If you’ve spent any time at all following the presidential campaigns of either candidate in the United States, chances are you’ve heard of billionaire rapper Kanye West’s more than dramatic turn toward politics. His fiery and incoherent rhetoric matched that of Trump himself and even got a spot on the voting ballot.
However, that rhetoric has shot himself in the foot in more ways than one. Endorsements that were once considered achievements for Black history are slipping through the artist’s hands. Now, the rapper’s net worth is falling.
Let’s take a deeper look into what’s going on.
Picking up pieces
According to news both kept hush and increasingly public, Kanye West is trying to sell his designer merch for a shockingly low price as a result of losing his multi-million dollar deals with Adidas and Balenciaga. On Sunday, X17 posted a YouTube video from inside Ye’s warehouse. It appears that he’s now storing thousands of dollars worth of Adidas, Balenciaga, and Gap merch he’s been designing to carry his “YE24” logo.
Before his political outbursts got in the way, Kanye could have easily sold the pieces for hundreds. However, he now says he will only charge consumers $20 for the pieces that promote his still-expected 2024 presidential run. The price point is a skydiving drop from his Balenciaga and Gap pieces that originally retailed between $100 to $400 respectively. Meanwhile, his Adidas line Yeezy cost customers $100 or more per item.
Fans of the rap and now fashion mogul is adamantly defending the low price point, claiming that this was what West always wanted to charge for his designs. “In case you don’t know, GAP used his name for the Yeezy Gap collection which was originally supposed to cost $20/50$ per item, but GAP ended up choosing the prices themselves,” Kanye fan page Donda Times said in a tweet.
While Kanye terminated his contract with Gap himself, Adidas and Balenciaga parted ways with the Yeezy founder themselves following anti-Semitic remarks he made on social media and in the press. Several others have come forward to call out the hypocrisy of Kanye for selling his merchandise at such a low price upon seeing his net worth drop from billions to just around $400 million.
“Ahhhh when he rich and a billionaire he wanna sell everything high but now that he lost his billionaire status he wanna “look out” for the ppl so they can afford it…I get it…I get it,” one Twitter user wrote. “The thing is they could have always been 20$,” added someone else. “The other thing is, he’s doing this to get back at people. He went from no one can touch me, to I’ll touch everyone. Still the focus is him.” another Tweeter mused.
Despite whatever has been said about him, Kanye appears to be moving on with a new plan to rid himself of the increasingly devaluing merchandise. He actually appears to be focusing on the upcoming election in earnest, announcing his presidential campaign manager, Milo Yiannopolous.
While it’s anyone’s guess how this latest run for the Oval Office will turn out for the rapper, it’s a surefire bet that all of social media will be watching Kanye’s next moves. For the majority of the artist’s career, West has built a legacy of saying the quiet parts out loud. However lately, the quiet parts are definitely from the mouths of those historically opposed to the upward mobility and well-being of African Americans.
When positions of power historically granted to White leaders are squandered by those who are not White themselves, it becomes harder and harder to imagine them seated by another non-White person again.
What do you think will become of Kanye West’s clothing inventory? Do you think he can go further in the next election? Do you think Adidas and Balenciaga would choose another Black designer to lead them? Let us know in the comments!