By Kevin Price, Publisher and Editor in Chief, USDR.
The world of pop culture was somewhat rocked over the weekend by the shocking announcement by Kayne West that he suffered from massive debt. So much so that he even announced his struggle on Twitter, saying “I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…” He points out in his online exchanges that the source of his debt was the huge costs behind his new clothing line. It can be hard to be rich.
It is not surprising that the cynics immediately chimed in. “He’s doing this to get sympathy from people to make sure his album enjoys huge sales” (which mysteriously disappeared from the market), “this is a publicity stunt,” etc. I appeal to the common sense of individuals who have watched Kayne West. There is no question that West loves publicity, but it is equally obvious that he wants that attention to be in the most positive light possible. I am not a therapist, nor play one on TV, but there is nothing about the West experience to make me think that this announcement is anything but sincere.
West’s public announcement of financial ruin was accompanied by a a series of equally bizarre Tweets directed towards Mark Zuckerberg, essentially begging for help. This was done, according to West, on Zuckerberg’s “birthday,” yet he was off on the date, which makes many wonder what else is going on here and if alcohol or drugs could be playing a role in his behavior.
His tweets included self aggrandizement, as he wrote about himself in the third person and envisioned himself getting support from Zuckerberg because West is the “greatest living artist and greatest artist of all time.” He asked for a specific amount of money from the Internet billionaire — one billion dollars. Reason? To invest in Wayne’s “ideas.”
We see in West’s Tweets signs of humility as he states “Mark, I am publicly asking you for help…one of the coolest things you could ever do is to help me in my time of need.” These tweets were accompanied with the strange announcement that “I know y’all tired of music controlled by money and perception. I’m proud of every dime of debt I got.” He is certainly hard to keep up with.
Kayne’s pleas makes him appear tone deaf, especially when he declared in a Tweet, “You love hip hop, you love my art… I am your favorite artist but you watch me barely breathe and still play my album in your house …” Sorry Kayne, we have all seen more poverty elsewhere. At the same time, West clearly needs help. When a man with this much ego humiliates himself to this disagree, his calls for assistance are sincere. I would not be surprised if we see a crowd funding page get set up, though I certainly hope that does not happen. I would not be shocked if some rich friends actually do bail him out, but that would likely be disastrous for the artist.
On my TV and radio programs I have discussed how people can get help with debt problems. One of the best can be found across the country (and around the world) in meetings of a group called “Debtors Anonymous,” which is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. In those meetings are people on the brink of homelessness next to professionals with large businesses. Incredibly, both poor people and those with fantastic wealth. Step One of the program states that because of debt, “our lives” had become “unmanageable” and they have “powerlessness.” When someone with the ego of Kayne West puts his financial crisis on public display, he is saying that his life is unmanageable and he does not have the power to overcome this situation without help. The worst thing those who like West is to become a co-dependent with such a person by giving them a single cent. It would be in his interest to work a recovery program rather than looking for a miracle in Mark Zuckerberg or others.