Kanye West is happy. This doesn't seem like particularly necessary news, but it is. Because from the first time Mr. West picked up a microphone, he's very transparently expressed pain.
Around the release of The College Dropout, he almost died in a car accident. Around Late Registration, his grandmother died. Around Graduation, his dear mother Donda West passed. Debt, his dirty cousin stealing his laptop, a Nike deal going wrong, George Bush not caring about black people, paparazzi circling him in wolf-like packs and causing him to run into a pole, mental breakdowns, a public rift with his mentor/"Big Brother" Jay-Z — the point is, he's been through the ringer (or through the wire, you might say), and the world has watched.
But lately, he's been seen smiling more. He was grinning ear-to-ear as he arrived at his California office, he went on a seemingly joyous shopping trip with the always-beaming Lil Uzi Vert and he became a dad to his youngest daughter, Chicago West.
Kanye has been relatively quiet since the release of The Life of Pablo almost two years ago. He skipped out on this year's Grammys, instead taking a family trip to Berlin, where paparazzi took pictures of him supposedly eating alone (the video shows him talking to someone and an arm entering the frame).
Despite flying under the radar lately, the 40-year-old has not been idle. There's his annual Yeezy Season fashion show. He's the executive producer of Honor Up, a film due out next month directed by and starring Damon Dash, and he's been doing some producing, most recently on Migos' Culture II.
Kanye's always been aware of his sometimes abrasive personality, as heard on songs like "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," "Power" and "I Love Kanye." So for any fan, West's sharp behavioral contrast from a few years ago is enjoyable to see. In recent memory, he got into some intense Twitter drama with his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose, he controversially stated that he would have voted for Trump and he was hospitalized for exhaustion.
So while new music would be appreciated (cough, cough, Cruel Winter), Kanye should take as much time as he needs to. Hopefully, his smiles and such will help to ward off declarations of "I miss the old Kanye."