Kanye West releases long-delayed new album, "The Life of Pablo," on "Saturday Night Live"
The entertainer also tweets that he is $53 million in personal debt, "please pray we overcome"
Oh, Kanye West. Wow. Even by your attention-grabbing standards, this was a weekend to remember. Or maybe to forget.
West is raising eyebrows for appealing to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday to invest $1 billion “into Kanye West ideas” to alleviate his financial woes.
But let’s back up a bit.
The talented but polarizing hip-hop artist released his long-delayed album, “The Life of Pablo,” on Saturday night after performing two songs on “Saturday Night Live.” Wrapping up the song “Ultralight Beam,” West announced the album was available on his website and on Tidal, the streaming service.
His wife, Kim Kardashian, chimed in helpfully on Twitter, saying, “Everyone Go get #TheLifeOfPablo.”
But many fans complained on Twitter about not wanting to having to buy a Tidal subscription to hear the album, while those who went to West’s site were greeted only with an audio message from Yasiin Bey, a stage name for rapper Mos Def.
This came after a tweet from West, sent Saturday night as he waited to go on “SNL,” saying, “I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…”
It was not immediately clear whether or not he was serious – Twitter was skeptical, and with West, you never know – although the performer did claim a year ago he was $16 million in debt trying to launch his clothing line.
Then there was the continued fallout over West’s latest spat with pop star Taylor Swift. In his new song “Famous,” West sings, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous,” a possible reference to his high-profile interruption of Swift on stage at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
The lyrics sparked outrage from Swift fans and a statement from her rep condemning the song’s “misogynistic message.”
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West tried to defuse the uproar, saying Friday he had talked to Swift about the line beforehand and “she thought it was funny and gave her blessings.”
But in a statement sent to Billboard, a CNN content partner, a Swift representative said, “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.’”
Controversy is nothing new for West, who tweeted “BILL COSBY INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!” earlier this month and seems to go off on an epic Twitter rant every few weeks.
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But his antics may be wearing thin for some.
Rapper Rhymefest, who has co-written such West songs as “Jesus Walks,” said Friday on Twitter that his sometime collaborator “needs help, in the form of counseling. Spiritual & mental. He should step away from the public & yesmen & heal.”
Still, West was back at it Sunday, saying on Twitter that Zuckerberg should invest $1 billion in his ideas because “he is the greatest living artist and the greatest artist of all time.”
West carried on his appeal into the early hours of Monday.
And urged his Twitter followers to join in.
As far as we know, Zuckerberg is yet to answer the call.