In the Kanyeverse, the limit does not exist.
Never content to be boxed in to one category, the hip-hop artist and producer-turned designer announced in May a new Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy Home. While fans desperately await the drop of his long-awaited new album, Kanye West has been dipping his toe into architecture with the design of a prefabricated concrete affordable-housing project designed to address the housing crisis in Los Angeles.
If you are currently picturing a condo or high rise, think again.
Remember, it’s Kanye we’re talking about. This is the man who had a Jesus lookalike appear on stage with him during his Yeezus tour; it’s a man who suggested to Donald Trump during their controversial meeting in 2018 the concept of ‘Yeezy Ideation Centres’ to educate and empower citizens of America. West’s foray into architecture would always be unconventional, so it follows that his inspiration for Yeezy Home would be plucked from the structures on a fictional planet in the Star Wars franchise: Tatooine, to be precise.
Earlier this August, a set of incomplete wooden domes were photographed at the West residence in Calabasas, California. These domes are believed to be prototypes of Yeezy Home units designed to “break the barriers that separate classes namely, the rich, the middle class, and the poor.”
Where we may have once been surprised at the idea of Kanye West building Star Wars inspired dome-shaped housing for the homeless, his increasingly erratic behaviour and refusal to stay within the boundaries of one discipline has conditioned us to expect the unexpected.
West first outlined his concept for the community in another interview in April last year, stating his intention to change the face of real-estate development as we know it.
“I’m going to be one of the biggest real-estate developers of all time, what Howard Hughes was to aircrafts and what Henry Ford was to cars, just the relationships I have with architects, my understanding of space and sacred proportions, just this new vibe, this new energy,” he said.
Naturally, building a prototype of class-defying city in your backyard is not an endeavour that you can keep under wraps. In fact, the disruption caused by the construction of these dome-like structures (that stand close to 50 ft high) has been raised by disgruntled neighbours to the L.A. County Dept. of Public Works, which led to a surprise inspection to see if he’s violated the building code.
He may be used to challenging the norm, but according to TMZ, the certification West acquired to build his dream dome was not the permit they were looking for. Now, West’s mission to bridge the divide between rich and poor has reached a troubling roadblock.
While inspectors responding to an initial complaint from a neighbour were told by an on-site manager that the Yeezy Home project was temporary, the second inspection found the structures were sitting atop concrete platforms and therefore required a building permit for a permanent project – something West and his team did not obtain prior to construction.
Sources claim that the concrete bases exist for safety measures, and that everything will be removed “eventually”, but If West fails to obtain the correct permit by September 15, the Star Wars-inspired project will be torn down before its even opened.
Sources from the building site say Kanye will obtain the necessary permit if need be – after all, if he’s learned anything from Star Wars it’s that you either do or do not – there is no try. When it comes to art, you can’t stop West’s imagination any more than you can stop the suns from setting.
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YEEZY Home in the works! Each building is about 50 feet high. "Sources familiar with the project tell TMZ ... Kanye is building dome-like structures that are prototypes for a new type of home ... homes he believes will break the barriers that separate classes ... namely, the rich, the middle class and the poor." #yeezyhome