The past few months for Kanye “Ye” West have been a low point in negative headlines, even for him. He crowned his painfully aggressive anti-Semitism with a positive reference to Adolf Hitler. After that, however, the coverage died down. Maybe it was just too much.

    Where’s Kanye West?

    But it could also be due to West himself: in the past few weeks he is said to have gone into hiding. Since the end of 2022, it has been repeatedly reported that the rapper cannot be found. Since then there has also been talk of an outstanding lawsuit. One of his former managers submitted it. Thomas St. John, who has worked as a financial advisor to West, signed an 18-month guaranteed contract with him given the risk involved with the client. The monthly guaranteed flat rate was probably $ 300,000. After three months, West had terminated the contract without paying.

    In order to be able to process St. John’s 4.5 million dollar claim for damages, the competent court must first serve it on West. So far this has not been successful. West could not be reached at his home address or via several e-mail inboxes. This and the strange silence have given rise to speculation about an absconding.

    Photos in front of a church and a festival in Ghana

    In the meantime, photos of the rapper have appeared showing him in front of a church. A user of the Reddit platform published it there.

    However, neither the place nor the date of its creation are certain. Instagram page @blacvolta also posted that West and his team attended a party as part of the Black Star Line Festival in Accra, Ghana.

    The festival was created by Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Both are Chicago natives, like West, and have worked with him in the past. Which gave the story some credibility. However, after the festival took place on January 6, 2023, no pictures or videos of West have surfaced. A performance does not seem to have taken place either. All of this naturally fuels speculation as to whether “Ye” intends to avoid the legal consequences of his actions.

    What remains

    While the legal side of this story will continue to develop, a cautious (retrospective) look can be taken at the handling of West’s absconding. The emptiness aka calm left by Kanye West’s sudden disappearance from public life is obviously palpable. It’s also a sign that the overly close proximity to everything he did and said — not just in the past few months — has both blown and shattered the rapper’s myth. That closeness and excitement was – as the interviews he gave during the height of his well-known mental illness – testify to a significant part of his appeal. Kanye West was a transformative figure. Without him, many of today’s aspects of fashion, music and celebrity would be unthinkable or otherwise. And then he was gone. The photo in front of the church, in its obscurity and really bad picture quality, is the lasting statement. Kanye’s probably somewhere, but we can’t get to him anymore.

    Of course, this does not apply to the political consequences of his development and his temporary withdrawal from the public eye. According to the Wiesenthal Center, its development is the worst anti-Semitic incident of 2022. Anything West will bring back onto the scene in the future needs to be viewed with that in mind. The church photo is perhaps also symbolic of his future prominence. It feels like somewhere deep inland in the US. West, who recorded and produced formative albums in the noughties, hasn’t been a celebrated megastar for a long time. Now he will never be again.