Kanye West Says He Empathizes With the U.K. Because He Too Lost His “Queen”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Kanye West is many things. And lately, he’s an empathizer. In the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom, West extended his head and his heart to the people, her loyal subjects.

Why?

Because he says, he too has lost his “Queen.”

“London, I know how you feel,” Ye posted on his Instagram Stories. “I lost my queen, too.”

While it’s not 100% clear who the “Diamonds Are Forever” artist is referencing, it only makes sense given his recent life changes and public spat with model and businesswoman Kim Kardashian that he is talking about his 2021 divorce from the popular social media personality.

Kardashian, of course, began dating comedian Pete Davidson on the rebound after her split with West. That relationship made headlines for both former spouses. For Kardashian, she was photographed with the younger funny man while West made headlines with his anger toward Davidson, who he often called “Skete” and even shouted him out negatively in some of his more recent songs and verses.

However, if it’s not his ex-wife he’s talking about, perhaps he means his mother, Donda West. The two were especially close until her death 15 years ago after botched plastic surgery. West famously named his latest two albums after her, Donda and Donda 2.

Queen Elizabeth died earlier this month after reigning over England for more than 70 years.

No matter who he meant, the Queen’s death has had an impact on West—at least, that’s what he says. He noted recently that her passing inspired him to “release all grudges.” West, perhaps in conjunction with that, recently ended his partnership with The Gap, saying, “A king has to make his own castle.”

In a statement to employees, Gap president Mark Breitbard confirmed the news, saying, “While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, how we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned. And we are deciding to wind down the partnership.”

“It was always a dream of mine to be at the Gap and to bring the best product possible to the masses, and I always talked to them about doing products for $20—like the best products in the world, designed to the same level of the top fashion houses in the world, at $20 for the people,” West told CNBC of the Gap dissolution. “And so we went through three years, and honestly, there’s always [those] struggles and back-and-forth when you’re trying to build something new and integrate teams. So we designed an entire collection, and actually, I wasn’t able to set the actual price that I wanted for this collection. And then they actually took one of the shirts and sold it for $19. So [they] didn’t price my stuff—they took my stuff and sold it for like $200 and above their whole price point normally and did the exact shirt for $20. 

“Also, they did pop-ups and I signed on with them because in the contract they said they were gonna do stores. And they just ignored us about building stores constantly. It was very frustrating. It was very disheartening. Because I just put everything I had. I put all of my top relationships. I went and got Demna [Gvasalia], the lead designer of Balenciaga, which is one of the hottest brands in the world. He does couture, and with that relationship, he ended up working on a Gap collection for me. There were a lot of things like colorways that I didn’t approve. There was a lot of places where the product went to certain sites where they just—it was like they were just dog-and-ponying the idea around town. 

“And sometimes I would talk to the guys, the heads of—the leaders—and it was like I was on mute or something. They totally—our agenda, it wasn’t aligned, and I know. My family, we’re garmentos. We made the first Louis Vuitton bootleg jogging suit. So they used to confiscate the bags at LAX. That’s actually literally my family that would cut up those bags and make jogging suits. We literally would make Cross Colors. Because people always think of things like the celebrity. I wouldn’t have been so influential in clothing language—I like the word language better than aesthetic because language is a base. Aesthetic, it’s just a style. It’s a language that me and Virgil [Abloh] and Demna and Jerry Lorenzo and Matt Williams brought in streetwear. And this Marc Ecko Complex idea of what it is today. What high schools look like today. And everyone knows that I’m the leader. I’m the king, right? So a king can’t live in someone else’s castle. A king has to make his own castle.”

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