Fact-Checking Kanye West’s Tweets
Kanye West’s tweeting-spree has made news and cost him Twitter followers. Priscilla Ward breaks down how factual his 280 characters were.
Kanye West has landed once again on the Twittersphere after going on a yearlong hiatus. The return comes following the cancellation of the final leg of his 2016 Saint Pablo Tour to 21 cities after being reportedly hospitalized for exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
The College Dropout rapper took to the microblogging platform earlier this month, showcasing his latest line of Yeezy apparel, announcing five upcoming album production credits including his own and then things became ultra-random with a series of tweets ranging from claims of Yeezus’ financial success outpacing the Jordan Brand to dropping into the mix a heartwarming photo of his daughter North West playing with a ladybug.
The erratic thread of tweets left many Kanye stans, critics and casual scrollers wondering which of his tweets to hold as truth and which to take as “Kanye just being Kanye.” His Twitter following has dropped drastically over the last few days. Celebrities like Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Chrissy Teigen and Kylie Jenner have reportedly chosen to unfollow the rapper following his praise of Donald Trump.
With that all said, here are 4 claims from Kanye West, fact-checked.
Kanye West: “I am currently the single highest paid person in footwear. That means I make more money on shoes than Michael Jordan.”
FALSE: In Nike’s 2017 annual report, the company said Jordan Brand made $3.1 billion during the fiscal year. This is 13% more than the prior year, compared to total wholesale Nike brand sales of $28.7 billion. The Jordan Brand is reportedly the fastest growing line for Nike. Meanwhile, Adidasreported sales of 4.8 billion euros ($5.8 billion) for the fiscal year 2017 — although it is unclear how much of that came from sales of the Yeezy sneaker. One of the sneaker world’s biggest critics, Matt Powell of The NPD Group Inc., reportedly told footwearnews.com, “West’s Yeezy releases may have created more of a halo effect for Adidas, as opposed to contributing significantly to sales.”
Kanye West: “There's been a lot of fake news so I just wanted to give you the facts. Yeezy will become the biggest apparel company in human history by working with the most genius-level talents and creating a product at an affordable price. I hired the head of the supply chain from the Gap.”
FALSE: West reportedly promised in several on-air interviews back in 2013 to make his apparel “democratic” and less “pricey.” However, when the first season of Yeezus dropped items were in the four-digits and in many instances sold out. Once again in 2016, the rapper went on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio show outlining plans of putting out Adidas first under $50 sneaker. However, with West’s latest release of Yeezus earlier this month, the $30 dollar kick has yet to hit the market.
West has been a long time fan of the Gap, working there while in high school and stating, “I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap.” So it comes as no surprise that he hired the head of the supply chain from the Gap.
Kanye West: “Yes, I got rid of my last lawyer why? Because he wouldn't come to work full-time. I also asked my last manager to come work full-time for Yeezy. Of course, the last lawyer and manager said no. So now I hired a CEO and a CFO and I have two full-time lawyers as of now.”
TRUE:Scott Samuel "Scooter" Braun, the talent agent and businessman responsible for launching the careers of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and David Guetta, was on West’s team for the past two-and-a-half years. However, Kanye recently decided to cut ties with Braun. Additionally, he ended business relations with longtime manager Izvor “Izzy” Zivkovic. It’s unclear who will replace these two seats. According to a report by Variety, West gave his core team, which includes attorney Peter Paterno, an ultimatum: to conduct all business through his Yeezy organization. A suggestion to restructure his management and bring Braun’s services in-house was turned down, though the two may continue to work on other projects together between the two companies. “They parted on good terms,” says a source.
Kanye West: “We have 160 positions to fill by the end of the year. Yeezy will hit a billion dollars this year. It is the second fastest growing company in history. It is a unicorn on its way to becoming a decacorn.”
FALSE: According to a 2017 Interbrand report the two fastest growing companies are currently Amazon and Facebook.While Adidas is ranked at number four and has experienced a 17% growth over the last year.
Priscilla Ward is a celebrated writer whose work has been featured in Essence, Salon and is also the creator of #BLCKNLIT. You can find her tweeting about bell hooks, sandwiches and art shows @MacaroniFRO.