In March 2022, American rapper Kanye “Ye” West was suspended from Instagram for 24 hours after his attacks on Pete Davidson, Kim Kardashian and Trevor Noah were considered a violation of the platform’s policies on hate speech, bullying and harassment. Since then, Ye’s Instagram page was wiped empty of all posts… until now.
Breaking his Instagram silence on 23 May 2022, the rapper has returned to the platform to tease his new business venture with McDonald’s. This time, however, he’s not featured in another one of those “Let me get uhhhhhhhhh” Super Bowl commercials that went viral in February 2022. Nor does this collaboration have anything to do with Ye’s homage to the golden arches with his The McDonald’s Man poem, which landed inside Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry magazine.
Though the artist has had plenty of brushes with the fast food giant, this collaboration is a bit different. This time around, he’s cooking up a new design for McDonald’s food packaging altogether.
“Ye teams up with industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa to reimagine McDonald’s packaging,” the Instagram post uploaded to Ye’s account read. The blurry picture of the reimagined packaging looks like a mini sandwich in itself—complete with a transparent wrapper showcasing the contents of the box with the famous golden arches on top.
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It should be noted that Ye’s reimagined McDonald’s packaging falls perfectly in line with the rapper’s minimal and understated approach to Yeezy and his infamous interior decor style. It is also a far cry from the traditional McDonald’s design, which features brightly-coloured boxes with the iconic logo.
The Instagram post in question came just a few hours after Ye teased the collab on his Story, by referencing a line from his 2005 hit ‘Gold Digger’ where he raps: “He got that ambition, baby, look at his eyes. This week he moppin’ floors, next week it’s the fries.”
“Next week it’s the fries,” he went on to write under the photo of the redesign.
While TMZ pointed out that Ye was spotted with his girlfriend Chaney Jones in Japan earlier this month—where he was possibly working with Naoto Fukasawa on finalising packaging ideas—the announcement shook the internet as soon as it was uploaded onto Instagram.
“Bro is doing side quests,” a top comment under the post read, while another admitted how they were “still waiting on that McDONDA meal.” While many praised the packaging for its futuristic vibes, others rejoiced at Kanye’s return to Instagram. “Babe wake up ye posted,” a user wrote.
Meanwhile, the news sent Twitter into a whole other social media rut. And we’ve rounded up some of the best reactions to Kanye’s “McYeezy” on the platform:
Kanye West—now legally known as Ye—is a man who has proven he’s a misogynist and rape apologist time and time again. Here are six instances the cultural icon has clearly shown he does not care about victims of abuse.
Perhaps the most pervasive behaviour displayed by Ye is his overt obsession with ex-wife Kim Kardashian. His subsequent stalking of her has played out for the masses and it’s not some joke for the tabloids anymore—it’s scary. From the constant unabashed direct harassment of the reality TV star to surrounding himself with strange lookalikes, these actions are a concerning and chilling pattern of an abusive and controlling character.
Regardless of what you think of Kardashian—I have my own valid critiques of her—it does not mean that what we are witnessing before our eyes should be excused. A point made quite brilliantly by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, “Two things can be true. Kim likes publicity, Kim is also being harassed. […] What she’s going through is terrifying to watch and it shines a spotlight on what so many women go through when they choose to leave.”
“What we are seeing is one of the most powerful, one of the richest women in the world unable to get her ex to stop texting her, to stop chasing after her, to stop harassing her,” he continued. Ye’s blatant treatment of his ex—even while together in controlling her clothing (as we saw him repeat with Julia Fox)—from threatening her new boyfriend Pete Davidson to publicly disparaging her decisions as a mother, is proof of ever-clear symptoms of a man with unbridled misogyny.
Following the swathe of stories that surfaced in 2021 surrounding Marilyn Manson’s sexual abuse of many of his previous partners—with Evan Rachel Peters releasing a documentary just this week on the horrors she faced—Ye thought it was a ‘genius’ idea to host Manson at his Donda launch event in August 2021. In what was unfortunately unsurprising on Ye’s part, Manson appeared alongside DaBaby—who was having his own homophobic scandal—on the porch of the small church-like structure at the stadium’s centre.
Thanks to a deep investigation by Rolling Stone titled Marilyn Manson: The Monster Hiding in Plain Sight, more than 55 sources came out against the singer to state that he was allegedly guilty of sexual assault, battery, harassment and often locked women in a cage he kept in his home. Peters, in her documentary premiere, detailed how she was raped on camera as part of a music video shoot for the artist as well as other information that surfaced in the Rolling Stone exposé that unveiled Manson’s unabashed use of the n-word and nazi memorabilia.
The backlash against this partnership did nothing to slow down Ye’s involvement with the accused sexual abuser. Just a few short months later, Manson attended an October 2021 Sunday Service event alongside Justin Bieber. The trio, adorned in white clothing, were seen hugging, leading prayer and singing gospel numbers. What was touted as a so-called Christian value of forgiveness by those involved was in fact a disgusting act of positioning themselves as those who have the right to absolve alleged rapists of their serious crimes. Weaponising their supposed faith to exonerate themselves from their wrongdoings—it’s fine that he may have abused over 16 women, Ye forgave him so it’s all good. Excuse me, what? Never mind the tortured, traumatised lives of the women he abused along the way. It’s not this delicate dance with controversial art Ye thinks it is, it’s victimising abusive men and demonising abused women.
And it just keeps going—it’s not just hand-holding appearances together—with reports surfacing in February 2022 that Manson was heavily involved in the production of Donda 2. They’re making money off this. “I see Marilyn a lot in the studio,” producer Digital Nas exclusively told Rolling Stone. “Like, everyday I go to the studio, Marilyn is there working on [the album].”
Going forth, Ye failed to (as most men in the industry seem to do) acknowledge his wrongdoings and subsequently dangerous actions by defending accused abusive predators. In response to the backlash on an almost two-and-a-half hour interview on the podcast Drink Champs, the rapper made some disparaging comments on the #MeToo movement as a whole—doubling down on his own narrative. “All the #MeToo—like, when I sit next to Marilyn Manson… for five songs, you know, it’s like they can’t cancel a song,” the artist said.
Ye also used epithets of George Orwell’s infamous novel 1984 to allude to the ‘similarities’ found in the movement. “They’ll hit you with accusations or somebody you was with 10 years ago […] It’s power and it’s politics. You know, power-hungry maniacs and just, control. This is Nineteen Eighty-Four mind control that we in. And mob mentality,” he went on to say. Yikes—the irony will hit you soon enough.
What Ye fails to realise is that he finds himself among the group that are actually the controlling ‘authority’. Men who repeatedly get away with their incomprehensible actions, still manage to have a career and, in Ye’s case, embarrassingly (and terrifyingly) still try to control, harass and stalk their ex-wife. Bemoaning cancel culture doesn’t work for me, sorry—not when the crime is, well, an actual crime. It’s not art, it’s assault apology.
His comments about #MeToo can also be found in his music, take his track ‘Yikes’ (told you) where he discussed Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam—accused by multiple women of sexual assault and rape—saying, “Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too, I’ma pray for him ’cause he got MeToo’d.”
If we go back a little further, we can see this rhetoric play out consistently through the years. Ye, then still legally Kanye West, made headlines for his overt support of accused rapist Bill Cosby. He took to Twitter in 2016 to simply write, “BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!” citing no evidence or reasoning as to why he believed this to be true. The actor, who was found guilty, spent two years of a three to ten year sentence and has since been released due to a mistrial—an error that occurred during proceedings—was accused by over 50 women of drugging and raping them.
In a visit to The Fader offices in New York in 2018, donning a MAGA hat of course, sharing music in which he collaborated on with 6ix9ine—the rapper who pleaded guilty to the use of a child in a sexual act that was filmed. The minor in question was just 13-years-old when the then 18-year-old rapper (real name Daniel Hernandez) abused her at a party in 2015. The artist has still somehow gone on to have a career, collaborating with others like Nicki Minaj…
Ye, as we know, was a staunch defender of Donald Trump—enough said there really—but also supported another accused in the same meeting. “About being the musical guest in SNL [that] weekend, Kanye shared that he would have preferred to have Louis C.K. host. (The disgraced comedian has admitted to being a sexual abuser),” Fader continued. The 2017 sexual misconduct allegations which had the comedian masturbate in front of women without their consent included a quote from the man himself stating, “These stories are true. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
During this same period of his rape apology tour in 2018, Ye took to defend A$AP Bari—real name Jabari Shelton—on Instagram in a statement that W Magazine writer Kyle Munzenrieder described as “seemingly comparing the idea of believing victims about their sexual abuse to the sunken place from Get Out.” While collaborating with artists accused of such crimes is supporting them regardless, Ye actively and overtly continues to vocalise his disbelief of victims—mocking and discrediting their experience in his path.
“Bari challenged me when no one else did and when he got in trouble I was scared to say he was my friend just like I did with xxx and that was some pussy shit on my part,” Ye wrote. “I let the perception and the robots control me. That’s the true sunken place. Bari I appreciate your perspective and vision. You brought me closer to Rocky too. Jedis never let perception and cancel culture get between them.”
A$AP Bari, founder of A$AP Mob, pled guilty in 2017 (though he served no jail time) for a sex attack in London 2017. The assault, which was filmed, saw Bari enter the hotel room of a woman who had previously rejected his advances, pull the covers off her naked body, yelling: “You fucked my assistant, now you’re going to suck my dick.” He proceeded to strike her despite her calls for him to stop, telling her “shut the fuck up bitch.” How have the robots controlled this then Ye?
Many have seen Ye’s recent treatment of Kardashian as the shocking downfall of an artist they used to admire, but in reality, this is a man who has shown who he is for a while. A father of daughters who is unapologetic in his defence of the abuser and attack on the abused is not likely to treat his wife with any more grace than his past actions have shown.