More than one year after Kanye West effectively imploded his career, he is beginning to understand that actions often come with consequences, even for him. In a recent Instagram post, which has since been deleted, the rapper sought the help of his followers to book arenas to perform in. In the past year, he claims, he has only been able to perform at Chicago’s United Center because other venues have stated that they don’t have any open availability for him.
“We just sold out United Center in seven minutes, and I just want to express to everybody out there to see if there’s anyone that can help with this,” West said in the clip, which has been re-uploaded by a fan account. “It’s the only arena that I had access to in the past year. And when I call, people say there’s no avails for me, and you know why that is. So if there’s anybody out there that can help with this, please.”
The rapper’s suggestion that “you know why that is” is likely in reference to the widely covered string of controversies he has been embroiled in for nearly two years. Of course, his controversial behavior stretches back further than 2022, but it was in October of that year that West reached a point of no return as he embarked on targeted anti-semitic rants. During one particular outburst, the rapper declared his plan to go “death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.”
As his partnerships with Balenciaga and Adidas were discontinued, details of the concerning conditions he created in workplaces were revealed through different investigations. In November 2022, former Yeezy and Adidas staffers and creative collaborators told Rolling Stone that West played pornography to Yeezy staff in meetings; discussed porn and showed an intimate photograph of Kim Kardashian in job interviews; and showed an explicit video and photos of Kardashian as well as his own sex tapes to Yeezy team members.
Unsurprisingly, few have wanted to touch West’s career with a 10-foot pole. In a follow-up post on Instagram, the rapper made an uneven comparison to Elvis Presley, writing: “I have not been allowed to perform in a year. Feels like the Elvis Presley movie.” It’s unclear what specific release he is referring to, however it is known that there was a seven year period during which Elvis did not perform live. He made a grand return in ’68 Comeback Special, which was recreated in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (2022). His break, however, was the result of a shift in focus toward movies — not because he was effectively blacklisted.
“It won’t be a Live Nation or an AEG, no,” one industry executive, referencing the two biggest concert promoters, told Rolling Stone about West’s potential return to stage back in 2022. “I think he’ll be compelled to do something live at some point. He could go try and go to a venue directly, and put up the money himself. He would hire freelancers willing to work with him. Or if a promoter worked with him, it would be somebody desperately trying to buy some buzz and some market share.”
A booker for a regional concert promoter that oversees several venues added: “Whether or not it’s intended, by booking Kanye at this point in time, you’re endorsing his words … He needs to walk away from what he said before most venues would work with him.” The rapper did attempt to walk back his comments by issuing an apology to the Jewish community entirely in Hebrew and sharing the song “Vultures,” on which he raps: “How I’m antisemitic, I just fucked a Jewish bitch.”
Following his rant video, West shared a screenshot of a text message he received after checking in on whether his video yielded any meaningful results. “Crazy amount of non stop calls from all over the world,” the text from a number saved as “Cara” read. “Will send new offers and avails tomorrow.”
On his Instagram Story, West posted a note reading: “Please reach out to Cara Lewis Group for all bookings.” Cara Lewis Group is an entertainment company based in New York. According to its website, the company roster includes Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, Eminem, and more.