‘Me and my wife got the kind of love that can turn exes into best friends’
In an era where social media dominates life, pop stars are able to control their PR more than ever before. Whether it’s M.I.A. championing political action, Lady Gaga calling out the music industry’s boys club, or Frank Ocean consciously removing himself from the internet, the very nature of online autonomy means that, if you’re a public figure, you can orchestrate your every move, building or sullying your reputation within the length of 140 characters.
With that in mind, let’s rewind back to last week, when an explosive twitter beef between Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa culminated in Amber Rose (who was needlessly targeted by West) tweeting: “Awww @kanyewest are u mad I’m not around to play in ur asshole anymore?#FingersInTheBootyAssBitch”, prompting West to reply: “Exes can be mad but just know I never let them play with my ass… I don’t do that… I stay away from that area all together” – the whole brief, bizarre exchange tapping into some seriously feeble masculinity.
And then, yesterday, in an even more intriguing twist, both Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian tweeted a selfie together. “Tea anyone?” reads Kardashian’s post, while Rose’s post reads simply: “Swingers”.
It looked almost too good to be true. The pair of them, sitting there, inadvertently brought together by West’s asshole. Did they discuss it? Did Kardashian give Rose a knowing wink and make a sign with her index finger and thumb? Who suggested they get the iPhone out to capture the moment? What exactly is going on here? Do they both possess a wickedly dry sense of humour, or was the whole debacle, in actual fact, just one big genius PR stunt? The latter is entirely possible. Let’s weigh up the evidence...
For one, the explosive events unfolded just one month before the release date of West’s long-awaited upcoming seventh album Waves. It has meant that West’s name has been a continuously trending hashtag, the ever-complex, controversial and divisive character gaining even more notoriety than he had before, even if much of the discussion has been centred on what is, or is not, his favourite erogenous zone. It’s a fact that West wryly acknowledged himself, saying in a now-deleted tweet: “Thank you for the extra promotion #WAVES available February 11th.”
Furthermore, it’s hard to deny the serendipity of the two being pictured together after West’s strange declaration that, “Me and my wife got the kind of love that can turn exes into best friends.” Indeed, just three days after that tweet, here they are, looking like best friends. What’s that all about?
I’m not into that kind of shit… I like pictures and videos Me and my wife got the kind of love that can turn exes into best friends— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 29, 2016
Of course, it’s not just West that emerges from the situation with a heady boost to his profile, but everybody else involved too. Rose, a model who has gradually become known as the unofficial face of the anti-slut-shaming movement, has gained fans over the past few months for her no-bullshit approach to calling out society’s double standards. It was undoubtedly Rose who emerged the real “winner” of this beef, embodied in a brilliant and candid essay on sexism. “If you know me, you love me,” she wrote. “If you don’t know me, you might love me, but you might not – and that’s cool. And you know what? Now I sleep like a baby at night.”
Equally, Khalifa has emerged with more people mentioning his name after the events than before them. I can’t have been the only person who looked up his tracks on YouTube to see if there was any weight to West’s Kid Cudi comparisons (“Bro first of all you stole your whole shit from Cudi”) or to check if his music was that bad (“Second, your first single was corny as fuck and most there after”) or to try and listen to one of his albums the whole way through (“no one I know has ever listened to one of your albums all the way through.”) If you hadn’t heard Khalifa’s music before last week, I’ll bet anything you’ve heard it now.
Kim Kardashian, of course, has long proved herself to be the queen of imaginative and unexpected PR stunts, from the leaked sex tape that she capitalised on to become the world’s biggest reality star, to the hacked selfies that she reclaimed by publishing them in an incredible photo book. Call us paranoid, but it’s hardly just conjecture to imagine that it could have been Kardashian who masterminded the entire situation, in all of its intriguing and controversial glory.
However, saying that, it’s quite likely that the Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian selfie wasn’t an elaborate PR stunt at all. Alternatively (and this is my favourite option), the two women just wished to rise above all the catty bullshit, like the independent people they are. Sure, their (ex) significant others might be throwing shots and dragging them both into it, but they’re way too busy looking fierce and partying with each other to notice or care.