By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES, JAN 5 - Rapper Kanye West had the Twitterverse buzzing on Thursday after posting a series of more than 80 tweets in a "train of thoughts" that left many fans and critics scratching their heads.
The "Watch The Throne" rapper spent more than three hours posting numerous tweets discussing his struggles in the fashion industry, his views on politics and infrastructure, and being inspired by his late mother Donda to start a design company in her name.
"We need to take what Michael Jackson felt and Mcqueen and Steve Jobs and we need make things better," West said on Twitter during the early hours of Thursday morning from London, referring to the late singing legend, fashion designer Alexander McQueen and Apple's founding visionary.
Media outlets tried to interpret West's posts in various ways, with publications such as Slate focusing on West's announcement of design company DONDA, while others like MTV opted to highlight tweets telling readers what was on the rapper's mind.
"He's a mad genius," said Ian Drew, music editor of Us Weekly. "His ideas are grandiose, but if you look at the history of Kanye, he would tweet an idea and it would happen. He's trying to be understood and heard."
This is not the first time West has made headlines for broadcasting his thoughts. In 2005, the rapper deviated from a script on live television at a benefit for Hurricane Katrina to criticize then U.S. president George Bush.
More recently in 2009, West jumped onto stage during the MTV Video Music Awards and stole the microphone from country singer Taylor Swift, who won an award for best female video, to declare that R&B star Beyonce had "one of the best videos of all time."
"In general, Kanye is someone who thinks he is incredibly important," said Cooper Lawrence, author of "The Cult of Celebrity."
She said the Twitter posts "showed insight into who he really is," and speculated on the rapper's mental condition, saying she "wouldn't be surprised if Kanye was suffering from depression."
"He's someone who lost his mother very early in a surprising way. He's gone through a lot of pain and he might not have someone to talk to," said Lawrence. "His life is lonelier than people realize."
West, who is currently nominated for seven Grammy awards, also announced plans for a new album from his record label GOOD Music in spring.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)