Kanye fan hears Yeezy's $53 million plea

Diehard devotee sets up GoFundMe page to help "a fellow artist in need" after rapper tweets about financial woes.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
3 min read
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A Kanye West GoFundMe page is looking to help the rapper erase his claims of being $53 million in debt.


Don't worry Yeezy, help is on the way.

A Kanye West fan in Minnesota has created a GoFundMe page for the rapper, fashion designer and Kim Kardashian's crazier half, a day after the Grammy winner tweeted he was $53 million in debt. West's financial woes are so bad, he publicly begged two tech billionaires for cash.

"Kanye West, prolific entertainer/fashion icon/celebrity/member of the Kardashian family needs our help!" Jeremy Piatt wrote on his Help Get Kanye Out of Debt page. "Sure, he is personally rich and can buy furs and houses for his family, but without our help, the true genius of Kanye West can't be realized."

The Internet's quickly showed its generosity and support. By Tuesday afternoon -- some 48 hours after West's desperate plea -- a total of $50 had been pledged to the multi-platinum hip-hop star. (That's 0.000094 percent of Kanye's total debt.)

Piatt, a graphic designer, is no stranger to Internet fame. The 36-year-old, who made headlines last year for giving NFL helmets a bold makeover, said he was motivated by the desire to help a fellow artist.

"The arts must be funded, and without funding great ideas and great masterpieces never get made," Piatt said. "This is a great way for people, not giant corporations, to support great artists and visionaries."

A West representative didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Of course, Piatt wasn't alone in trying to organize support for Kanye. A separate GoFundMe campaign, called HELP PAY KANYE'S DEBT!, was organized by Robert Kulik in Washington, D.C. though it appears to have been canceled.

"A buck, five-spot, 10-banger, deuce-nil, Franklin... Just give what you can as soon as you can," the campaign read. "We need to relieve his stress, so the "greatest artist of all time" can do what he does best - making the world a better place!"

Kulik's campaign raised $0. He didn't respond to an email seeking comment.

West recently went on a bizarre Twitter rant in which he pleaded for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet CEO Larry Page to each invest $1 billion in his ideas. West tweeted Sunday that he feels rich people are always "too cool" to ask for help, including lending money.

Some in Silicon Valley took note. Box CEO Aaron Levie tweeted: Classic Series A pitch deck line.

Yeezy -- that's one of West's nicknames -- also just released his latest album, "The Life of Pablo," and debuted his latest clothing collection at Fashion Week in New York.

The album, which was released on the struggling music streaming app Tidal Sunday, was pulled down shortly after it appeared. The album has reportedly been illegally downloaded more than 500,000 times from other sites after many fans said they paid $20 to download the album off Tidal but didn't get it.

On one of the tracks, West boasts he's responsible for pop star Taylor Swift's fame.

On Monday, Swift artfully responded while accepting a Grammy for best album.

"To all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or fame," she said. "But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you're going, you'll look around and know it was you and the people who love you who put there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world."

I guess that's what they call a "mic drop."