What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Keeping up with Kanye

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the rapper

12:42 PM

Now that we have a better idea of what’s going on with Kanye West after his emergency hospitalization, let’s take a look at how things shook out over the Thanksgiving holiday. Dealing with one’s own family is enough of a pain, and now that we’re all back to reality, we’ll catch you up.

To begin with, apparently what we’re looking at with Yeezy is a mental health issue. Any armchair doctor could have taken that guess, but per TMZ, the situation at the hospital is a pretty stressful one. It started with the robbery in Paris of Kim Kardashian. Then, things spiraled from there and the election found him on stage ranting about Donald Trump and the powers that be in the entertainment industry. Now, he’s apparently concerned that people are trying to affect his relationship with his wife.

However, his art is still motivating people and creating spaces for people to succeed. Which is ultimately what he’s done better than almost any other rapper of his era not named Gucci Mane. At the Soul Train Awards, Teyana Taylor won an award for Best Dance Performance for her work in Fade, the Flashdance-inspired banger of a video that had people all over the country headed back to the gym well before their New Year’s resolutions guilted them into it.

In addition, Lil B has decided that now’s the time to come out with that Black Ken mixtape that we’ve sort of known about for the better part of a decade now, according to XXL. He released the original title track back in 2010, when Mr. West was just hitting the height of his powers. Who knows why, and it’s not like it takes much for The Based God to drop new heat, but there’s something particularly appealing about where this comes from.

Not to mention that the parallels between Ye’s life and the concept of being a black Ken are definitely there. Even if Jay Z did already play the part for Halloween this year, there’s no way to really know if the two things would be coincidence or happenstance. Meaning, only the release will tell us how much Kanye might have affected Lil B’s creative process. The track Black Ken itself is a throwback beat with a flipped soul beat that West made so famous, so there’s a good chance.

Bringing it all the way home, however, are the goals of Rhymefest. You know him. Yeezus’ former co-writer who had a very public split with him back in February, and pretty plainly laid out exactly what was going on. He said in no uncertain terms that mental and spiritual help were what The Life of Pablo creator needed. Not only did he prove to be prescient on that, he’s also doing his best to make sure that Ye’s latest troubles don’t lead to the desecration of his memory overall.

Rhymefest bought Ye’s childhood home recently and plans to turn it into an arts center. Many people have long speculated that West was never the same after his mother, Donda West, died back in 2007. For an ex-member of his crew to find a way to repurpose what is effectively a memorial haunt is not only incredibly thoughtful, but also brilliant.

“I’m excited to announce the purchase of Kanye’s childhood home as a community arts incubator,” Rhymefest wrote on Instagram. “It will be the first of our Nationwide Lite-Houses. A state of the art recording studio, a curriculum space for @dondashouse and southside music museum. We want to show bright spots in communities that’ve been divested from, we know more lights exist here, they just need to be activated.”

While West’s wife and family are by his side, his boy has his back.

All Day Podcast: 11/22/16

Turkey Day, Kanye West’s hospitalization and Havana nights for The Undefeated’s Brent Lewis

10:03 AM I got greens, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, lambs, rams, hogs, dogs, chicken, turkeys, rabbits. You name it! (more…)