Kanye, seen here at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009, has collected 53 million in debt through his personal projects. (David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)
Kanye West has never had trouble making headlines in the past and due to the recent release of his new album, this week has been no exception. Shortly before his Saturday Night Live performance on Saturday, the massively successful rapper shocked the world with the claim that he is currently 53 million dollars in personal debt.
I found this information very hard to believe due to the popularity of Kanye’s high selling albums, concerts and merchandise, however he explained that he got to this point through failed moves in the fashion industry. In 2013, he collaborated with Adidas to manufacture his own line of sneakers among other products that have not sold as well as he intended.
Despite the massive debt he is in, I wouldn’t expect Kanye to be out on the street any time soon. He explained on Twitter that he and his family are still living comfortably, yet he is concerned about his freedom as an artist.
“I need access to more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world.” said Kanye. “If I spent my money on my ideas, I could not afford to take care of my family. I am in a place that so many artists end up.”
Fans can rest assured that money woes have not changed Kanye’s headstrong style too much. On Feb. 11, he rented out Madison Square Garden for the Yeezy season 3 launch and pre-release listening of his new album, “The Life of Pablo”. Three days later, West stated that “Pablo” would be available exclusively on the streaming app Tidal. Tidal is an artist-owned coalition founded such artists as Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Daft Punk, J. Cole, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and JAY Z.
Subscriptions to the service start at $9.99 for the base streaming plan and go up to $19.99 for a much higher quality stream. A free month is available to new users but the rollover for the amount of people who forget to cancel their subscription after getting their free trial to listen to the new Kanye album is sure to be immensely huge.
Then again, the price point of Tidal may scare all of Tidal’s users away after their first free month. Only time will tell.
For the better part of a decade, Kanye has been the butt of jokes, mean-spirited comments and a coveted bounty target for paparazzi. It’s tough to argue that he doesn’t bring most of it on himself, but I for one am rooting for him to prevail against the wrath of finances.
“The College Dropout” was there for me when school seemed overwhelming, “808’s and Heartbreak” had my back when relationship issues brought me down and now that Kanye is in a state of need, I almost feel obligated to give back.
But then I remember the real problems of the world and the endless charities that are more deserving of my money than Kanye West’s creativity. Still I wish him the very best as he travels down a road of uncertainty. Shine on Mr. West.
Photo Credit:By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons