A look back on the Kardashian-West reign, what could have contributed to the fall out, and their futures as individuals.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
One of the most influential couples of our generation has officially filed for divorce. Sources like NBC News, Cosmopolitan, and TMZ have confirmed the couple’s split in early February. After six years of marriage, the power couple have agreed to call it quits. In remembering the couple’s time together, let’s revisit their individual forces in the industry, and how their relationship took their influence to another level.
Kanye West began making his presence in the entertainment industry in the early 2000s. His album, Graduation, put him on the map in 2007. His lighter, more technical sound behind his intelligent flow changed the game of rap and hip hop. In a sea of heavy hitters and rappers who branded themselves around gang activity, West seemed like the new kid on the block with his different approach. He not only had an ear and knowledge for music production, but also an eye for fashion. West put many trends on the market. In 2009 the artist designed his first shoe in collaboration with Nike making a priceless shoe in the market, the Nike Air Yeezy.
Kim Kardashian took a more different approach to achieving fame. Kardashian was first known as Paris Hilton’s assistant, a socialite during the early 2000s. She made several appearances on Hilton’s reality show, The Simple Life, a foreshadow into what was in store for her later on. Keeping Up With the Kardashians first aired in 2007, which featured the daily lives of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. With social media on the rise the Kardashians not only changed reality TV, but the online culture and influential presence a person can have.
The 2014 marriage between the two celebrities caused a ton of controversy in its early stages. Many didn’t believe that the two were a compatible match. A genius in the rap game wed to a reality TV star? It was something the public had to wrap their head around, but their love deemed real. West constantly showed his love and appreciation for Kardashian by gifting her extravagant gifts. For example, West bought over $100,000 worth of stocks under Kardashian’s name as a Christmas gift. He also hired a string quartet to play live music for her among a sea of roses the morning of Valentine’s Day. As their family grew to six, so did their individual careers. Kardashian added “West” to her name brands, and was able to jump start KKW Fragrance, KKW Beauty and SKIMs, while West himself released new music and continued to take over the streetwear game with Yeezy.
The public began to see West’s decline in 2016. Fans became first hand witnesses to the artist’s mental breakdowns during his Saint Pablo national tour. He became known for starting shows late, ending them early, and calling out bold statements towards fellow artists. He never got to finish the tour as he became hospitalized for mental health observation, which led to over twenty shows to be refunded to fans. Since then, West has only ever been in the news for controversial reasons. He used Twitter as an outlet to express his unpopular opinions and even spoke negatively of mother in law, Kris Jenner. Beside raising her children and running her multiple businesses, Kardashian was left to clean up all of West’s incidents in the media.
Since then the rapper has stayed out of the spotlight, making a limited number of appearances on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. His public presence became overshadowed as the younger generation took over. As there are no true facts released about the motives behind divorce, we can only look forward into what this means for the family. As a fan who has always kept up with the Kardashians, I am interested to see Kardashian in her own spotlight. Many have claimed that the celebrity would not be where she is without West. But with this divorce and freedom from the reality show, Kardashian has a chance to prove herself to the millions looking down on her. But besides the separation, I believe perspectives on mental health can be taken away from this as well.
Ryan Ford '23,