Posts Tagged ‘Social’

Everything We Saw At Kanye West’s Star-Packed Social Experiment In Wyoming

Kanye West is a master of the redemptive arc. As music industry titans filed into Diamond Cross Ranch on a crisp Thursday evening, the façade wasn’t hard to peel back. The same critics who claimed West was cancelled after calling slavery “a choice” were now in a bacchanalian haze watching caramel and chocolate horses roam in green tranquility.

For one fleeting night, West did what he does best. He sampled. Only this time the records he smashed together were in service of a social experiment. Where else could your average Wyoming citizen see Scott Disick yell to Kanye, “What’s going on with you?” Yeezy’s listening party did indeed turn “TMZ to Smack DVD.” The celebrity sightings were like a real-life version of Mad Libs unfolding — Jonah Hill chopped it up with Kid Cudi; Kim Kardashian shot the shit with 2 Chainz.

Bizarre, oddly brilliant, and in slightly bad taste, the event was a microcosm for Ye the album. The question that hung over the proceedings like a plague was simple: Was Wyoming our generation’s Jonestown, even if the Kool-Aid was seven soulful beats from the most influential artist of the last decade?

It wasn’t, but thankfully Chris Rock understood the jig. The legendary comedian joked that the crackling bonfire on a normal day would be the site of a Ku Klux Klan cross-burning. The juxtaposition between laughing media personalities and awkward chuckles from Wyoming residents was palpable.

“No black man has taken more advantage of his freedom than Kanye West,” Rock proclaimed through a feedback-drenched microphone. He wasn’t wrong. A collection of 150 people ascended the mountaintop to see if West’s first profession — the music — could win back that “freedom” or present his version of it.

On “Yikes,” Kanye raps, “That’s my bipolar shit, n—a what? / That’s my superpower, n—a ain’t no disability.” Before the album played, the Chicago artist walked the ranch, and seeing him field photo requests from fans and make small talk with various celebrities was akin to Superman facing his Kryptonite. West was cordial, but beneath each forced smile was the pain of an artist in the midst of a rebuild. The circus surrounding a man still battling mental illness made the lyrics even more visceral.

Kanye isn’t all right, but in person it is clear to see he is fighting to be. On “I Thought About Killing You,” West is talking about killing a mysterious person. As I flashed back to earlier that evening, it was clear that he might be talking about himself and the man who almost crumbled an empire with every misguided tweet. With his wife, Kim, by his side, Kanye huddled everyone around the fire to hear his stories of drug addiction, marital woes, and the sonic process of killing one’s demons.

Yeezy has wrought significant damage on the black community. No amount of free drinks, dry brisket, and free merch can change that. Every day millions of African-Americans are fighting for their lives and sadly can’t retreat to the snowy mountains of Wyoming to heal the pain of a country that won’t let them kneel, raise their hands, or speak out against the oppression creeping into their lives.

However, for a couple of hours, Kanye’s social experiment worked. At one point, I stood next to a man who said he taught Kanye kickboxing, and his wife. With a mouthful of ribs, we spoke like we had been friends forever. He remarked how it was amazing that West supposedly invited all of the members of the resort where he finished Ye to the festivities. We discussed his move from Florida to Wyoming and the adjustment it took. Who knows if any of this was true, but the moment wasn’t lost on me.

In Wyoming, the barrier between celebrity and fan dissolved. Before the album played, I walked up to an unassuming man in a grey hoodie. It was Kid Cudi. As my voice trembled, I told the Man on the Moon how his music got me through the pain of death. Scott warmly said, “No, that was always you.” It wasn’t fair to lay that at my idol’s feet, but his kind words perfectly illustrated that we’re not that different from Kanye. We’re all looking for love, whether we are multi-platinum-selling artists or fans disguised as reporters and social critics.

Maybe West wasn’t reborn in the fire Thursday night, but he didn’t need to be. There was never an “old Kanye.” What Cudi said to me could apply just as easily to West: “That was always you.”

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Kanye West Returned To Social Media To Talk About Tattoos, Shoes, And Consciousness

On Friday (April 13), Kanye West made his miraculous return to Twitter. Last May, Kanye deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts, but re-activated the latter as part of Kim Kardashian’s Valentine’s Day gift. Over the weekend, Kanye made sure his tweets covered a wide range of topics including, tattoo ideas and his favorite Saint Pablo merch. However, he also started to show off the inspiration behind various models of his Yeezy sneaker line.

The reasoning behind this might come from a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where Kanye sat down with interior designer Axel Vervoordt. During the discussion, Kanye admits to being upset after multiple publications describe Virgil Abloh — recently appointed to Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director — as his creative director, instead of creative collaborator.

“It’s not bad or good, it’s my creative collaborator being the head of Louis Vuitton,” Kanye said. “Because [Abloh and I] have been fighting to make apparel at a certain price that still has the same credibility and desirability as something at a higher price…But when they say he was my creative director, that’s incorrect. He was a creative collaborator.”

Later in the discussion, The Life of Pablo-artist shares his ultimate goal with his fashion line.

“At Adidas, I have Yeezy, but it’s a namesake brand,” West continued. “It’s my nickname. We do these sneakers that sell out and we get, ‘Oh, this is the number one brand on Women’s Wear Daily.’ And I don’t wish to be number one anymore, I wish to be water. I wish to be closer to UNICEF or something where I can take the information that I have and help as many people as possible, not to just shove it into a brand”

Hopefully, Kanye will start getting the credit he deserves and keeps dropping mental jewels on Twitter.

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Social Status x Reebok Instapump Fury 20th Anniversary “Hornets” Preview

With this year being the 20th anniversary of the Instapump Fury, Reebok has teamed up with some of the world’s finest retailers to celebrate the unique silhouette. Inspired by the Charlotte Hornets, a team that will once again be part of NBA starting next season, this Fury goes heavy on the team’s signature purple and teal. The “Hornets” will be releasing at Social Status and Reebok Certified Network retailers on July 5. Until then, stay with us for a closer look at this upcoming shoe.


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Social Status x Play Cloths x Reebok AXT Pump

Social Status has teamed up with Play Cloths and Reebok for a triple-threat collaborative version of the AXT Pump. Inspired by Play Cloths’ Summer 2014 “Paris League” capsule collection, the collaborators have created a unique take on AXT Pump. Playing off the concept of reimagining sports and performance silhouettes with unexpected fabrics and materials, this AXT Pump features a lightweight acid-washed denim upper with a dark navy pump chamber on the tongue. Below is a two-tone midsole in red and navy, speckle detailing on the navy portions, and an icy clear midsole to complete the look. Look for the Social Status x Play Cloths x Reebok AXT Pump at Social Status and Play Cloths on May 24, with a wider release to follow on May 31 at select stockists.


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Kendrick Lamar’s GQ Story Sparks Social Debate Over Racial Overtones

By Sean Lynch

Earlier this week it seemed that Kendrick Lamar had taken another a big step in his career, snagging GQ Magazine’s coveted “Rapper Of The Year” title, and even landing on the cover of the men’s fashion publication. The cover story didn’t sit too well within Kendrick’s camp though, which led to the rapper being pulled from the GQ Man of the Year party, which took place this past Tuesday (Nov. 12). The decision came from Top Dawg Entertainment’s CEO, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, who pulled Kendrick from the performance citing “racial overtones.” The statement spread across the web and ignited various debates on social media.

“This week, Kendrick Lamar was named one of GQ’s 2013 Men Of The Year, an honor that should have been celebrated as a milestone in his career and for the company,” explained Tiffith. The founder and CEO of the label claims the story which was penned by Steve Marsh put his company in a negative light. “Marsh’s story was more focused on what most people would see as drama or bs… To say he was “surprised at our discipline” is completely disrespectful,” explained Tiffth in the press release. It was not just Kendrick that Top Dawg felt was negatively portrayed, but Hip-Hop as a whole. “The racial overtones, immediately reminded everyone of a time in hip-hop that was destroyed by violence, resulting in the loss of two of our biggest stars,” referencing the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.

This part of the statement became the focal point of many industry conversations between writers and fans alike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards the end of the lengthy statement, the TDE CEO took aim at the publication. “We would expect more from a publication with the stature and reputation that GQ has,” denounced Tiffth. “While we think it’s a tremendous honor to be named as one of the Men Of The Year, these lazy comparisons and offensive suggestions are something we won’t tolerate. Our reputation, work ethic, and product is something that we guard with our lives.”

Kendrick Lamar’s GQ cover story is on stands now. The Compton MC returns to the touring circuit tomorrow as the Yeezus tour, headlined by Kanye West, gets back on track in Philadelphia.

Tags Kendrick Lamar

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