Words By Alexa Daugherty
Photos by Luke + Aleia + Sam
I don’t know how to begin writing about a shirt based on Kanye West’s twitter and I think that is exactly what Kanye West’s twitter wants. Maybe I could write about Yeezy, or Yeezus, or preferably The College Dropout, but writing about Kanye’s twitter is like writing about a mythical beast left to romp free in an abstraction from the actual Jack Daniel’s swigging, Kim Kardashian-marrying rapper.
Why? Because Kanye West has always wanted to be – and in many ways is – bigger than himself. Twitter makes this particularly evident, allowing Kanye to access the masses at any moment, in any situation, after any impulse, whenever he wants. Take a look
@kanyewest: I don’t ever watch dramas on a plane…I don’t be wanting to reflect
@kanyewest: fur pillows are actually hard to sleep on
@kanyewest: I specifically ordered Persian rugs with cherub imagery!!! What do I have to do to get a simple Persian rug with cherub imagery uuuuugh
@kanyewest: I make awesome decisions in bike stores!!!
And so the fourth of our TSH Quote shirts derives from Kanye’s twitter-self. Part of this is because we’re curious about what decision Kanye did make in that bike store. Maybe, this shirt will serve as a testament to the enigmatic mysteries of life and our endless pondering of them. Perhaps this shirt will make its wearer question what does our medium of self-expression reveal? What does it hide? I’m sure @kanywest would love that.
Or, you could just wear this shirt for the main reason that TSH made it, because Kanye does whatever he damn wants. And that’s definitely not always great, but it is also a life perspective that TSH in no way rejects. When Kanye West proposed to Kim, he was living fully in the moment. When Kanye was inspired by Le Corbusier’s lamp, he was noticing minute details that TSH similarly appreciates. And, when Kanye operating as Yeezus went on 15 minute rant demoralizing consumerism while wearing a Maison Martin Margiela coat, fur sneakers, and the aura of thousands of adoring fans backing up that love with at minimum a $50 ticket, he expressed himself with no regard for the societal norms that might hamper his inner, raucous being.
While many (and TSH is not excluded from this) find the behavior annoying, overdone, and offensive, it’s also overpowering, amusing, and sometimes insightful. Wearing the Kanye shirt is of course a tongue-and-cheek action, but it also is simply a fact: you are wearing a @kanywest quote on your body. We can’t hide from Kanye, but we use his bombastic forays into the public sphere for our own whimsy. Wearing the @kanyewest shirt, we might order at a restaurant then say “hurry up with my damn croissants” or claim to be on par with athletic figureheads after sinking an impossible shot in pick-up basketball (or cycling?). And we do and say these things not because we actually believe in them, but because Kanye West has given us some strange, amorphic right to say, laugh, and get away with the absurd. On a strangely psychological level, Kanye West has so inserted himself into the fabric of society (and this t-shirt) as to make some of humanity’s most basic indulgences part of his Yeezus Empire.
Of course these things are just that: indulgent. But, why not acknowledge the side of you that loves life’s ridiculousness (something @kanyewest has basically trademarked) with this shirt? Acknowledgements of our mixed enthrall and disgust to this prolific and constant presence in our public lives, this shirt is a reaction to Ye’s existence in techno-saturated society. And yet, no matter how visible his online presence, @kanyewest is a real person and Kanye West has never gone into public nude. He’s gotta wear a shirt. You’ve gotta wear a shirt. Might as well be this one.