Kanye West still considers himself a prophet, even as the disgraced rapper’s disciples have dwindled from a rapt crowd to a few sparse holdouts. But perhaps no person is more determined to be the last one standing by Ye’s side than one of his biggest internet stans: Kanyewestlover911.
“Ppl see me as the biggest Kanye fan/defender,” they tell Rolling Stone via direct messages. “There are people probably bigger fans than me. Through the best and the worst times I’ve been with Ye.”
No one knows who runs the kanyewestlover911 TikTok account. They could be 16, or 60, a woman, or a man, or a child — or according to some unlikely fan conspiracy theories, West himself. The account, which became popular in June 2022, has a simple directive: stan Kanye West. In addition to pro-West memes and photosets, the account has become famous for commenting its username underneath any post. On TikTok alone, it has been enough to garner kanyewestlover911 close to a million followers. And if this was a page dedicated to any other rapper, there’s a good chance kanyewestlover911 could have maintained a healthy niche stunt account for years. As it is, West’s crashing stardom has lifted kanyewestlover911 from troll to the public face of a fandom reeling from the betrayal of its leader. But is the user behind kanyewestlover911 standing with West because they’re brave? Or because they’re scared to lose followers?
In October, following West’s public stunt wearing White Lives Matter shirts with far-right spokeswoman Candace Owens, “he made Graduation” became a meme on West-themed subreddits and TikTok, with fans using the retort as escapist humor — all while struggling to reconcile the fact that the West who was spewing hate speech was the same mind that created his celebrated album. And since West has doubled down on his pro-nazi, anti-sense rhetoric — particularly his appearance with Alex Jones on Infowars — even more memes have centered on kanyewestlover911 as a loyal follower that must be devastated by their idol’s fall from grace. “F*ck a breakup. Imagine what kanyewestlover911 is going through right now,” one video reads. “Someone check on kanyewestlover911 I don’t think he is ok after that interview,” says another.
After West’s October White Lives Matter stunt, the account owner agreed to an interview under the conditions of anonymity. Hours later, they backtracked, only offering this Plato quote as an explanation: “No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.” Now, as West’s impassioned and pro-Hitler rhetoric becomes more regular, he’s trying to explain away Ye’s anti-semitic statements. But for months, the account has benefited from its ambiguous stance on West’s actions, swelling to just under a million followers after they posted dozens of sentimental photos and videos all themed around the message: “I miss the old Kanye.”
“I understand why people feel sad and disappointed about what he said because the holocaust was something very horrible,” they tell Rolling Stone. “My goal of my page is to ultimately spread happiness and love. And I can see and understand the pain a lot of Ye fans have been feeling.”
But pain isn’t enough for the account to change its unequivocal support. Many of the account’s posts surrounded West’s relationship with his now ex-wife Kim Kardashian, with the account explaining, “I feel he was happier with his wife and kids.” But when pressed about recent Rolling Stone reporting that found West often showed explicit photos of Kardashian to Adidas employees, the user simply replied: “Oh yeah. No comment.”
In the middle of our three-day interview, conducted through Instagram DMs, West dropped a surprise new song, “Someday We’ll All Be Free.” The track, hosted on the Infowars platform, twisted its 1973 Donny Hathaway sample from a song about freedom to a zealous double down on West’s anti-semitic discourse. “I know ’cause the headlines why you wanna leave,” West raps. “You knew I follow God, so you should follow me.” Kanyewestlover911 was convinced that West’s new music would be enough to wipe away his actions. “That new snippet brought everyone back to Yeezy,” they tell Rolling Stone. “Like, what comments? I already forgot everything.” Others did not forget.
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Kanyewestlover911 has positioned their account as the last holdout of West defenders. Since we spoke, the account has been banned on TikTok for the fifth time, with the owner blaming it on a mass-reporting tactic from haters. With no guarantee of a return, the owner of the account has begun posting its normal TikTok content on Instagram, making sure the account’s stance is clear with posts like: “If the world is against Ye I am against the world.” But if Kanyewestlover911 was the real last Kanye stan, they would be trying to put up an actual defense on the rapper’s behalf. They can’t. No one can. So instead, they’ve relied on classic troll behavior to cling to the following they have. But it’s not a losing battle, because the account’s goal was never to win. The goal was eyes, lots of them, something kanyewestlover911 has — for now.