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Art & Entertainment, People

Did Kanye West Make That B*tch Famous?

GoodToKnow contributor

Let's explore.

Autumnm1216 contributor

Written by

Autumn M

Kanye is not a stranger to our seductive and exploitative news cycle, and I feel we can agree it’s a typical news day when Kanye is a topic of conversation. We discuss the inner workings of “Ye” and how he has conducted himself lately. Some were very surprised, but others, myself included, saw this self-destruction and the decline of the Graduation MC we once knew.

We didn’t get here overnight, so what were the signs? Was it the spontaneous periodic ranting, the anger at seemingly arbitrary groups or individuals, or the evolution of his style?

We must not forget an additional element of the chaos of this Machiavellian saga: the women he kept close to him before revealing his next persona. What I’m wondering is: were these great women true subjects of love and desire, or like most other aspects of his life, were they fleeting moments that he would trade in for new opportunities?

Let’s take a trip through the timeline….

2004 -2006

Louis Vuitton Don

The College Dropout

This era of Kanye was our introduction to the pink polos, baggy jeans, and Louis Vuitton duffle bag toting Kanye. He wasn’t publicly known except as a new sign to Roc Nation and the new mentee to Dame Dash & Jay Z. At the time; he was dating the fashion designer Alexis Phifer, who introduced Kanye to the world of Couture. They were long-term and rocky, so she called off their engagement in 2006. But she played an integral role in the development of his fashion sense, his visibility in the media, and his introduction into worlds beyond hip-hop. Keep in mind this was right before his mainstream breakout. Could his climatic rise in 2006 be why she didn’t fit the following vision?

2008 - 2010

“Beyonce had the best album of all time!”

808s & Heartbreak

My beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

In this era, we see a different Kanye emerge; the color palate becomes androgynous, his videos feel like an open diary and more cinematic, and we feel his grief with the passing of his mother. We see him start to harden, and the once-smiley guy transforms into someone much darker. His newest love interest is a shaved-head-Amazonian, olive-skinned woman named Amber Rose. A mystery to all of us and a once-claimed muse by Kanye for the MBDTF album. She dressed aligned with his new branding and was a lot sexier and more revealing than his previous romances, which hints at Kanye taking another turn in his music, vibe, and branding.

This break-up was public, and Kanye uttered the most offensive comments about her. He claimed he needed “30 showers” after their break because of all the acts they partook in. Shortly after, his rendezvous with Kim Kardashian began, indicating yet another new chapter.

2012 - 2021

“I feel like I and Taylor might still have sex

Why? I made that bxtch famous (Goddamn).”

“Slavery was a choice.”

Yeezus

Life of Pablo

Jesus is King

It’s no question that the relationship between Kim and Kanye was the longest and most impactful relationship of their lives (and respective careers), but we also saw what was widely perceived as a softer, more mature side. Who can forget the romantic stadium proposal, the (relentlessly memed) room full of flowers, and of course his introduction to fatherhood.

We thought we had seen a lighter side of Kanye, but this “happy” side came laced with very abrasive musical textures, some creepy leather masks, and dressing his then-pregnant fiancé in a grandmotherly couch print at the 2013 Met Gala. Over time, the relationship we once saw as loving and healthy evolved into something that made us realize that perhaps Kim was his ultimate Barbie. She did what he said, dressed in what she picked out for her, and took her and the kids to shows just to be seen. They even decorated their house in a very sterile, white, borderline dystopian fashion. Yet somehow, all the while, we were distracted by the optics when something even more troubling was brewing. Many of us ignored his slander of Black voices and women. He became more outwardly controlling as we watched him dictate how the entire Kardashian clan should look in public. As impressive of a feat turning the Kardashians into fashion royalty was, it was saddled with undertones that toed the line between passionate and obsessive.

We then watched as his cult-like Sunday gatherings and pseudo-gospel displays testified to his newfound love for GOD (Kanye Voice). Making a switch to his image to more of light airy clothing and even going into the extra step of throwing away all of Kim’s sultrier dresses that did not align with his new found image as the self-proclaimed chosen one.

But through all the transformations over these ten years, we see Kim’s rise to a more prominent standing in Hollywood outside of Kanye’s control. It’s clear that once he felt he lost control of his Barbie, problems publicly arose in the relationship. This led to their eventual (but certainly not shocking) divorce.

2022: Current.

Donda

Donda 2

Kanye West 2024

Kanye is vocally supporting a certain Twitter-obsessed former president and wearing leather from head to toe. He is rarely seen smiling, and his clothing lines are still flying off the shelf. Kanye has publicly commented about not wanting his kids raised in the environment Kim has them in.

Here, we see yet another new woman emerge as his branding Barbie. Julia Fox and Kanye’s relationship was short-lived, but it impacted the media because he tried to carve out the same effect and styling on her that he did with Kim Kardashian. With the makeup being dark and heavy clothing, we were intrigued by who this woman was and why Kanye chose her. Some of us knew her from Uncut Gems, then we all got to know her from “Uncahh Jaahhhmms.” But after seeing how disconnected and disingenuous they were as a couple, it was clear this was some kind of a stunt, and a way to get Kim’s attention (which he was obviously still pining for).

This brings us to his most recent stunt, with the White Lives Matter shirt at the Balenciaga Paris show that occurred earlier in October. He chooses to take this “stance”, but as usual, he needs someone by his side to create a further impact to show he is not a lone wolf in his ideologies. This is where we’re shown Candace Owens on sight at the fashion show, who we did not publicly know until now is a long-time friend and partner to Kanye.

Each of these women had tried to claim their spotlight in their way, with the notable exception of Alexis Phifer; each one wanted to appeal to the masses, and after their relationship ended with Kanye, they were given a platform to discuss all of the controlling behavior from him they endured. Whether visible to the public eye or not, it exposes that Kanye recycles women as props to accommodate his following metamorphosis. Kim being the longest in the cycle, transformed into what we consider unrecognizable from her 2008 image.

But that’s the thing, Kanye’s image is never perfected without a companion. So would his new moniker also be the doll maker? Do these women need Kanye, or does Kanye need these women? One thing is clear: He did say “He made that b*tch famous.”