Cozying up to President Trump has paid off for Kanye West, whose latest album just hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, bringing him one step closer to a record.
West's "Ye" is his eighth No. 1 album on the chart; he and Eminem are now tied for the second-most hip-hop albums to hit No. 1. "Only Jay-Z is ahead of them, as he owns 14 chart-toppers,” says Billboard. “Among all acts, The Beatles have the most No. 1s, with 19.”
Breaking a long silence, West returned to Twitter on April 25 to announce the new album was due. He didn't waste time in stirring up controversy, calling Trump his "brother" and tweeting "you don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him." West also tweeted a claim that he and Trump share "dragon energy," a picture of a #MAGA hat signed by Trump, a screenshot of Trump retweeting West, and the complaint "Obama was in office for eight years and nothing in Chicago changed."
West also shared a series of bizarre videos by "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams, which claim that racism is not a problem and can be overcome by positive thinking. This attracted retweets and positive comments from the far right.
The reaction to West's tweetstorms was largely negative. Snoop Dogg posted an Instagram message that West had gone "all white." John Legend and Chrissy Teigen got in an extended Twitter tussle with West, and Dr. Phil said he was empowering white supremacists. "#shallwesavehim" inquired Samuel L. Jackson on Twitter.
But "Ye" has apparently overcome that kerfuffle, and some decidedly mixed reviews. On Wednesday, its Metacritic average was 65 out of 100, with Spin calling it "crudely formed" and The 405 labeling it "an ambitious misfire."
"Kanye West has always been a troll but there was once an empowering, heroic quality to his narcissism," complained Now magazine, calling "Ye" the product of "self-destructive celebrity."