Kanye West’s identity was stolen, and signature forged by someone described as an “associate” at his label G.O.O.D. Music, TMZ reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation.
The alleged perpetrator reached out to fashion designer Philipp Plein, who is to stage a big New York Fashion Week show on 11 February, and introduced himself as Kanye’s representative. He reportedly began negotiations with the designer and asked $900,000 for Yeezy’s performance at the event — which was never going to happen.
The Blast managed to obtain a copy of the contract and claims that it was signed by Plein, Kanye, and Ye’s associate Malik Yusef, who was once signed to G.O.O.D Music. Under the bogus deal, West was supposed to show up five hours ahead of time, take a red carpet walk, attend the catwalk show, the cocktail party and the dinner.
He was also booked to perform three songs with an orchestra and to not wear any visible brands other than Philipp Plein, though he was allowed to sport his Yeezys.
The contract stipulated that Plein would pay $500,000 to the Donda Social Program Foundation, a charity Kanye used to have that was named after his late mother. Six children from the foundation were also expected to appear at the high-brow event, wearing Philipp Plein head to toe.
The Blast cited unnamed sources as saying that three wires were sent on 31 January: one for $600,000 and another for $150,000 – to the foundation. Another $150,000 was allegedly sent to Burundi Partlow Consulting, who, The Blast was told, put Plein’s representatives in touch with Yusef several months ago to clinch the deal.
The media outlet has stressed that Kanye had no knowledge of the performance and the scam: he received none of the money. Besides West’s forged signature, the contract has Yusef’s signature and a stamp above Kanye’s name.
“We were beyond excited to work with [Kanye West] but unfortunately an individual pretended to be part of his management team and acted without Kanye’s knowledge, capitalising on a former friendship with him. Unfortunately, we too were affected by this misrepresentation. We have recently been in contact with Kanye’s official team and are releasing this statement in unison to clarify that there has not been any misconduct on any of our parts. We hope to collaborate with Kanye West in the future and we look forward to our 20th Anniversary show this Monday evening”, Plein’s team told The Blast.
The Blast also reached out to Yusef, who claimed that he was “not aware” of any issues related to the contract, adding “Kanye and me have a foundation together that we started”.
Kanye has yet to release an official statement (or what is more likely, to tweet), but the news has already sent social media into meltdown.
Some netizens felt sorry for what happened to the rapper:
That's horrible😞— Space Fiend (@ejensenfamily6) 8 February 2019
Others, in turn couldn’t resist taking advantage of the situation: one user poked fun at the bad blood between Kanye and Canadian rapper Drake. West has repeatedly claimed that Drake threatened him and his family, and blasted him for following Kim on Instagram:
Why would drake do this— Spanky Pants (@TVstation666) 8 February 2019
A fellow Twitterian kept throwing jibes in an allusion to the epic fail that Kanye had experienced during his meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House. The musician accidentally revealed his iPhone password, which was set to a plain 000000, when he tried to show something on the phone to Trump:
I wonder how something like this could hap…..🤔 pic.twitter.com/W9GiiiCFMS— Dubtrey©️ (@Daniel_Brown23) 8 February 2019
Another netizen made an apparent reference to Kanye’s claims that he had suffered from bipolar disorder:
Sure it wasn't his other personality?— Tanya P (@tcbinaflash77) 8 February 2019
Reacting to the report that the scam was organised and perpetrated by an “associate”, one social media user, who is apparently a fan of Kanye, posted a screenshot of West’s track “Real Friends” from the 2016 album “The Life of Pablo”:
In the meantime, one person suggested the entire situation might be a publicity stunt by Philipp Plein ahead of the designer’s major show:
Sounds like a publicity stunt created by Philipp Plein— Bold Justice (@bold_justice) 8 February 2019
Rumours have been circulating in the media this week that Kanye would be performing at Plein’s show, but West’s beloved wife, Kim Kardashian, debunked the speculation on her Twitter just days before the ugly story came out: