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Kanye’s Second Coming: Inside The Billion-Dollar Yeezy Empire

'Liberals bully Trump supporters!': Kanye West claims people who voted for the president are 'treated like enemies of America' and says he wore MAGA hat to break the stigma Kanye West ay his home

This story appears in the August 31, 2019 issue of Forbes Magazine

You know when Kanye West is coming. His matte-black Lamborghini SUV rumbles up his gated driveway on the outskirts of Los Angeles like an earthquake, and when he steps out, in a white T-shirt and dark sweats, the obsessiveness kicks in immediately.

Kanye Chronicles
First, there’s the house: The lushly landscaped exterior of the property he shares with his wife, Kim Kardashian West, and their four children (North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm) serves as stark contrast to the unadorned alabaster walls within. Nearly every surface is a monastic shade of white. The floors are made of a special Belgian plaster; if scuffed, the delicate material can be repaired only by a crew flown in from Europe. “The house was all him,” Kardashian West later tells me. “I’ve never seen anyone that pays such attention to detail.”
Kanye Chronicles 2005-2008
As I step into the foyer, a handler asks me to wrap my black-and-gray Air Jordan high-tops in little cloth booties. To my left is West’s library, its shelves stacked with the likes of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics. He fiddles with the positioning of a few books that seem off-kilter. Settling into an armchair opposite me, he surveys his interviewer closely. “The first shoe I remember sketching was the Jordan One that you’re wearing right now,” says West, 42. “God does have a way of lining things up.”

Kanye Chronicles 2009-2013
West’s precision turned him into one of the world’s most popular musicians. “He went and executed it to another level,” says DJ Khaled, who has spent time with West in the studio and joins him on this year’s Celebrity 100 list of the world’s highest-paid entertainers. But as with Michael Jordan in the 1990s, the key to West’s wealth stems from sneakers. His Yeezy shoe line, which he launched with Nike in 2009 and then brought to Adidas in 2013, has the 34-year-old Jordan empire in its sights, in terms of both cultural clout and commercial prowess. The Jordan line does approximately $3 billion in annual sales; West’s upstart is expected to top $1.5 billion in 2019 and growing.
Kanye Chronicles 2014-2018
As with the floor and the booties and the book positions, West fixates over sneaker details; he idolizes Steve Jobs, preferring a limited, carefully chosen number of products with an endless array of colorways. The iPod in West’s world: the ubiquitous, chunky-bottomed Yeezy Boost 350s, which come in dozens of varieties of the same shoe and account for the bulk of Yeezy’s sales. “I am a product guy at my core,” West says. “To make products that make people feel an immense amount of joy and solve issues and problems in their life, that’s the problem-solving that I love to do.”
The obsessiveness is unrelenting. When Forbes shot West for a possible cover, he insisted on wearing a black hoodie. Urged to return the next day to try again, West obliged—wearing the same hoodie. He’s been known to edit albums days after they’ve already been released. And when he didn’t feel I was properly absorbing the religious influence on his business (coming from the guy who calls himself Yeezus and is working on an album tentatively titled Yandhi), he called my editor impromptu on a Saturday evening to hammer the point some more.
Kanye West in Los Angeles

Whatever, it’s working. Mostly because of the shoes, Forbes pegs his pretax income at $150 million over the past 12 months; his team insists the number is even higher, partly due to his Yeezy apparel. In any case, it’s by far the best stretch of his career, good for No. 3 on our Celebrity 100 list.

Rewind to three years ago, when West claimed to be $53 million in debt, just before canceling the back of a lucrative arena tour and checking into a Los Angeles hospital for over a week with symptoms of sleep deprivation and temporary psychosis. West credits his turnaround to religious beliefs (“being in service to Christ, the radical obedience”)—and, on occasion, to being bipolar. Call him creative, call him chaotic—just don’t call him crazy. Like some entrepreneurs with conditions like ADHD and Asperger’s, he sees his diagnosis not as a hindrance but as a “superpower” that unlocks his imagination.

Kanye West with yeezy shoes

“ ‘Crazy’ is a word that’s not gonna be used loosely in the future,” West says. “Understand that this is actually a condition that people can end up in, be born into, driven into and go in and out. And there’s a lot of people that have been called that ‘C’ word that have ended up on this cover.”

West’s design obsession dates back as far as his passion for music. Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, he often got in trouble as a middle schooler for sketching sneakers in class. When West’s mother, a college professor, took him to see the Japanese cyberpunk flick Akira, he found inspiration in the film’s shapes and color palettes; he also remembers his father, a former Black Panther, taking him to auto shows, where he became obsessed with the Lamborghini Countach. “There’s a little bit of Lamborghini in everything I do,” West says. “Yeezy is the Lamborghini of shoes.”


Meticulousness served West in his music career, which took off when he caught on as a producer for Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records after dropping out of college. He masterminded the sonic skeleton of Jay-Z’s seminal 2001 album, The Blueprint. When West launched as a solo artist two and a half years later, he designed something genre-bending, his early work peppered with Marvin Gaye and Daft Punk samples; West recorded with Coldplay and toured with U2. In contrast to the snarling materialism put forth by the dominant rappers of the day, West presented a more vulnerable sort of protagonist, with three albums featuring higher-education themes. Gone were tales of drug dealing and street skirmishes; in their place were reflections on dental surgery, racial injustice and working at the Gap, punctuated by a witty swagger.


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Kanye West says after son Psalm’s birth, he wants to preach the Gospel

Image result for Kanye West David Letterman

  • Kanye West speaks on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman which drops on Netflix May 31
  • West says 'we don't have to feel the same way' about President Donald Trump
  • Musician says wearing a MAGA hat was 'not about politics' but to break stigma
  • West claims people who voted for Trump are 'treated like enemies of America'
  • Letterman tells West he 'doesn't have any say' after he admits he's 'never voted'
Kanye West says 'we don't have to feel the same way' about President Donald Trump in a new Netflix interview dropping May 31

Kanye West claims in his forthcoming appearance on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman that 'Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters'.
The musician is interviewed by the legendary late night talk show host for Season 2 of his Netflix original which drops next Friday.
West gets into talking about President Donald Trump on the Emmy-nominated show and compares his 'fear' of being a man during the #MeToo era to being a fan of the 45th president.
'This is like my thing with Trump—we don't have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel,' West says according to Daily Beast.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman host tells West 'you don't have a say in this' after hearing he has never voted

Kanye West shows his iPhone passcode while meeting with Trump

The musician says wearing a MAGA hat was 'not about politics' but to break the stigma

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Kanye West pays tribute to his late mother Donda as daughter North joins the choir at his special Mother's Day Sunday Service

Image result for With the birth of his fourth child, the 'Jesus Walks' rapper now wants to become an ordained minister to further his own spiritual journey

With the birth of his fourth child, the 'Jesus Walks' rapper now wants to become an ordained minister to further his own spiritual journey

Kanye West is apparently trying to show the world he’s getting more in tune with his spiritual side by the day. After the birth of his fourth child, Psalm, the “Jesus Walks” rapper recently revealed he wants to become an ordained minister, according to InTouchWeekly.

West, 41, has been recently known for holding weekly gospel-flavored “Sunday Services”, but now it looks like he wants to take it up a notch.
“Kanye is convinced that his calling in life is now gospel and spreading the word of God,” a Keeping Up With The Kardashians source told Radar Online. “He has always been a man of faith, but he has taken it to a whole new level now.”
The source also revealed that the couple already planned to name their new child name “Psalm” from the beginning.

“There was never another name choice,” the source said. “Their baby was named Psalm before he was even conceived, and they are loving the strong biblical reference.”

Although many have their own views about West’s spiritual journey and services, his wife, Kim Kardashian West, has been by his side showing her full support. She gave late night TV host, Jimmy Kimmel a more inside scoop of her husband’s services on his show back in April.

“There’s no praying, there’s no sermon, no word, just music and just a feeling — and it’s Christian,” Kardashian West said. “It’s more of a healing experience. It’s so emotional. A musical experience that is pretty moving. There’s a choir, there’s gospel music.”

The would-be rapper turned minister may also be appearing on a tv screen very soon. 

A source told In Touch Weekly in April, that West “wants to telecast [Sunday Services], so the whole world can watch, and he wants Kim by his side. Kanye wants to spread the word. He says there’s a huge demand for the services, the musicians he assembles and his message of peace and family, which he says is healing and uplifting.”

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Watch Kanye West Coachella Sunday Service Feat. Chance The Rapper & Kid Cudi {VIDEO} Praise! The choir raised their hands to the heavens as they sang

He welcomed a fourth child of his own on Thursday, with wife Kim Kardashian, via surrogate, on Thursday. 
But Kanye West's thoughts on Mother's Day were for his late mother Donda, as he paid tribute to her at his Sunday Service. 
Launching the first live stream of the Los Angeles now-weekly Sunday service, which takes place near their home in Lost Hills, the 41-year-old rapper began with a musical tribute to his own much-missed mother - who passed away in November 2007.

Poignant: Kanye West's thoughts on Mother's Day were for his late mother Donda, as he paid tribute to her at his Sunday Service

Poignant: Kanye West's thoughts on Mother's Day were for his late mother Donda, as he paid tribute to her at his Sunday Service

Kanye opened the Mother's Day service with his 2005 hit Hey Mama. 

Hey Moma: Launching the first live stream of the Los Angeles now-weekly Sunday service, which takes place near their home in Lost Hills, the 41-year-old rapper began with a musical tribute to his own much-missed mother Donda - who passed away in November 2007 (pictured 2006)
Father's footsteps: Kanye's daughter North, 5, was in the choir and joined in with singing
Contemplative: Kanye looked thoughtful at the Sunday service

New mom! Kim (centre) looked to be in white and chatting to sister Khloe (far left)
Attending: Kim wore a white dress as she took a break from her new baby boy
Missing her: Kanye sang Hey Moma, about his mother Donda

Big production: He was seen playing keys at the service which was live streamed
Cute! Kourtney Kardashian, 40, attended the special mother's day service, and showcased the airborne tribute they had arranged for the moms
Impressive: An aircraft printed 'Beautiful Mother's Day' in the sky above the service, which Kourtney shared on her Instagram stories
Celebration: The mother of three showed the lettering appear in the blue sky
Family time: Khloe also appeared to be at the service, as she shared the same sky view

Stepping out: The service was taking place north of Los Angeles and streamed live as the gospel choir arrived

Impressive setting: The awesome canyon backdrop was filled with music
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Kardashian outing: Khloe was there with sisters Kim and Kourtney
Beautiful mommas! The writing was visible in the sky in the surrounding area

Happy days! Mother of four Kim has a new baby but also found time to attend the service and promote it on Instagram

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DMX Leads Prayer At Kanye West's New Sunday Service Installment Kanye West made good on his promise to bring his Sunday Service to Coachella.

As the Coachella Music Festival gets ready to pull the curtains for the final day of the festival, Kanye West brought his weekly Sunday Service musical treat to the valley. On Easter Sunday (March 21), Kanye brought along Chance The Rapper, Kid Cudi and of course his adorable daughter North West. If you’re not at Coachella, then you’re in look because it’s livestream on YouTube for everyone across the globe to view.
Kanye West kicks off his Sunday Service back in January, and every week we all look forward to getting clips from the musical treat backed by a full choir. For Easter, the Chicago rapper decided to take it to Coachella which brought a lot of hype around it.
Today also marks the final day for this year’s Coachella festival with a massive lineup of artists like Gucci Mane, Khalid, Pusha T, YG, Lil Pump, H.E.R., Smokepurpp, Playboi Carti, SOB x RBE, Kaytranada, and more.

Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp will perform as the Gucci Gang.

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DMX Leads Prayer At Kanye West's New Sunday Service Installment

Rapper DMX lead the prayer at Sunday's newest installment of Kanye West’s Sunday Service.

DMX has always been very open about his Christian faith, which he has leaned on to help him through his troubles over the years.

Following his release from prison back in January. Upon his release, he announced his 'It's Dark and Hell Is Hot' 20th Anniversary tour which kicked off on Mar. 8 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in celebration of the 1998 album.

The tour ends in May.

The clip of X's prayer was shared by Kanye's wife, Kim Kardashian West. Take a peek below.


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Comment by vaughn mitchell on May 27, 2019 at 6:34pm
Kim, bend him over do many times. He need to get his head out of his ass. It's too late this brother is finish.
Comment by Tami on May 27, 2019 at 6:13pm
I think they lobotomized Kanye, why else would he marry a woman ran through by every negroe with a net worth of $250k+. The dude who said Bush doesn't care about Black people is dead, I'm convinced.
Comment by cheryl on May 24, 2019 at 5:26pm
Obviously anyone can be a priest, President, etc......,
Damn
Comment by vaughn mitchell on May 24, 2019 at 8:28am
He need to get pimped slap by the Holy Ghost.
Comment by Maria on May 24, 2019 at 8:09am
Adjust his meds Kim
Comment by caribmama on May 24, 2019 at 5:50am

SMDH.......tragic!

Comment by mr1stroke on May 24, 2019 at 2:38am
Lol and there will be many indiots who will follow him and he will make them drink that forever juice, lol damn dimmies
Comment by caribmama on May 23, 2019 at 11:05pm

Please don't encourage his crazy. He will have everybody drinking the poison kool-aid.

Comment by BIIGMANN on May 23, 2019 at 10:06pm
It’s so f****** sad how people think preaching the gospel means their holy. Be who you are don’t prove s*** to anyone live your life!
Comment by Cee Gee on May 13, 2019 at 9:29am

When his mother was alive, he was a good person...once she died, he changed and not for the good.  As for him having a church, that s*** is laughable!

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