Ye: Genius or Ruined?


If you’ve used any social media in the past month or two, you’re bound to have heard about Kanye West recently. It’s hard to ignore, honestly, and right now, it’s looking like Ye might not get back up this time. 


Recently, it’s seemed Kanye’s been getting into trouble nonstop. It’s not for no reason, either, he’s made a lot of anti-semitic and generally racist comments. Just this year, he was exposed for allegedly reading Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and “obsessing” over the dictator and Nazism by CNN; He allegedly wanted to originally title his 2018 album Ye instead as Hitler and claimed he would go “death con 3” on jewish people, a reference to the U.S. Military’s DEFCON nuclear attack status system, ironically in which a 3 is on the less-aggressive side. 


There could be multiple reasons for this sudden change in Ye’s behavior. It’s a well known fact he struggles with bipolar disorder and has for years now, and his recent divorce from Kim Kardashian, bad fallout with her family, and subsequent feud with Pete Davidson could not have helped. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s slipped in this way either; back in a 2018 TMZ interview he claimed that 400 years of slavery “sounded like a choice” for black people. 


While his bipolar disorder, or just a lack of forethought, could easily have been the cause of 2018’s incident, this time around Ye has something to gain from acting this way. It came as a surprise when dozens of organizations and people, including Balenciaga, Aaron Donald (D tackle for the LA Rams represented by Ye’s Donda Sports), his own lawyers, talent agency, and crucially, Adidas, all cut ties with him. He’d never had something this bad happen to his career and it didn’t seem like it would happen now, but when brands started dropping him left and right, something felt different.


Something this catastrophic happening to Ye wasn’t even something you considered, he’s been one of the biggest rappers ever for years now and there was no obvious reason he should stop. Kanye’s not very known for his transparency, though. He’s announced albums that have never dropped time and time again and there are periods he will withdraw from the public eye for long periods of time with little information about him released. He historically doesn’t seem to care about people understanding or even knowing what he’s doing, but time and again he always has a definitive reason for doing it. 


Interestingly, the only brand he explicitly talked about in regards to cutting ties with because of what he’s been saying was Adidas, and the biggest hits to his finances, hits that have removed him from the Forbes billionaire list altogether, have been from the brands that distribute Yeezy products cutting their ties. Sure enough, after being provoked, Adidas ended the contract between the company and Ye, a contract that would’ve cost him a fortune in fees to withdraw from on his end. This single move chunked his wealth as the contract added about $1.5 billion to his net worth; money he would have lost anyway if he ended the contract himself on top of severance fees. Adidas hasn’t come away unscathed, though, they’ll be short about $246 million in net profit in 2022. 


It’s possible that Ye’s behavior has had a motive the whole time. For him, there would have been almost no other way to exit his contracts without paying up than to make associating with him a bad investment. Again, his bipolar disorder and history could explain what he’s been thinking, or it’s possible the idea from the very beginning was to make people believe he wasn’t. If that’s the case, Kanye West may be one of the smartest businessmen in America just by pretending to be the exact opposite.