Moscow goes crazy for Kanye West

The Bell

It’s less than six months since American journalist Tucker Carlson came to Moscow on a trip that was possibly the highlight of the year for West-bashing Russian propagandists. Now another American celebrity, rapper Ye (Kanye West) is reportedly in town. And once again, Moscow has seized on the visit as proof that it cannot be isolated on the world stage.

  • Kanye West flew to Moscow for the birthday of famous Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, the chief designer of West’s Yeezy brand whose acclaimed work is inspired by late Soviet aesthetics. In several videos released on various Telegram channels, the musician is seen being accompanied around Moscow by his entourage, though his face is barely visible. 
  • West was believed to be staying at the Four Seasons hotel in central Moscow, just off Red Square. On June 30, a large crowd gatheredoutside the hotel, but the musician did not appear. 
  • Propaganda outlets claimed that West’s visit to a supposedly “canceled” country would usher in a new trend. “In other words, Kanye cancels cancel culture,” said a post on Moskvichka, founded by notorious Russian propagandist Kristina Potupchik.  “Ideologically, Kanye West is one of us,” commented philosopher Alexander Dugin.

Why the world should care 

The rapper’s visit is unlikely to be seen as rolling back the “cancellation” of Russia. Over the years West has been involved in major scandals that have seriously harmed his reputation at home. For example, the musician publicly admitted sympathy for Adolf Hitler, while his former business partner accused him of anti-Semitism. “Thanks to Gosha Rubchinskiy we were part of the universe for an entire day,” Russian movie critic Zinaida Pronchenko commented ironically on Russia’s crazed reaction to his reported visit.


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