Kanye West, continuing his effort to get people to like him again, showed up at the Chicago White Sox game Sunday to throw out the first pitch. He walked out to “Homecoming,” his ode to Chicago, with his son Saint on his shoulders.
Kanye let Saint throw the ball first, which was as adorable as you’d expect. Then ‘Ye threw a pitch himself. It bounced before the plate, but was still respectable enough in the context of bad celebrity first pitches. It was far better than 50 Cent’s worst-of-all-time rapper first pitch — so Kanye beats 50 again, if you remember their album-sales batter of 2007.
Here’s Kanye’s intro and the first pitch:
THAT’S CHICAGO! pic.twitter.com/XrwLrkb6uD
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) September 23, 2018
The Kanye West rebrand hits baseball
Kanye West is nothing if not a man who knows how to promote and market himself. He’s proven it with Twitter rants and TMZ appearances and meticulous album rollouts. Recently, he announced a few new projects and has taken great strides to ingratiate himself again with the hip-hop community and Chicago as a whole — with varying degrees of success.
In the build-up to “Ye,” his solo album earlier this year, Kanye stepped create a PR mess for himself when he said slavery was choice. He went on Tweet storms where he said he was a “free thinker.” He also started aligning himself the right-wing politics and, in the worst move of all, dropped a lackluster, seemingly half-finished album.
He’s trying to do better this time around. Kanye is promising a new album called “Yandhi” (which we’re assuming is ‘Ye + Gandhi) on Sept. 29. For this rollout, Kanye announced he was moving back to Chicago, ditching the Calabasas life to get back to his hometown.
He’s been eating at the famous local chicken place and took wife Kim Kardashian to his childhood home. Kanye said he’s working on another project with Chance The Rapper — who happens to be an ambassador for the White Sox and has all the hometown community cred that Kanye is courting.
Showing up to the White Sox game with your kid on your shoulders while your Chicago anthem plays? That’ll tug at even the most cynical ex-Kanye fans. It’s a logical next step in a rebrand that should continue to play out over the next few weeks.
If he was really trying to bring back the “Old Kanye,” though, he made the wrong choice for his first pitch walk-out music. It should have been the original version of “Home” — his Chicago ode — which features John Legend and was recorded before “The College Dropout.” That’s the one.
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