By Peter Sblendorio
New York Daily News
Kanye West has sparked conversation, controversy and a whole lot of confusion in his return to Twitter.
The outspoken rapper, who reactivated his account this month after nearly a year away, has managed to excite some fans with announcements about new music while isolating others with philosophical and polarizing messages – including some that have drawn right-wing support.
Here’s what you need to know about West’s latest eye-opening Twitter sprees.
Wait, so Kanye is tweeting again?
Yep. After deleting his account last May, West returned a little over a week ago with posts about a fond memory with Lamar Odom, his popular Yeezy shoes and tattoo ideas.
He later began using the platform to announce his long-awaited eighth album, as well as a surprise collaboration with Kid Cudi – but he’s also woven in some deeper tweets that have gotten people talking.
So what sparked the controversy?
West raised eyebrows recently by tweeting his admiration for a conservative African-American commentator named Candace Owens who has often garnered backlash for her divisive takes, including criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I love the way Candace Owens thinks,” West wrote.
This drew the ire of many of the rapper’s followers. Just last week, Owens described a group of Black Lives Matters protesters in California as “whiny toddlers, pretending to be oppressed for attention.”
So who stood by Kanye over this tweet?
Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comics, for one. Adams posted a Twitter video last Sunday in which he explains why he believes West is leading society into the “Golden Age” due to his willingness to break through so-called “prisons of the mind” – which Adams describes as viewpoints that people “imagine to be true” that limit a person’s perception of what is actually possible.
He cited West’s embracement of Owens as an example of why he’s not a prisoner of his own mind.
“He ripped a hole in reality. In seven words. Because Kanye is supposed to be over here, and Candace is supposed to be over here,” Adams said. “And they’re not ever supposed to say the other one said something right. … The story is that these two people that shouldn’t be in the same conversation, in seven words, Kanye just changed that. And he just freed a lot of people from a mental prison.”
Why does it matter?
Like Owens, Adams has supported the right side of the political aisle. He switched his allegiance to President Donald Trump toward the end of the 2016 presidential race after supporting Hillary Clinton earlier on.
West, meanwhile, shared snippets of Adams’ video talking about the rapper and the Golden Age to his own Twitter on Monday.
This came a day after West posted a series of his own deeper-thinking messages to Twitter.
“People demonize people and then they demonize anybody who sees anything positive in someone whose been demonized,” West wrote Sunday.
“We have freedom of speech but not freedom of thought,” West continued in subsequent posts. “The thought police want to suppress freedom of thought.”
Who else is reacting to West’s tweets?
Alex Jones, the right-wing commentator who has regularly outraged the masses with his opinions and conspiracy theories, invited West to come on his show, “InfoWars.”
“.@kanyewest I admire your bold moves against the thought police,” Jones tweeted Monday, shortly after West began sharing the videos of Adams’ post. “And if you want to see these control-freak vampires really go crazy, please join me on my broadcast!”
Has Owens weighed in?
She has. She initially gushed over West’s tweet praising the way she thinks.
“I’m freaking out. @kanyewest … .please take a meeting with me,” Owens wrote. “I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music. I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community.”
She has since gone on to retweet a number of West’s tweets, including “self-victimization is a disease” and “Constantly bringing up the past keeps you stuck there.”
It’s worth noting:
West, 40, has said multiple times he wants to run for president, including in his song “Facts” where he raps “2020 I’mma run the whole election.”
He made headlines in December 2016 when he met with Trump at Trump Tower, later explaining on Twitter he wanted to meet with him to discuss “multicultural issues” such as “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in Chicago.
West also tweeted the hashtag #2024 that day, seemingly suggesting he wouldn’t run for the Oval Office himself until then. West, however, later deleted his tweets about his meeting with Trump, with TMZ reporting in February 2017 that the rapper was unhappy with the president’s first few weeks on the job.