the MTV Awards.
“I have started a new company and I'm so excited about the name…. it's got the best name ever of all companies of all time!!!” Kanye said by way of announcing DONDA, which shares both his late mother’s name and her zeal for putting together unconventional ensembles. “I am assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors, musicians, producers, AnRs, writers, publicist, social media experts, app guys, managers, car designers, clothing designers, DJs, video game designers, publishers, tech guys, lawyers, bankers, nutritionists, doctors, scientists, teachers,” Kanye said of his new, all-encompassing company, which “will be comprised of over 22 divisions with a goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford.” It will be just like Robocop’s Omni Consumer Products, only with nicer rugs. And instead of privatizing government and creating killing machines, DONDA hopes to “help simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel”—everything from aiming to “design the MTV awards” to giving the nation’s education system a top-to-bottom makeover, maybe starting with some credenzas.
Yes, Kanye is going to fix education.
“School systems were designed to turn people into factory workers,” Kanye says before declaring, “Schools should be designed to prep human beings for real life.” And of course, he has some ideas about how to do that, including focusing on kids’ “emotional IQ,” allowing them to use their iPhones on tests (“Like the real WORLD!!! Give kids the amount of test they would have in a year in one day but they have to get everything perfect”), and allowing students to focus on majors as early as grammar school. That way, if you want to be one of those “math major” types, you can go focus on your geometry and trigonometry or whatever, while everyone else can get to the important stuff: “Math classes should teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, accounting and money management aaaaaand cut!!!” Kanye even has some concrete plans to test his new system, adding, “Spike Jonze and I want to do a Summer school that tries new forms of cuuriculim. [sic]”
By the way, if you think Kanye West doesn’t recognize the irony of misspelling words like “curriculum” while ranting about the dire state of America’s educational system, you are wrong.
“excuse me… I just get excited at the possibilities… the more excited I get… the more grammatical errors you'll see…”
But most importantly, Kanye is finally thinking positively and he just wants to share it with you.
“We need to take what Michael Jackson felt and [Alexander] McQueen and Steve Jobs and we need [to] make things better,” Kanye offered during the home stretch, remarking that he’s been inspired by the many people and reptiles and amoebas that have come to his shows (“When me and Jay toured… ever night I peered into the audience astonished by the different walks of life that came to support us”) as well as some of those world events that continue to happen out there, you know (“I don't know if I can even get to sleep now… From Wall Street to the London riots to Chicago murders”).
And while you might think that Kanye West, the solipsistic self-described proponent of “luxury rap,” is only full of vague, if well-intentioned ideas about fixing our “many broken systems from the economy to school systems jail systems” that amount to the sort of rhetoric that has long been the saw of every young, occasionally stoned idealist, he wants you to know that he’s put his money where his mouth is: “I know this is not a very rapper thing to say but I haven't bought a new car or piece of jewelry in about 2 years”—a nigh-monastic ritual of self-denial he’s undertaken in order to funnel all of his revenue back into putting “creatives in a room together with like minds that are all waaaay doper than me.” And should you be one of those creatives and/or a billionaire and/or a nutritionist/DJ who has some dope ideas about how to make schools, jails, or the MTV awards better, Kanye has also established an email address where you can send them. Together, you can help him change the world, or at least give it some nice chandeliers.