Kanye West made a triumphant return to Twitter this week, and, so far, it’s going swimmingly. The rapper, Yeezy designer, and famous husband had quit the platform last year, not long after defending his meeting with Donald Trumpduring the then-president-elect’s transition period “to discuss multicultural issues”—and following years of filling his feed with shameless self-promotion (“This is not album of the year. This is album of the life,” he said in 2016), virtual Broadway stage door-ing (“Who’s seen the play Wicked? I’ve seen it 4 times! Other than loving the music acting and costumes . . . it’s my story!!!”), and occasional grumpy “get off my lawn” missives, obviously, because he’s a dad now (“Fuck any game company that puts in-app purchases on kids games”).
This week—maybe because he was bored on Sunday night, maybe because he was brimming with 140-character philosophical gems, we may never know—West reappeared on Twitter, shouting out his favorite two-year-old Saint Pablo concert tee, his ex-brother-in-law Lamar Odom (in somewhat curious timing, days after his sister-in-law Khloé Kardashian gave birth), and, because why not, revealing the design for a forthcoming neck tattoo honoring his son, Saint, which was designed for him by streetwear savant Gosha Rubchinskiy.
West has also returned to his special brand of Stuart Smalley–style “Deep Thoughts.” “Some people have to work within the existing consciousness while some people can shift the consciousness,” West tweeted on Sunday. Wednesday morning produced another affirmation of sorts, one actually not far off from those revealed in The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, currently on HBO: “You have the best ideas. Other people’s opinions are usually more distractive than informative. Follow your own vision. Base your actions on love. Do things you love and if you don’t absolutely love something stop doing it as soon as you can.” In the immortal words of C+C Music Factory: “Things that make you go hmmm.”
Sometimes you have to get rid of everything
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
Even Kim Kardashian West is in on the act of close reading, tweeting back (and apparently gently mocking) her husband: “Wait . . . EVERYTHING?!?!?!” (The couple’s friend and resident queen of Twitter Chrissy Teigen replied, “I have an air mattress here and I have been itching to bust it out if you need.”)
All of this random, reflexive, high-profile tweeting by a famous man communicating directly with his vast following . . . wherever have we seen this before? Yes, there are parallels to President Trump’s feed, though West hasn’t used his 140 characters to threaten nuclear war (yet). But life in the bleak, bullying, Trump-dominated Twitter era (because Twitter won’t cancel him, even though it should) actually only makes Kanye’s comeback that much more welcome. He’s a reminder that Twitter doesn’t have to be a tool for firing people or banning trans people from the military: It can still be a happy place where eccentric celebrities live-tweet their sneaker designs at all hours of the day and night. If Trump is the disease, could Kanye be the antidote?