‘All you guys had meetings with me and no one lifted a finger to help…’
One of the more surprising threads to emerge from Kanye West’s messy release of The Life of Pablo involves his personal finances. If you believe the celebrated rapper, he owes a serious chunk of change: before hitting the Saturday Night Live stage over the weekend, he tweeted that he’s carrying $53 million in debt. It’s a huge sum, one that seems impossible when you consider his sales success and his family’s lucrative reality show and businesses. (Then again, renting Madison Square Garden and filling it with over a thousand models clad in your clothing line can’t be cheap.)
West ran with the idea on Sunday afternoon by asking one of Silicon Valley’s richest young men to lend a hand with an investment:
Later that evening, West expanded upon his appeal to Zuckerberg and asked for the public’s help with getting ahold of the Facebook founder. The degree to which West and Zuckerberg have a pre-existing relationship isn’t clear. West performed at Facebook in 2010 before releasing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and he counts tech industry figures like Dropbox founder Drew Houston among his friends. He implied a degree of familiarity with Zuckerberg by inviting him to call even though it’s his birthday.
In the same breath, West criticized Silicon Valley’s elite for what he sees as misguided stances on charity. Why help build a school in Africa when you can become the patron of one of the greatest artists of our time, especially when you’re an avowed fan of his work? He also implied that the tech industry has judged and mocked him for his ambition, treatment that would mirror West’s initial reception from the fashion world if it’s true.
He’s alluded to this a few times in recent days: when he unveiled his Only One video game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, he said that people in San Francisco had laughed at the idea. Will he be able to convert his online pleas into financial support from Zuckerberg or Larry Page? Let’s put it this way: I hope he’s getting a percentage of all of those new Tidal subscriptions instead of relying on a miracle endorsement from a tech conglomerate.
Source: theverge.com, Jamieson Cox
Photo: SNL/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET