Kanye West says he’s $53M in personal debt

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Vanguard Award winner Kanye West speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Aug. 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – Oh, Kanye West. Wow. Even by your attention-grabbing standards, this was a night to remember. Or maybe to forget.

Let’s see — where do we start?

West sent a tweet Saturday night as he waited to go on “Saturday Night Live,” 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…”

It was not immediately clear whether or not he was serious — Twitter was skeptical, and with West, you never know — although the performer did claim a year ago that he was $16 million in debt trying to launch his clothing line.

The talented but polarizing hip-hop artist released his long-delayed album, “The Life of Pablo,” Saturday night after performing two of its songs on “SNL.” After wrapping the song “Ultralight Beam” on SNL, West announced that the album would be available on his website and on Tidal, the streaming service, in a week.

His wife, Kim Kardashian, chimed in helpfully on Twitter, saying, “Everyone Go get #TheLifeOfPablo.”

But many fans complained on Twitter about not wanting to having to buy a Tidal subscription to hear the album, while those who went to West’s site were greeted only with an audio message from Yasiin Bey, a stage name for rapper Mos Def.


Then there was the continued fallout over West’s latest spat with pop star Taylor Swift. In his new song “Famous,” West sings, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous,” a possible reference to his high-profile interruption of Swift on stage at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

The lyrics sparked outrage from Swift fans and a statement from her rep condemning the song’s “misogynistic message.”

In a statement sent to Billboard, a CNN content partner, a Swift representative said, “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.’”

Controversy is nothing new for West, who tweeted “BILL COSBY INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!” earlier this month and seems to go off on an epic Twitter rant every few weeks.

But his antics may be wearing thin for some.

Rapper Rhymefest, who has co-written such West songs as “Jesus Walks,” said Friday on Twitter that his sometime collaborator “needs help, in the form of counseling. Spiritual & mental. He should step away from the public & yesmen & heal.”

But West was back at it Sunday, saying on Twitter that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg should invest $1 billion in his ideas because “he is the greatest living artist and the greatest artist of all time.”

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