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Kanye Lit Himself On Fire and Staged A Mock Wedding With Kim Kardashian. Marilyn Manson, Da Baby and Others In A Wild Thursday Night Performance

I needed time to digest what I saw Thursday night at Solider Field and after nearly 48 hours I'm still left wondering "what in the actual fuck?"

For starters, doors opened at 7pm. 

In a city that continues to flip-flop back and forth like a ping pong match on Covid restrictions (we are now back in a masks indoor all public places mandate), the event went out of its way to make it known that proof of vaccination or negative tests would not be required for entry. 

But they did have 1,500 doses to give out for free to any guests that decided they wanted to receive it there, right after forking over $90 for a Donda listening event tee-shirt...

And fork it over they did…

These people couldn't give Kanye their money fast enough.

(Sidebar - a friend involved with the event told me people who did get vaccinated there actually got bumped up to VIP seats as a special surprise thank you)

As everybody knew, thanks to Barstool Backstage helping to break the story, nbd, Kanye erected an exact replica of his childhood South Shore drive home in the middle of the field. 

He added a beaming Cross to it, and it resembled a small church more than anything. 

The guy was supposed to start the show at 9pm (curfew was reportedly 11pm) and a bunch of druids appeared at 9 to light candles around the house.

The crowd' excitement started to build as everybody thought the show was about to commence…

But not even close.

When he finally did come out, it was via a procession of more druids (cue jerry the king voice) and a fleet of black Escalades.

He ran through the THIRD completely different iteration of this album we’ve now heard and to be honest, it was a major let down.

Not trying to be a curmudgeon whatsoever, but also not a brainwashed sycophant.

The second listening party in Atlanta was a major improvement from the first “album” he played. It wasn’t amazing but it was considerably better. This one was a bug step back, if not 2 or 3.

For one, he removed Jay-Z which nobody could understand.

He also cut Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and The LOX.

Which is bullshit.

The real fireworks of the night began when he trotted out one of the former and current public enemy #1 Mr. Marilyn Manson-

Followed by Da Baby who is also fresh off a nice cancellation

He ran through a few more songs while prancing around before lighting himself on fire… yes really. 

We had it on good authority that Kanye's plan was to set flames to the house and burn the whole thing down. 

But apparently the city said no chance. So he opted instead to set himself on fire.

 He then proceeded to bring Kim Kardashian out in a wedding dress.

What a showman.

And look how happy he looked

All in all it was what it was. A masterclass in marketing and cash grabbing.

This guy is on a whole other level. As much as I want to hate it I can’t. I have to respect it.

He’s conditioned his followers to eat up absolutely everything he does.

He’s a legitimate cult leader in that sense. 38,000 people got there and stood around for 4 hours, holding the $200-500 worth of merch they bought, waiting for him to show up. Then stood with their phones out fixated on a prop house, while he ran around with a ski mask on and songs played via a recording over the PA.

And people paid upwards of $400 for seats. 

One thing I will give Kanye props for is continuing to zig when everybody else zags. He's built an incredible life of doing it, so why change now? They say as a gambler if you stick to fading the public you'll end up a 60% winner and that's basically the method Kanye has stuck to since he began. 

Everybody is rapping about guns, and neon green Lambo's, bitches and hoes? Kanye hits the scene rocking pink Polo shirts and a backpack, rapping over 1960's soul samples, talking about cream-colored Mercedes ("…mayonnaise colored Benz, I push miracle whips")

The whole “808s and Heartbreaks” album was a big zig.

As was MBDTF.

And so has everything he’s done since. Not my cup of tea but he’s deliberately deviated from the norm. And gone out of his way to do it artistically.

Everybody is riding the cancel culture train hard as they can? Can't find and cancel enough people fast enough? Let’s bring out two of the most hot button artists at the moment.

He knows what writes headlines for itself and who gets eyeballs. He knows kids will pay big bucks to be apart of his movement in every which way possible and he’s maximized the absolute fuck out of it.

After last night I’m back to being “out” on Kanye. I’d been out for a while now. I don’t think he’s put out a truly classic album in almost ten years, but he’s pulled me back in over the past year. It all started with the Rogan interview and grew with the hopes that he’d got his mind right since divorcing Kardashian and finding his way back to his musical roots. But what I saw last night felt like I was witnessing David Koresh or Jim Jones lead their rabid followers. Utterly bizarre.

The good news is he’s officially announced September 3rd is when his album drops. The same date as Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy”. They will both do monster sales (which is probably a coordinated effort) but there’s no doubt in my mind Drake’s album will trounce his musically. I hope I’m wrong but don’t think I will be.