Kanye West’s tenth studio album DONDA dropped in late October of this year, and he allegedly made his collaborators wear DONDA merchandise [and Yeezys, of course] while recording the project. The musician now plans to also release a line of home electronics named after his late mother, according to reports from Rolling Stone and TMZ.
In early September of this year, Kanye’s company, Mascotte Holdings, Inc., submitted legal paperwork to establish a line of household goods bearing his name. Then, on the 21st, Ye filed a trademark application with the USPTO for a set of electronic “goods and services.” The list of equipment includes tablets, VR headsets, mobile phones, flash drives, etc. The document seems to cover hypothetical “smart jewelry,” too, such as watches and bracelets. West already unveiled a unique DONDA stem player ($200), made in concert with British company Kano. The tan 8GB device supposedly allows enthusiastic music producers to split tracks into separate stems and thereby “customize any song.”
Ye’s ambitions are to be admired, but his recent ventures outside of music stand in contrast to remarks he made a few years ago. During a 2013 interview with BBC Radio 1 deejay Zane Lowe, West took a direct shot at Lady Gaga for working with a company that had nothing to do with music.
“Look at Gaga she’s the creative director of Polaroid,” he told Lowe. “I like some of the Gaga songs, but what the f-ck does she know about cameras?”
West and Gaga patched things up three years later, however, and she issued a series of tweets to show her support for West during his public 2016 meltdowns. “. @kanyewest i support & love u brother,” she said in one of them. “I see in your bravery & courage to stop this tour & take care of YOU. You are a GREAT artist.”
In Kanye’s mind, though, this is likely an “Elon Musk“-esque play that has been long in the works. Like the Tesla CEO, he just wants to make the world a better place. “People think a lot of my motivation is megalomaniac and self-orientated – to the contrary completely,” West told Lowe in the same 2013 sit-down, “I just want to help.”