Kanye’s Twitter Behavior Sparks Conversation About Mental Health


Kayne West has tweeted a variety of complaints about the music industry. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Fourteen years of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” has nothing on Kanye West’s latest Twitter escapades. Famous for his unpredictable behavior, Kanye has been known to have Twitter outbursts from time to time. However, his antics have been at an all-time high in recent weeks.

Kanye’s September Twitter saga began early in the month when Forbes declared him the highest-paid male celebrity, earning $170 million over the past year. He acknowledged the achievement on Twitter in a seemingly undramatic tweet, writing, “This is a good start.”

Just days after the Forbes milestone, though, West began feuding with the magazine, specifically for the article they not-so-graciously titled, “A Second Stimulus Coming: Can The Black Community Wait?” Ironically, the thinly-veiled racist article came out just days after Kanye expressed his feelings about the company in an interview with Nick Cannon. He said, “My most favorite white supremacists is Forbes, because I just gotta respect their gangster. They don’t live in 2020. They act like it’s [the] 1800s still. Read the Forbes. It’s crazy racist.”

Kanye would later take his feud with Forbes up a notch on Sept. 16, arguably his most eventful day on Twitter to date. He boldly released the cellphone number of Forbes’ Editor and Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, tweeting, “If any of my fans want to call a white supremacist … This is the editor of Forbes.” Twitter was quick to act, though, as the company cracked down on Kanye for a violation of its privacy rule. The app locked Kanye out of his account for 12 hours and threatened to suspend it if he violated the privacy rule again permanently. .

While the privacy violation was what ultimately sent Kanye’s Twitter account into lockdown, a long string of tweets also contributed to the dumpster fire that was Kanye’s Twitter account this September. A long-time advocate for musician’s rights, Kanye made it his mission to expose the music industry’s scams publicly last month.  The war began on Sept. 14 when Kanye took to Twitter to post a screenshot of a social media profile under the name Lauren Greenfield, captioned, “Has anyone ever heard of this person? I just found a fake employee on my payroll!!!” People quickly discovered that Greenfield is actually a photographer and filmmaker who has worked with the Kardashians in the past. Yet Kanye’s “discovery” was just the beginning of the downward spiral that ended in his Twitter timeout.

In a tangent of tweets later that night, Kanye shared his feelings about the Black talent exploitation to benefit leeching organizations like the NBA and the music industry. Declaring himself the “New Moses,” Kanye urged his fellow Black musicians to unite against a common cause and even went to the length of inviting Drake, J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar. All of whom Kanye has feuded with in the past, to sit down with him and work out their differences.

The following day, Kanye unleashed his thoughts on record labels’ refusal to give their artists the right to own their masters. Kanye has set out to fight for musicians’ rights and has even claimed that he will no longer be releasing music until he’s out of his lifelong deal with Sony and Universal.

In a 17-tweet rant, Kanye said he is the “only person” who can actually command change in the music industry because he has made billions of dollars outside of music. Along with releasing over 100 pictures of his record contracts, he also insinuated that Michael Jackson and Prince were killed because they owned their own masters.

As if his followers weren’t already shocked enough, Kanye took his disdain for the music industry a step further. In a move that no one could have expected, Kanye tweeted a video of him peeing on one of his 21 Grammy awards. Writing, “Trust me… I WON’T STOP,” he made clear his stance against any symbolic forms of musical achievements so long as he doesn’t own his own music.

Besides his mission to save musicians, Kanye added another goal to his lengthy tasklist — get a spot on the board of Adidas and Gap. After referring to himself as “the head of Adidas,” Kanye tweeted, “I’M WEARING JORDANS TILL I’M ON THE BOARD OF ADIDAS” and also threatened to withhold his upcoming Gap collection. Neither of the brands has publicly commented on Kanye’s demands. It remains to be seen if Kanye will actually follow through with his requests considering his history of making rash statements.

Amid all of his Twitter drama, Kanye’s bid for the presidency has fallen out of the limelight. However, his campaign is still active, despite being nearly impossible for him to win the election since he will only appear on the ballot in 11 states as of now. Kanye still may impact the election, though, as his presence on the ballot makes it harder for Biden to consolidate the anti-Trump vote. 

From his haphazard presidential run to his tweets, Kanye’s mental health has taken center stage and sparked concern in fans. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Kanye has been open about his mental illness and even called it a “superpower.” Yet there is no question that being subject to constant public scrutiny has exacerbated his struggle. The media, especially, is prone to being insensitive about Kanye’s mental health issues, as they have dramatized his instability and failed to put it into proper context.

Even though the media may say this is just “Kanye being Kanye,” it is important to recognize that the rapper’s all-caps laden Twitter messages aren’t just a ploy for attention. They are a sign of the deeply troubled mental state of a man who has not only spent the majority of his life in the spotlight but who has also experienced a tremendous amount of loss.

While “Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s” may be coming to an end, it doesn’t seem like Kanye’s behavior is going anywhere anytime soon. However, next time his Twitter is trending, we shouldn’t just look at it as a blip in the news cycle. We should recognize the real human being behind those emotion-packed words and have a little sympathy for a man who may just be the greatest musical genius of our time.