While a lot of people discredit the things Kanye West talks about in his various Twitter rants, recently, the rapper has been trying to bring about some big changes to industries that have been operating in the best interest of corporations for far too long.
Aside from the antics surrounding his ongoing campaign for president, West is also on a quest to re-structure the music industry by giving artists more power over their master recordings. To do so, he’s taken some pretty big steps of his own, recently pledging to return the share he owns (50%) to artists on his G.O.O.D. Music label, which includes Big Sean, Pusha T, Desiigner, John Legend, and more. This comes as Kanye tries to fight for his own masters back, uploading photos of his contracts with Sony and Universal and asking for lawyers around the world for help with getting out of these decades-long deals.
Still, fixing structural issues within the music industry aren’t his only causes at the moment. Kanye West is just as involved--if not more--with the fashion industry as he is with music, and he has made it clear that he’s working on changing the behind-the-scenes operations within that realm, too.
One of the issues important to Mr. West, here, is major corporations not having Black board members, which kick-started his campaign for seats on the boards of Gap and Adidas--both companies he already works with. Instead of just talking about the desire, as he has in the past, Kanye is now blatantly demanding seats while threatening to withhold his support of the companies until he gets them.
“I’M WEARING JORDANS TILL I’M ON THE BOARD OF ADIDAS,” Kanye tweeted, referencing Adidas’ number one competitor, Nike. He went on to reference the other company he works with, tweeting, “I’M NOT RELEASING NOTHING ON GAP TILL I’M ON THE BOARD.”
I’M WEARING JORDANS TILL I’M ON THE BOARD OF ADIDAS ⛷— ye (@kanyewest) September 24, 2020
I’M NOT RELEASING NOTHING ON GAP TILL I’M ON THE BOARD— ye (@kanyewest) September 24, 2020
Both of these declarations follow a September 10 tweet in which Kanye first aired his grievances, writing, “I DONT HAVE A BOARD SEAT AT GAP I DONT HAVE A BOARD SEAT AT ADIDAS … BLACK BOARD SEATS MATTER.”
I DONT HAVE A BOARD SEAT AT GAP I DONT HAVE A BOARD SEAT AT ADIDAS ... BLACK BOARD SEATS MATTER— ye (@kanyewest) September 10, 2020
Kanye West and Adidas have a long history together, bringing to life dozens of successful Yeezy products that launched the Adidas brand into a whole different realm of success. While West’s personal history with Gap is much longer, having worked there as a teenager, he just recently struck a 10-year deal with the brand which will involve the creation of a new Yeezy Gap line.
Both of these companies clearly profit off of their relationship with Kanye, so they should value what he brings to the table, but whether or not they’ll meet his demands to offer him seats on their board of directors remains unknown.