Kanye West: Legend, Icon, God.

Kanye West: Legend, Icon, God.

“You’re gonna love me or you’re gonna hate me, but I’m gonna be me.”

Since the God of Rap will be gracing Edmonton this weekend, it only seems fitting to give some praise to Yeezy, and account for his reigning Kingdom of hip-hop built largely through his online presence.

Yeezy has, undoubtedly, built himself into an icon that is recognizable worldwide. In true fashion of a rockstar he is shameless, daring, and utterly self promoting. His social media has no rhyme or reason, and yet twitter has 26.6 million followers. Coincidently, he only follows Kim Kardashian. Most celebrities these days have numerous publicists and a team of PR representatives who monitor, manage and maintain their social media presence. But not Pablo. He is unadulterated and free to say whatever he wants. And he does. And it works. Whether it’s a 36 tweet-thread ranting about his business prospects, or a 3am ranting of his life philosophy, Kanye averages 40,000 retweets and 37,000 likes per tweet. While many artists and public figures strain to be politically, socially, and ethically correct, Kanye’s fans forgive and dismiss any of his “zany” postings.

As an evolving icon, constantly in flux and on the cutting edge of innovation, ‘Ye’s self appreciation has blessed him with endless opportunity.  While his wife uses her Instagram account to promote her style, endorse brands and create her vast facade, Pablo goes the opposite way. With Kanye West, less is more. His Instagram sometimes has photos of his tour, of sneak peaks in studio, and elusive snap shots of his lifestyle. Other times he takes an extremely minimalist approach and deletes all his content. Currently, his only post is a photo of a car in the distance, posted just under a month ago with no caption and 582,568 likes. This act in itself goes against the status quo of Instagram, as the site generally is used to display user’s interests in chronological order. Ye’s unfaltering confidence- no matter how excessive- has propelled his success by creating a self loving cushion between himself and failure. While most celebrities use their social media to stay relevant, Kanye uses his social media basically however he wants to. He doesn’t follow the rules of social media, and yet his fans adore him, and double tap anything he posts.

By limiting his fan’s online access to him, he creates more hype and mystery. I have zero field evidence to back it up, but I’m willing to venture more Canadians know North West’s name than David Johnston’s name. People either love Kanye West or hate him, but regardless of your view, it’s hard to deny that Yeezus has a phenomenal social media presence.

Editors Note: Kanye West LOVES giving himself nicknames; Mr West, Yeezus, Yeezy, Ye, Pablo, The Don, Swag King Cole etc.





5 thoughts on “Kanye West: Legend, Icon, God.

  1. Did you go to his concert this weekend?

    You are totally correct when you said Kanye has no rhyme or reason. Every time I look at his merchandise and his fashion line, I just don’t get it. But whatever he is doing totally seems to work! He definitely has set his own standards and his very own original way of doing things. I also didn’t realize he had so many other nicknames.

    Great post Harley!


  2. Loved this! Kanye pushes boundaries in fashion, social media and music (can we talk about Famous?) on a regular basis. Yeezy is the celebrity everyone loves to hate because there’s no way for us to Keep Up With Kanye, but I think that’s why the public can’t get enough. It’s refreshing from the regular PR and publicist plagued posts we see from other celebrities.

    10/10 loved reading this Harley!


  3. I was lucky enough to go to Kanye’s concert this past weekend and worked my way right up to the edge of his floating stage. I noticed that unlike many other ‘big’ shows I’ve gone to, Kanye’s was relatively minimalistic (I mean the floating stage was unreal, but overall it was a pretty simple set-up). He also didn’t interact with the audience much at all, as most artists will at such shows. But everyone, from the crowd on the floor to those in the nosebleeds of Rogers Place, went NUTS for him. I think this is partially because of his strange but epic social media presence. Like you talked about, he goes against the norm- it’s incredibly intriguing and mysterious, he’s managed to create a godlike persona.


  4. I think what’s interesting about this post is Kanye’s online brand. Like you said, there doesn’t seem to be much of a strategy, any forethought or planning. But that in itself is a plan, I think. Because his online brand and presence is actually quite clear and strong. I don’t know how it happened (due to the lack of any pattern), but he’s managed to curate a unique brand. Why is it so hard for the rest of us?


  5. #prayforyeezy Love him or hate him, the man knows how to market himself. His clothing brand does not appeal to everyone, much like his music but it is slowly becoming iconic. It’s hard to say whether or not his social media behaviour is calculated or the ramblings of a deeply troubled individual, especially in light of his recent mental health issues. I hope he can get the help he clearly needs.


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