Late-Night Texts and a Focus on Fashion: Inside Kanye West’s Current World (Exclusive)

During a (relatively) quiet period for the artist and mogul, sources close to Kanye West offer clues on his current focus — and future plans.


Kanye West has been quieter than usual lately. The musician and mogul, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, made headlines throughout the fall with a flurry of antisemitic rhetoric and the announcement of his 2024 presidential campaign. But in the months since, Ye has largely removed himself from the public eye, focusing instead on his children, reviving his fashion career, life with his new partner, and on Donda Academy, the unaccredited Christian private school he launched last year.

"He has put his head down and is loving living a low-key lifestyle right now," one source who has worked with Ye tells The Messenger. Adds a friend: "He's at peace and he's doing things that make him happy."

But the relative calm remains streaked with some chaos as he finds a new normal following past strife with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian (which was touched on during the season 3 premiere of The Kardashians), the disintegration of his partnership with Adidas, the continued fallout from his antisemitic remarks, and legal action around Donda Academy and allegations concerning campaign-finance law surrounding his potential presidential campaign. The Messenger, through conversations with sources close to Ye and a review of recent reports, takes stock of where things stand with the artist:

Ye and his family

After the finalization of their divorce in late 2022, Ye and Kim Kardashian sparred on social media, and the emotional fallout of that drama is currently playing out onscreen. But now the two are finding a way to coexist as they co-parent their four children.

They have "finally found a moment of peace in their relationship," the source who worked with Ye tells The Messenger. "They are both focused on making the kids' lives content and seamless. He is still very much involved in their lives as much as he can."

In late April, Ye and Bianca Censori — with whom he reportedly had a secret wedding ceremony, though it appears the pair have not yet obtained a wedding license — made an appearance at his daughter North's basketball game before leaving early in his SUV, TMZ reported.

While the source says Ye hasn't kept in close contact with the rest of the Kardashian siblings, he's "definitely around for any major events or kids' events. They will always embrace him as family."

Ye's current inner circle

By many accounts, West's orbit has gotten smaller. At the center of it, besides his children, is Censori.

"She has really been keeping him grounded," the first source says, adding that the couple have been renovating their home. "He likes that he and Bianca have a lot in common and can work and collaborate together."

One spiritual advisor who still speaks with Ye tells The Messenger that though West's circle is small, it still includes some people who "speak truth into his life."

"Anyone who is in Ye’s life has to want to be there; they have to be intentional about taking time with him," the advisor says. "And it might surprise you, but he isn’t surrounding himself with people who just believe everything he believes. He’s open to at least listening to people who believe differently, although he doesn’t seem to let it change him right now. That’s the reality of Ye."

The advisor also describes Ye's unpredictable communication style.

"I won’t hear anything from him for days, maybe weeks," the source says. "And then one night he’ll just text, text, text. I’ll wake up in the morning to 30 texts, and they’re sometimes disjointed. If you look at the timestamps, he’ll send them in spurts."

Ye's antisemitic statements and what they've cost him

Antisemitic remarks and opinions began popping up on Ye's social media late last year, including one tweet that read, "When I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE." These thoughts culminated in his appearance on an Alex Jones livestream where he shared antisemitic stereotypes and jokes, said people should "stop dissing the Nazis," and openly praised Hitler. After the show, he tweeted a swastika inside a Star of David. Soon after, his account was suspended.

Ye seemingly wrapped up the social media tirade in March of this year when he shared a poster of the 2012 comedy 21 Jump Street on his Instagram and captioned it, “Watching Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street made me like Jewish people again." Ye appeared to see some error in his ways. "No one should take anger against one or two individuals and transform that into hatred towards millions of innocent people." But then he added, "No Christian can be labeled antisemite knowing Jesus is Jew. Thank you Jonah Hill I love you." Hill has not publicly responded and West deactivated his account the following month.

Citing Ye's antisemitic remarks, Adidas — which began selling the Ye-designed sneaker line Yeezy in 2015 — ended its partnership with the rapper last October, declaring in a statement that the rapper's "recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous."

The spiritual advisor tells The Messenger that Ye is still grappling with the public fallout. "The past year has been a real struggle with Ye," the source says. "He has said some unforgivable things, and what’s worse, he doesn’t really understand why they were unforgivable." The advisor says the two have had many conversations on the topic: "Sometimes it seems like he’ll get it, that he’ll understand where he went wrong. But Ye is Ye. He hears what he wants to hear, he believes what he wants to believe."

The advisor says Ye tries not to care "that a lot of people have cut him out of their lives, but that’s not true. He cares very much. It bothers him. He doesn’t understand why people who were once his friends aren’t his friends anymore because he shared an opinion. I’ve told him that he can’t make himself the victim here; sometimes people say things that are so outside the norm, so vile, so unacceptable that people have to distance themselves."

Ye's focus moving forward

Though his Adidas partnership is no longer, Ye continues to prioritize his non-music interests. He's "fully focusing on his next fashion endeavor," says the source who worked with Ye. "He has been creating a lot and hopes to put something out soon."

On May 4, Ye's holding company filed a trademark application for "Yzy sock shoes." The items are described as "socks with leather soles." The trademark would also cover clothing, footwear and headgear. Business Insider points out that Ye filed more than 50 individual trademark applications around the word "Yeezyverse" in a single day last year.

Censori, an architectural designer from Australia who worked at Yeezy for several years, plays a core role in Ye's creative process.

"She is definitely his muse for his latest project and she enjoys giving him her input," the source adds. "They work well together and it's been going great so far."

And his return might be soon. The Ye friend says that he recently held a casting for an upcoming Yeezy Season 10 show. "He is looking for all walks of life and wants the show to be diverse," the friend says. "It is very unclear when the line will be released as he has changed the creative several times."

Ye's music career

West's last official releases on streaming platforms are a song with Cardi B and Lil Durk last summer titled "Hot S---" and a feature on DJ Khaled's album God Did on a track with Eminem. His most recent album, Donda 2, dropped in February 2022 exclusively on the streaming platform Stem Player.

Another song, "Censori Overload," appeared in December in a since-deleted Instagram post, but hasn't yet been officially released.

According to the spiritual advisor, "Ye is thinking about new music, about new ways to express himself." Even after Ye's recent controversies, the source says that the Grammy-winning rapper hopes that "people will still listen to what he has to say because he believes his messages are important."

Ye's presidential campaign

In November of last year, Ye announced that he was running for president once again. But in early May, the campaign's treasurer, Patrick Krason, notified the FEC of his resignation and, in a letter to Ye, claimed that campaign advisor Milo Yiannopoulos may have broken federal campaign-finance law.

Yiannopoulos is the controversial right-wing political commentator who resigned from Breitbart in 2017 after seemingly endorsing sex between "younger boys" and older men. Yiannopoulos admitted to a "poor choice of words" and emphatically denied supporting pedophilia. Yiannopoulos and Ye worked together on the artist's failed 2020 bid.

In his resignation letter to Ye, obtained by Politico, Krason cited a "potentially serious criminal transaction" involving his 2020 campaign, specifically claiming Yiannopoulos submitted "falsified invoices and for expenditures that would be deemed unlawful" in November of 2022, before Krason joined the team. Yiannopoulos has denied any wrongdoing.

Yiannopoulos is reportedly back in charge of West's campaign, which is at odds with recent reports that Ye has abandoned his presidential run altogether.

Ye has yet to confirm or further comment on his campaign plans.

The Messenger reached two lawyers for Ye, who did not provide comment on this story. Attempts by The Messenger to reach Bianca Censori directly were unsuccessful. When The Messenger attempted to contact Yiannopoulos using an email address attributed to him in court documents, he responded with a mocking video of a young man calling protestors clowns.

Written by Taylor Henderson with reporting by Lanae Brody, Steve Helling, Elizabeth Rosner and Amanda Williams.

A photo of Ye West.
Design: Bree Linville (Photo: Robin Marchant/ Getty Images)
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