Instagram followers who had notifications on for Kanye West’s account were greeted by a surprise on Tuesday (July 20) when Ye, 44, published his first post in years. Kanye ushered in his return to the ‘gram with a series of photos of a gold chain around his neck. The bling bore the name of his children — Saint, 5, North, 8, and Chicago, 3 (but no mention of Psalm West, which could mean Ye had this chain made before the two-year-old was born.) For those who are curious – even though he has 5.6 million followers, Kanye only follows one person on Instagram, and that remains Kim Kardashian-West.
In addition to the close-ups of his jewelry, Kanye shared: a photo of him wearing a hood and gloves; a photo of him looking like Spider-Man or Snake Eyes from posing G.I. Joe, as he looked down while crouching high above on some silver canisters; and his outfit laid out on a table. This was Kanye’s first in nearly three years, as Heavy noted in 2020 that Ye’s last post was on Oct. 4, 2018. He deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts after that date but returned to Twitter in time for his disastrous presidential campaign. This Instagram comeback also heralded the release of his highly-anticipated album, DONDA. Fans, needless to say, were hyped. “It’s happening. “Yeezy season.” “This one feels a lot different… Classic incoming.” “Donda we ready let’s GOOOOO.”
Kanye confirmed that his long-delayed album would arrive on Friday (July 23) in an unconventional way: through a Beats By Dre commercial featuring Sha’Carri Richardson. The Olympic sprinter, who missed out on the Tokyo 2020 games after a positive cannabis test, starred in a spot that aired during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Sha’Carri, aka “America’s Fastest Woman,” ran 100m while wearing the recently launched Beats Studio Buds, while “No Child Left Behind,” a previously-unheard track from Kanye, scored the commercial. The ad also notified fans that there would be a “listening event live stream on Apple Music at 8pm ET.” Kanye, in his second Instagram post in years, shared the commercial to his account.
There were rumblings that DONDA, which Kanye said he would release in July 2020, would finally see the light of day at the start of the week. Kanye held an album listening party in Las Vegas on Sunday (July 18). During the event, Kanye reportedly played a song titled “Welcome To My Life, where he referred to his life with the KarJenners as a “prison,” and one lyric goes, “Tell the assassins I escaped from Calabasas.” But, Page Six reported that Kanye played his new music for Kim personally before the party and that the new music is “emotional and personal” and Ye says nothing “negative” about Kim on it.