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A Conversation About Kanye West, Twitter Philosopher

Kanye West's recent string of positive, life-coach-like tweets is out of character for the polarizing rapper.
Kevork Djansezian
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Kanye West's recent string of positive, life-coach-like tweets is out of character for the polarizing rapper.

Earlier this week Kanye West ended his social media hiatus and hopped on Twitter to share anecdotes about life, existence and the universe. West announced that he is writing a book on philosophy. He also tweeted that he will release two new albums later this spring (he'd been spotted around Jackson Hole, Wyo. over the last few months, where many believe he is working on his new albums with some of hip-hop's finest).

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to Sam Sanders, host of NPR's It's Been a Minute about the philosophy of Kanye West, as discerned from his tweets.

Sanders, a self-described "Kanye enthusiast, apologist and defender," says that in many ways, Kanye's zen, self-help tweets seem out of form in a forum as loud and brash as Twitter, and for an artist with West's reputation, but that's what makes it so interesting. To see an artist who's always seemed to have more to say than his mouth, mind, or music could keep up with, seeing 'Ye so clearly find his voice this week through tweets — albeit as veiled promotion for new music — is refreshing.

"I think with Kanye, a lot of people have seen him through the lens of pop culture as inherently broken," Sanders says. "But as someone much smarter than me said, 'Even a broken clock is right twice a day.' Some of these tweets are just right."

Hear the full conversation at the audio link above. Alyssa Edes and Jolie Myers produced and edited the audio version of this story.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.