Since Saturday, Kanye West has been posting. He has been posting about: his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian; their four children; Kardashian’s new boyfriend Pete Davidson; the possibility of a follow-up to Donda called Donda 2; the fact that Kid Cudi won’t be on Donda 2 due to his friendship with Davidson; and Davidson’s leg tattoo of Hilary Clinton, which people really should make fun of more. Throughout all this, he’s been calling Davidson “Skete.”
West has been known to post erratically in the past. He is also known to have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016. Some have suggested these two things are related. I am not a doctor or a close personal friend of West’s, so I’ll stay out of that conversation. But that is not the only way people have been reading into the situation. Over the past few days, a narrative emerged that West was exhibiting stalker behavior, that he was an abuser, and that he was displaying familiar signs of domestic violence. While much of the commentary was likely well-intended, some of it also got very weird.
This interpretation was supported by one of West’s recent posts, which included screenshots of texts seemingly from Kardashian herself, warning him that she worried someone might hurt Davidson because of Kanye’s online statements. Notably, Kardashian did not weigh in publicly. She was busy holding hands with Davidson in the COVID yurts at Williamsburg’s own Lilia restaurant.
The thing is, Kardashian is one of the most powerful women in the world, on par with Angela Merkel probably, or at the very least Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. She wields an informal fan army at least as menacing as Germany’s actual military, but more importantly, she has Kris Jenner. Kris, the mastermind behind the Kardashian empire, has never met a public relations nightmare she couldn’t turn into a Nielsen-friendly plotline or marketing opportunity. Which is why, at Gawker HQ, we suspected: If Kris had wanted this over, it probably would be.
Now it seems Kris may have regained control. Consider West’s most recent Instagram post. Since he tends to delete posts almost immediately, I’ll describe it here. It’s a picture of West performing at the Free Larry Hoover concert he gave in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago, where he played only his hits for over an hour, while Drake stumbled through a couple lukewarm tracks from Certified Lover Boy — a combo that was either a genius troll on Drake or a heart-melting example of solidarity from one broken-hearted musician to another. In any case, West is shrouded by pink and blue fog and looks pensive. Here’s the caption:
I’ve learned that using all caps makes people feel like I’m screaming at them. I’m working on my communication. I can benefit from a team of creative professionals, organizers, mobilizers and community leaders. Thank everybody for supporting me. I know sharing screen shots was jarring and came off as harassing Kim. I take accountability. I’m still learning in real time. I don’t have all the answers. To be good leader is to be a good listener.
And to be a good listener, in this case, probably means listening specifically to Kris. Sleep easy, Skete.