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Kayne West Tops the Hot 100 Again!

This week, Ye scored his first No. 1 on the “Hot 100” since 2007’s “Stronger” — not by making a particularly good song but by listening to the kids.

Since “Stronger” in 2007, Ye got his first No. 1 on the “Hot 100” this week. He didn’t make a great song, he just listened to the kids.

Make no mistake: some of that hype is still fed by the controversy that he created. Ye is still getting ideas from neo-Nazi materials more than a year after his anti-Semitic speech cost him deals with Adidas, Balenciaga, and Gap. He is still aiming at Drake. You are still You.

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The same is true for his art. His most excessive, off-the-wall work in years is on the number one song “Carnival” with Ty Dolla $ign. Not many artists would think to use a rude recording of Italian soccer fans as the main theme for a group cut with a lot of big names. There’s a callback to “Hell of a Life” (why not?), Rich the Kid comes back as the hook, and the main character calls himself “Ye-Kelly, bitch” (hard pass).

But it might have been Playboi Carti’s hoarse turn, in which he turns Future’s croak into flubber, that put “Carnival” over the top. People who like Carti say it’s either one of his most mesmerizing verses ever or almost a parody. The dancer evandagreat26 made it famous on TikTok afterward. Because Ye is no longer on Def Jam, the UMG’s fight with the social media app didn’t affect Vultures 1.

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A Double-Edged Sword: Carti’s Canonization and Ye’s Balancing Act

On a musical level, Ye knows how powerful it is to work with Carti, whose fame has grown tremendously since the release of his crushing 2020 album Whole Lotta Red and the subsequent rise of his record label Opium. These times with Ye are canon in the Carti-verse for diehard fans who want his art even more because it’s so hard to find. Yet Ye also knows that his close relationship with the Atlanta rapper—including putting him in one of his videos, inviting him to listening parties, and reportedly putting him on the unreleased Vultures 2—makes him more appealing to a huge group of younger people who are willing to ignore his many offensive comments, just like they did with Carti’s claims of choking his girlfriend.

Carti has almost become a Ye for Gen Z: an edgy, multitalented star whose catalog has been turned into a place for endless dance pits and collective misogyny, and whose style has been taken over and mood-boarded a million times.

Many of the fans I met at Ye’s listening party in New York last month looked like they were no more than 15 years old. A lot of the people I talked to found him on TikTok. (From what little I’ve seen on the ground, the canon has changed a bit; these days, Graduation is much higher.) Ye has also physically given himself over to a younger generation by selling everything on his website for a reasonable $20, making changes to albums based on how well they do, and testing fan interest in his unofficially released music for the first time since G.O.O.D. Fridays drop every week.

Direct Engagement: Soundcloud Rap Tactics and Fan Interaction

He’s also been using the same social language as a SoundCloud rapper and talking to fans straight online. He has talked with a well-known Ye fan account through direct messages (DMs) about the idea of selling Vultures 2 only on his website over the last few days. He joked with someone else that he’d put a fake leak on a new record if people would pay $200 each.

All of this is going on while Ye fans are still complaining about his recent fight with DSPs. This shows a problem with his and any other anti-establishment stand that is based on populism. When you’re trying to make something new, you can’t please everyone. He has once again done the amazing thing of making sure that someone will care about the music no matter what.

About Davie Bancroft

Davie Bancroft is an accomplished author with a strong focus on investment and the tech business landscape. With extensive knowledge and experience in these fields, he provides valuable insights into emerging trends and opportunities. Davie's writings explore the intersection of technology and finance, offering practical advice for investors and entrepreneurs. His expertise and analytical approach make him a trusted resource for those seeking to navigate the dynamic world of investments and tech startups.