When Kanye Was Great at Twitter: Fashion Policing, Philosophy, and Ninjas, Oh My
It is the rough equivalent of Haruki Murakami disremembering how to turn a phrase, or Louis CK being robbed of his joke-telling faculties. It is enough to inspire the culturally estranged songbird Nelly Furtado to croon, “Flames to dust, lovers to friends, why do all good things come to an end?” Yes, Kanye Omari West is terrible at Twitter. How did this happen?
As you’ve probably heard, last week Kanye misinterpreted the following tweet by rapper Wiz Khalifa, thinking he was invoking the name of his very famous wife, Kim Kardashian:
It was really just an innocuous tweet about Khalifa’s personal brand of weed, Khalifa Kush, which he’s discussed ad nauseum and even rapped about on a track called “KK.” But that didn’t stop Kanye from first tweeting, “Like, oh that’s Ye and I can put his wife’s initials on my twitter,” before unleashing a Twitter rampage the likes of which we haven’t seen from him, insulting everything from Wiz’s music (“corny,” “stole your whole shit from Cudi”) to his ex-wife Amber Rose (“you let a stripper trap you”) to their child together (“I own your child!!!!”). Rose ultimately got the last laugh, leading to Kanye issuing an embarrassing denial that reaffirmed the LBJ adage: “I know [it’s not true], but let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”
The whole ordeal was not only crazy and wholly unnecessary, but also wildly disappointing, because in the halcyon days of Twitter, before it was dominated by lonely MRAs and desperate Directioners, Kanye West was on the path to Twitter immortality. He was Kierkegaard crossed with Larry David; an absurdist of the first order.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
Kanye West began his online journey with the totally bonkers blog KanyeUniverseCity.com. He was very, very proud of his blogging, sharing his candid thoughts on everything from beloved architects and fashion designers to his everyday observations on life. He once, for example, posted a picture of a metallic baby carriage with the headline, “THIS IS RETARDED,” and captioned the photo as follows: This baby carriage is not covered with diamonds or any other precious metal but is just equipped with rear changing table, so the $14,899 price tag is not justified. In another post, he referred to Soulja Boy Tell’em’s “Crank That” as “Nas level shit.” He’d even select a “girl of the week,” posting a photo of a scantily clad woman with a word bubble coming out of their mouth saying, “Where are you Yeezy???” Future wife Kim Kardashian (’08), her sister Kourtney (’09), and others received the dubious honor.
But KanyeUniverseCity.com was best known for his signature freak-outs, including his lashing out at Bonnaroo for his very late, very derided headlining set (“I’m typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!”) to the following about, fittingly enough, his hatred of all things Twitter:
Kanye eventually gave in, joining Twitter in July 2010. And it was glorious. Then, in October 2012, he deleted all of his old tweets. But the Internet never forgets.
Here were some of Kanye’s deep Twitter thoughts on a wide variety of subjects:
ON FASHION POLICING IN NYC
ON FLYING FIRST CLASS
ON PERSIAN RUGS
ON JIMMY KIMMEL