Kanye West, the Blogger: Remembering KanyeUniverseCity.com, the Brilliantly Insane Blog of Yeezus
Before he ranted to Jimmy Kimmel, he ranted with his keys.
One of the sad realities of the internet is its lack of permanence. Outlets get redesigned, articles are changed without notice, YouTube clips get pulled down. Then there are the sites that straight up vanish out of thin air, like they never existed in the first place. That's what happened in 2010 when Kanye West's blog—one of the strangest and most fascinating looks into the man's brain—at KanyeUniverseCity.com shut down.
If you go to the site now, you get a sad, depressing error message. While the new destination, KanyeWest.com, initially served as a blog for a short period of time, the old spot was the place where Yeezy consistently let loose about everything––fashion, art, architecture, movies, and anything else that was rattling around his brain. Of course, music made it into the mix, too, with posts of old Gang Starr videos or rare Big L freestyles. However, that wasn't the focus. Instead, Kanye was mostly intent on hyping things outside of music. He would throw up a dopeass Gucci LED watch one hour and photos of the new Commes Des Garcon show the next. He would talk about the genius of Takashi Murakami or Damien Hirst, and then put media outlets on blast for taking his words out of context. He would say whatever he wanted to, whenever he wanted to, however he wanted to, multiple times a day for three years straight.
But that's the way Kanye has always been, constantly speaking his mind, straddling the difficult line between brilliance and utter insanity. The blog was just a new space for him to further explore his interests and passions––and to do it a hell of a lot more frequently. Today, Kanye is riffing about the same stuff he was back then, dropping nuggets of information about the fashion and music industries in interviews that go viral because anytime this man opens his mouth he seems to spit some sort of gold, even if he's said it countless times before. But the blog. Man, the blog was special. Not only was it a consistent unfiltered look at the world through Kanye's eyes, it was a sign of things to come (although, let's agree, nobody ever predicted this dude would be wearing disco balls as masks on stage).
Fortunately, we can still find all the old KanyeUniverseCity material through screenshots via the handy Wayback Machine. So, because I'm apparently nearly as crazy as Kanye himself, I spent an entire week mining the old site to shine a spotlight on some of the things Kanye was talking about then, years before they entered the public conscience. Some posts were just single photos alongside a title and caption. Some were all-caps rants. Some were photos of receipts. Some were photos of people he admired. Some were photos of inside of his house. I went through the entire god damn blog—all 6,594 posts of it—and found the highlights. And rather than offering any commentary, I've decided to simply put the posts on display, hopefully illustrating the behind-the-scenes of one of the most forward-thinking and innovative minds of our generation (who has even managed to inspire religions).
This, my friends, is a taste of what I found:
TAKASHI MURAKAMI AND KANYE WEST AT MURAKAMI'S STUDIO IN JAPAN
CHECK OUT THESE PHOTO'S OF MY LA HOME IN INTERIOR DESIGN MAGAZINE. I LIKE THESE WAY MORE THAN PHOTOS IN PREVIOUS MAGAZINES
CHECK OUT THE AMERICAN PSYCHO LITHO'S BY ROBERT LONGO
In Boston I went to one of my favorites galeries -DTR Modern Galleries
THIS WEEK'S DESIGNER OF THE WEEK - YVES BEHAR
Yves Béhar is an Industrial designer and founder of Fuseproject, the San Francisco-based design and branding firm he founded in 1999. He started off his career working in Silicon valley for clients like Apple Inc. and HP, and is widely acclaimed for his innovative, minimalistic and groundbreaking work in Industrial design.
Béhar's designs and creative positioning is contributing in diverse areas as technology, sports, lifestyle and fashion, for clients such as Birkenstock, Herman Miller, BMW's MINI, Nike, OLPC, Hussein Chalayan, Toshiba, haasprojekt, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, PUIG and Philou. He also designed the Lance Armstrong watch.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK - BURTON MORRIS
This is the esteemed pop artist Burton Morris... I purchased the Bob's Big Boy and Sugar Smacks pieces that are in my kitchen from him and loved the work so much that I later commisioned him 2 do his take on the Jetsons Family...
STILL NO HARD BOTTOMS
We in Japan... just came from the Isatan store ... Raf Simons is crazy this season... Comme des Garcons went crazy also, they've got this over the top Pink corduroy blazer but I ain't finna show it till I wear it... Dries kinda let me down last season (the stuff in the store now) but I saw a couple of really dope pieces today on the runway
DESIGNER OF THE WEEK - MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
Examples of Martin's genius are a dress inspired by a dress-form, a photo print of a life size leather jacket on a t-shirt, or a women's glove to be worn as a handbag. At a time when designers are their own best spokesperson, Martin Margiela has never been photographed nor given an interview to the press - again, challenging the conventional.
DIY FLYING MACHINE
Looks a little dangerous....
The Performance Aviation Manufacturing Group ( PAM) has developed an Individual Lifting Vehicle (ILV) concept that is being developed as a kit in the United States. The PAM 100B has already achieved a maximum height of 20 feet and a maximum airspeed of 25mph in the trials. The lifting vehicle will be available as Do-It-Yourself kit for a whopping US $50,000. The ILV uses a counter-rotating rotor lifting system and gets its power from two 105 horsepower, Hirth F-30, 2 cycle, 4 cylinder engines with dual ignition and forced air cooling. Engine power comes through two 2.64:1 engine gearboxes. The best part is that if one of the engines fails, the other one can still sustain the flight. The ILV can soar over trees and houses requiring pilot skills equal only to riding a motor bike. Control of the ILV is obtained by simply shifting your body weight. The kit currently under development in the United States is dubbed PAM 200. On the other hand, flying cars don't seem to be far way. Many flying cars have already gone into production, including the PAL-V flying car, Terrafugia Transition , Moller M200G Volantor, and the Urban Aeronautics' X-Hawk.
THIS IS RETARDED
This baby carriage is not covered with diamonds or any other precious metal but is just equipped with rear changing table, so the $14,899 price tag is not justified.
I'M NOT INTO IT, BUT I'M SURE VIVICA A. FOX MAY HAVE THIS IN HER BATHROOM!!
These animal pattern ceramic tiles are designed by Settecento.
I SAW THIS SIGN WHEN I LANDED IN AUSTRALIA AND THOUGHT....(USING THE QUAGMIRE VOICE) OH YEAH!
THE REST OF THIS QUOTE IS…
I just love the clothes! Lex and I are not there 2 take pictures... I don't have an album about 2 drop... my tour is sold out... I love fashion and this is one of the funnest things we can make time for! I totally love and respect any designer that won't let me come 2 there show... it's their show... they don't owe me anything... Balenciaga is one of the illest lines right now and I don't feel any type of way about not getting in! There's always a catch 22 in being a celeb ... your motives are always questioned... but only time will show my true love MY FIRST LOVE is for fashion and I appreciate just being in a position 2 afford 2 be able 2 spend a week in Paris visiting shows. I wish everyone could have this experience, the new music you hear, the new people you meet and most of all the beautiful clothes! I understand that some designers don't want all that unnecessary commotion at there shows, that's what I mean by "I get a lot of attention" ... I feel like music and fashion don't bridge enough... at least not as much as it did in the 80's when Madonna and Michael actually influenced designers... there was a give and take. I never use my blog 2 clear stuff up... but this is so close 2 my heart I had 2 say something... Anyone saying something negative has it wrong, they've got me wrong... I just want 2 make great art on every level and fashion shows are one of the best forms of art in the world. Thank you Paris again for the inspiration!!!
LIFE IS GOOD… IN JAPAN PICKING OUT FABRICS FOR PASTELLE
I don't do anything I don't love anymore... I loved the flashing lights vid so it didn't matter 2 me if someone one else didn't. While people chase money I pursue happiness. So many people talk about there investments or how much money they have but there's so many rich people who spend a lot of that trying 2 buy a piece of happiness. If there's anything my mom taught me is to enjoy life. I just recorded my first verse in the last 6 months 2 days ago at Bape's Studio in Japan. It felt good and I was inspired. I absolutely lost my mind (in a good way) on the new Glow in the Dark tour. The constant hours of creating helped me 2 keep from loosing my mind in a bad way. Chris Milk told me tragedy can produce great art and this is definitely true. I am a total mad man now, up till 3 am every night, trying 2 fight pain, board-um, and uncertainty with creativity. All that said, life is good..... good as finding the perfect fabric for a simple one button casual blazer with matching pants.
BOW IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS! (Frank Gehry)
HOUSTON I LOVE YOU!
Don't believe the hype! When I started the show the other night we were having a lot of technical issues due 2 the heat. The 2 huge screens on both sides of the stage were glaring bright blue like when your DVD player acts up at home. I asked for them 2 turn the screens off 3 times because it was distracting 2 the show. The fans were not getting what they paid for. I admit, in my frustration, I did use profanity on the 4th time I asked. I stopped the show 2 go over and check it out myself. After the screens were turned off I started the same song from the beginning. The screens were eventually fixed 5 songs in but it was definitely better 2 have them blacked out rather than bright blue. Unfortunately for certain media outlets, you will never be able 2 'Michael Jackson' me. That means 2 make it seem like everything I do is so weird or out of place... they always try 2 make it seem like everything is about my ego! That joke is getting old. At a certain point you have 2 respect that I'm one of the last artist that still cares about the fans having the best time of there lives! Thanks 2 Bossip and Perez for taking it easy on me on the EW spaz... I did go in a little 2 much on that one. I'm sure there are some cool people who work over there and had nothing 2 do with that review. With all that said.... "I'm still the greatest!!!" lol!! Oh and I was in the studio with T.I. last night.... so get ready!!!
I AIN'T GOT NOTHING AGAINST ICE T OR NOBODY FOR THAT MATTER BUT I GOTTA RIDE WITH SOULJA BOY..
Soulja boy is fresh ass hell and is actually the true meaning of what hip hop is sposed to be. He came from the hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song. He had all of America rapping this summer. If that ain't Hip Hop then what is? A bunch of wannabe keep it real rappers that ain't even relevant, recycling samples trying to act like it's 96 again and all they do is hate on new shit? Niggas always talk about the golden age but for a 13 year old kid, this is the golden age!!! That song was so dope cause everything he said had a hidden meaning... that's Nas level shit... he just put it over some steel drums which is also some Nas shit if you had the 2nd album cassette with the bonus track "Silent Murder" on it. In closing... new niggas get ya money$$$$$$$$$$ Keep this shit fresh and original.... ain't no fuckin' rules to this shit and that's what real hip hop is to me.
UNTITLED (Bonnaroo Response)
I am sick of negative people who just sit around trying 2 plot my downfall... Why???? I understand if people don't like me because I like me or if people think tight clothes look gay or people say I run my mouth to much, But this Bonnaroo thing is the worst insult I've ever had in my life. This is the most offended I've ever been... this is the maddest I ever will be. I'm typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!! Call me any name you want.... arrogant, conceited, narcissistic, racist, metro, fag whatever you can think of.... BUT NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL! NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL! THIS SHOWS NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY TO BE GOOD AT SOMETHING THERE WILL BE PEOPLE THERE TO LIE ABOUT YOU AND BRING YOU DOWN! LIKE WAYNE SAYS PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ME DOWN CAUSE I'M FLYING! I'M FUCKING HURT BY THIS ONE. ALL I CARE ABOUT ARE THE FANS. JUST SAY THIS OUT LOUD IN A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE, "KANYE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT GIVING A GOOD PERFORMANCE." CAN ANYONE HONESTLY SAY THAT ????????? HAS ANYONE EVEN TAKEN THE TIME TO AT LEAST DO THE MATH??? BONNAROO SHOULD HAVE RELEASED A STATEMENT IN MY DEFENSE BUT SINCE THEY HAVEN'T LET'S BREAK DOWN THE WALLS ON THIS TRUMAN SHOW AND LET YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY OCCURRED!!! FOR OVER A MONTH WE WENT BACK AND FORTH ON WETHER OR NOT WE COULD EVEN FIT MY STAGE AT THE FESTIVAL. ONE DAY THEY WOULD SAY YES... WE'D SEND THEM OUR SPECS THEN THEY THEY'D SAY OK... THEN THEY WOULD SEND SPECS BACK THAT DIDN'T FIT THE STAGE. WE WERE OBVIOUSLY DEALING WITH FUCKING IDIOTS WHO DIDN'T REALLY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO REALLY PUT ON THIS SHOW PROPERLY. THEY TRIED 2 GIVE ME A TIME SLOT WERE IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUTSIDE ... I HAVE A FUCKING LIGHT SHOW DUMB ASS, IT'S NOT CALLED GLOW IN THE DARK FOR NO REASON SQUID BRAINS! MY PEOPLE WORKED OUT A COMPROMISED STAGE PLOT AND A 3AM TIME SLOT AND I AGREED. FAST FOWARD TO THE DAY OF THE SHOW. MY PRODUCTION MANAGER TRIED TO LOAD IN FOR 24 HOURS BEFORE I WENT ON STAGE BUT THE FESTIVAL WOULDN'T ALLOW US TO DO ANYTHING UNTILL PEARL JAM LEFT THE STAGE. PEARL JAM ENDED ONE HOUR LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT THAT POINT WE'RE RACING AGAINST THE SUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT 4:20AM DON COMES BACK 2 THE BUS AND TELLS ME, " IT WOULD TAKE 45 MORE MINUTES TO PUT ALL YOUR PYRO IN!" I SAY I HAVE TO GET OUT THERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE . I HIT THE STAGE AND PEOPLE HAD BEEN THROWING SHIT ON THE STAGE AND HAD ACTUALLY HIT THE JANE SCREEN WITH, I GUESS BOTTLES OR SOMETHING AND HAD BROKEN MY FUCKING SCREEN. REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE A SHORTY AND WATER WOULD HIT THE TV?????? WHEN I GOT 2 "THROUGH THE WIRE" I STEPPED ON THE FRONT PART OF MY STAGE AND THERE WAS SO MUCH LIQUID ON THE STAGE I COULDN'T MOVE WITHOUT SLIPPING. I HAD TO ADJUST MY WHOLE PERFORMANCE STYLE BECAUSE OF IT. A FEW MORE SONGS IN AND THE SONG WAS ON IT'S WAY UP.. I CUT A FEW SONGS FROM THE SET BECAUSE I WANTED PEOPLE 2 EXPERIENCE STRONGER WHILE THERE WAS STILL SOME DARKNESS TO PERFORM IT IN. I'VE STRUGGLED WITH STRONGER FROM IT'S CONCEPTION. REMEMBER LAST SUMMER WHEN I CANCELED SOME TV APPEARANCES. IT WAS BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO PERFORM STRONGER IN THE DAYTIME. ANYONE WHO CAME TO THE GLOW TOUR CAN UNDERSTAND WHY I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE IT PROPERLY. IT BROKE MY HEART THAT I COULDN'T GIVE THESE FANS STRONGER IN IT'S GREATEST FORM... BY THE TIME I GOT TO STRONGER IT WAS DAYTIME AND IT BROKE MY HEART. I'M SORRY TO EVERYONE THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THE ABILITY 2 GIVE THE PERFORMANCE I WANTED TO. I'M SORRY... SOMETIMES I GO 2, 3 DAYS W/O SLEEP WORKING ON MY PERFORMANCE... I HAVE TO ICE MY KNEES AFTER EVERY SHOW AND THEY HURT WHEN I WALK THROUGH THE AIRPORT... HAVING AN EXPENSIVE STAGE CUTS MY PAYDAY IN HALF... CALL ME WHAT YOU WANT BUT NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL!!!
Alex Suskind went on his own Kanye rant after digging through all of this. He's on Twitter — @AlexJSuskind