On the opening track of Yeezus, Kanye West said, “Everybody wanna live at the top of the mountain,” and it appears he himself is no exception. According to TMZ, Kanye has found himself a retreat in the mountain tops of Wyoming where he’s working on his next album, the follow-up to 2016’s The Life of Pablo.
TMZ also claims to know the exact whereabouts of this retreat, but out of respect for the self-proclaimed genius’s creative process, they have withheld that information. Reportedly, Kanye has been in Wyoming for about two weeks which explains why Kim flew solo to last week’s Met Gala as well as his recent deletion of both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
While TMZ’s sources say this self-induced retreat is purely creative, one can’t help but wonder whether it’s related to reported issues at home or his post-election hospitalization.
For those that have followed Kanye’s career religiously, there’s a lot to latch onto here. Longtime collaborator Bon Iver is infamous for his cabin lock-ins in the middle of Wisconsin. Is Kanye channeling his inner Justin Vernon? Is Kanye dead-set on releasing his first folk album? Unlikely, but another track with Bon is almost a certainty at this point.
While working on 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye and his closest collaborators formed a creative compound of sorts in Hawaii. Is that what’s going on again in the mountain tops of Wyoming? Is Wyoming the new Hawaii? (No.)
One can’t help (or hope) to see parallels between his current exile and the one he inflicted upon himself while recording My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Prior to MBDTF, Kanye was publically reeling after Swiftgate. Of course, MBDTF surpassed the lofty expectations, with many critics praising his fifth studio album as his best studio album.
Now, amid a sort of Trumpgate he’s involved himself in, one can only hope for similar results when the next album is dropped.