His thumb trembled over the button for nearly 10-minutes as he contemplated the impending career and life-altering decision. So many memories; so many vintage moments. It’s hard to say goodbye, to let go. But sometimes, it’s necessary to look out for one’s self. A person can’t allow outside noise to clutter their thought process en route to seeking creative enlightenment. He closed his eyes, exhaled deeply, and clicked the button that represented much more than its proposed action.
One-eye cracked open to observe the damage. He was prompted with the following message: “Are you sure you want to delete your Twitter?” Conflicting feelings of nostalgia and uncertainty almost encouraged him to select “no”. Almost. “Time to focus on you; time to become immortal,” he solemnly said to himself. And just like that, it was gone. The medium that provided us with tremendous joy and insight into one of our generation’s brightest musical minds disappeared into the internet’s ethos, floating somewhere alongside the uncut version of his wife’s career-launching “home movie”.
"'Zero Dark 30 in this ho, I’m on my LeBron flow,' yeah, that’s funny, that’s good" [giggles to himself]. “Mr. West, for the last time, please put your phone away—we’re about to take off,” the flight attendant sternly said to him. Kanye perplexingly looked up at her with one eyebrow arched, and his lower lip hanging in disbelief. “This bitch…” he murmured. “Chill Ye, no need to bug out and end up on TMZ. I fucking hate TMZ. We’re doing this to get away from all that shit,” Kanye said to his window reflection. He reclined in his plush chartered jet’s captain’s chair, popped a Xan while chilling in his Vans, and peacefully thought about the spiritual and creative journey awaiting him. “Mr. West! Please restore your seat to its upright position!” the flight attendant hollered. “THIS BITCH!”
The plane’s screeching brakes jolted Kanye out of his deep slumber. An exasperated “HEH?!” vacated Kanye’s lips. After regaining his senses, he stepped off the plane to survey the land before him. A large yet charming “Welcome to Wyoming” billboard greeted Kanye, along with a slight, unkempt middle-aged man named Steve holding a sign that read, “Mr. West.” “Sir?” the man said to Kanye, gesturing towards the limo that would transport him to his Wyoming hideout. “Ever-ever, Mr. West is in the building,” Kanye happily said to Steve while dapping him up. The venture towards his eighth solo studio album commenced; ideas began unfolding with the winding of Wyoming’s scenic backroads. Some might say that isolating one’s self in a Wyoming getaway to complete an album is crazy. Name one genius that ain’t crazy.
The steep driveway culminated in a remote log cabin nestled behind a thicket of greenery. No other homes were visible within a two-mile radius. Radio silence. Butterflies and robust treetops lined Wyoming’s enchanting skyline—a far cry from the industrial blunder that suppressed his creativity. The inspirational energy began coursing through his veins almost instantly. Kanye gave Steve a pair of Yeezy’s in lieu of a cash tip, and watched him retreat down the steep driveway, leaving Kanye in solitary confinement. A man, his laptop, a misunderstood mind, and the Wyoming fresh air—all the makings for a classic album. The last time Kanye withdrew from civilization, we received My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Sometimes, we just need a change of scenery.
The desolate log cabin’s inside was reflective of his empty mind prior to the excursion. Kanye’s bi-coastal residential situation began interfering with his imagination, building frustrations while depriving an outlet. This getaway was the vaccine to writer’s block. But before musical excellence could transpire, Kanye needed to do some redecorating. Basquiat paintings, his previous albums’ cover art, a naked photo of himself, a centerfold-esque picture of Kim, and TURBO GRAFX 16 (the album’s planned name) spray-painted across the cabin’s largest surface personalized the barren hideout. “Aight, let’s get it.”
Kanye opened one of his many Louis suitcases to unearth his prized record collection, comprised of Gladys Knight to The ARC Choir. Holding the vinyl conjured up fond memories of his humble beginnings, when his inspiration exclusively emanated from an unparalleled hunger. Those days are long gone; his inspiration requires help now. The vinyl’s tangibility possessed a mystical quality, almost infusing the artists’ musicality into his soul. ‘Ye could feel his album’s pending eminence.
Known for his acute musical ear, Kanye typically begins creating albums by composing the music. However, this time he began by outlining the album’s narrative, and penning the lyrics. This album needed to be different. In the wake of getting eclipsed by other big names, including Drake and Kendrick Lamar, a tour cancellation, a mental hospital stint, and a suspicious meeting with Donald Trump, it needed to demonstrate that he’s still a marquee industry player—that he’s still a generational talent who hasn’t surrendered sanity. This burdensome weight clouded his mind, impeding his writing process. Kanye pensively gazed out of the master bedroom’s grand window, searching for lyrical inspiration. His search was unfruitful. “‘What you know about locking yourself in Wyoming for two-weeks?!’ … Nah, you did something like that already … Come on Ye! ... You a genius!” He paced up and down the open log cabin halls, biting his nails, and intermittently pounding his fists against the walls. Sanity capitulation was becoming realistic.
Walking and writing forced Kanye to trip over his cream white Yeezy laces, spiralling him downwards physically and emotionally. “GOD DAMN! I TOLD THEM 12 FUCKING TIMES THAT WE NEED SHORTER LACES!” he shrilled as he laid flat on the ground. Before getting back up, he noticed a curious bag poking out from underneath the couch. Little paper cutouts covered in various designs, like happy faces and yin yangs, populated the bag’s contents. “Oh word? What do we have here. A little mental lubrication? Hm, Steve Jobs tripped acid mad times when creating Apple. Steve Jobs was a genius. I am a genius. Fuck it—let’s get weird.”
Two tabs fell upon his tongue, fenced in by ‘Ye’s icy grills. After feeling the acid’s initial euphoric effects, Kanye decided to test-drive the visuals by exploring Wyoming’s great outdoors. Oscillating grass structured his path, swaying trees provided entertainment. He empathized with the trees, knowing the feeling of swaying in the background, of existing strictly to provide entertainment. “Man, sometimes I feel like the trees / Swaying back and forth while I plead on my knees for any sort of sanity,” he typed in his iPhone. “That’s kinda tight,” he said smiling. It was the first lyrical impulse that he’d felt in weeks. Perhaps this acid trip was the necessary crowbar to leverage his creativity.
The hallucinations grew with his inspiration, formulating a lyrical tirade, while blurring the lines of reality. “Yo, this is some strong shit!” he anxiously uttered behind a nervous smile. Almost instantly, the blissful trip turned into a stereotypical acid nightmare. “Ah fuck!” he shrieked. The quintessential “talk yourself down while tripping” conversation elevated from sparing inspirational words to complete motivational discourse: “You good bro. Acid can’t control you, you control the acid. You a god! Wait, what does me being a god have to do with anything? Fuck. Maybe I am crazy? I need some help. Yo what the fuck was that?!” The bad trip worsened before improving, climaxing in conceivably the worst way. A dripping sensation tingled Kanye's backside, causing profuse sweating, and one question that a 39-year-old man should never have to ask himself, "Did I just shit myself?"
He simultaneously sprinted and waddled home, clutching his ass cheeks together while wiping away tears of embarrassment. The words, “I shit my fucking pants! I can’t believe I shit my fucking pants!” followed him back to the Wyoming hideout. A swift kick blew the door open. He ripped off his pants, expecting to be confronted by a soquid of his own creation. But instead of being bombarded by fecal matter, he was bombarded by acid’s greatest and worst byproduct: hallucinations. There was no shit to fret over—in the words of Nelly, “Cause it’s all in my head”. All that was left to say was, “Oh, damn. I’m trippin’ [giggles to himself].”
All of this excitement forced Kanye into a heavy sleep. Upon waking, he felt different—less encumbered, more enlightened. Maybe this was ironically the exact incident needed to recalibrate his strained psyche. Suddenly, he could feel the gates of writer’s block rise, facilitating the creativity he set out for on this journey. Suddenly, the lyrics gushed out of him like his imaginary shit: “Got so much hot shit percolatin’ inside my truth / Can’t help but let some loose like a goose.” “Ha, yo, that's a good one 'Ye,” he slyly said to himself.
Hours passed; Kanye hadn’t moved from his seat. Finally, he emerged from a sea of crinkled up papers akin to Jack Nicholson sitting at the type writer in The Shining, with bags under his eyes, no pants on, and a nearly completed track list and lyrics. Sometimes, we just need a change of scenery. Kanye achieved what he set out to accomplish. “Ayo, Steve. Take me home. We did it fam.”
Positive and clear-headed, Kanye sat in the same plane seat that supported his crippling anxieties a short few weeks ago. Now, he could retire to LA to collaborate with producers, and put the finishing touches on his spotlight-recapturing album. He dialed Justin Vernon (Bon Iver’s founder) to alert him of the good news, and thank him for inspiring his Wyoming retreat. But before he could finish the conversation, the flight attendant sternly told ‘Ye to put his phone away. “THIS FUCKING BITCH!” he exclaimed.
Turbo Grafx 16: A Kanye West album coming to you soon.