Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kanye's On the Move

SELLER: Kanye West
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $3,995,000
SIZE: 4,214 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Kanye West. What could Your Mama possibly say about Mister Auto Tune himself that has not already been said a thousand times over? Probably nuthin' but here goes anyway.

Kanye West is not a man who lets life happen to him. He very consciously cultivates contradictions in his image, an effort that regularly has him straddled over the fence between the high brow and the hip hop worlds. Here is a man whose momma Donda–may she rest in peace–was a damn English professor and yet he finds love–or whatever it is–what that Amber Rose ladee whose best asset seems to be her big ass and ability to land a cash cow.

Here is a man, a 14-time Grammy winning rapper, who strolls boozed up down the red carpet at the 2009 MTV Music Awards with an open bottle of Courvoisier. As if that weren't cliché or gauche enough he bum rushed Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech huffin' and hollering about Beyoncé this and injustice that and generally making a fool of his damn self. And yet he's a devotee of the haute couture and often seen camped out in the front row of Paris runway shows of venerable houses like Chanel and Givenchy.

Here is a man whose sneaker collection tops 200 pairs and here is also a man who collects blue-chip contemporary art. It may not be art to some of the children's liking, but be assured that those paintings by Takashi Murakami and shopping bag sculptures by Jonathan Seliger cost more than most of y'alls cars, Your Mama's big BMW included.

Here is a man whose over-sized ego is so legendary that it would not be the least bit surprising–indeed Your Mama would expect–that he shacks up in a flashy 20,000 square foot "look at me look at me" style monument to his success and wealth. But he doesn't.

In fact, Mister West's west coast abode, located on frumpy Fareholm Drive low in the hills above Hollywood, is a non-descript three story contemporary that he bought in December of 2003 for $1,750,000. Hardly chump change for most people, but not exactly superstar status either. The children will see and note that the interior spaces of Mister West's Los Angeles residence utilize the same paradigm of contradiction so well worked by Mister West in the rest of his life: The somewhat peculiar location and the banal, fortress like front facade gives way to a strikingly crisp, minimalist, and light flooded architecture that acts as a serene back drop for his colorful art collection.

But times, they are a-changing and maybe Mister West has decided that it's time for a krib more suitable to a man of his stature and wealth because yesterday he dropped his Desiderata Design designed Fareholm Drive digs on the market with an asking price of $3,995,000.

Your Mama discussed Kanye's krib way back in November of 2007 and since it appears that little of the day-core has been changed except for that some of the artwork has been moved around we don't feel the need or inclination to repeat the dissin' and discussin' of problems like the ceiling mural in the dining room or fine choices like the French walnut floors and go green with envy features like that dee-voon department store style dressing room.

For that the children must go here.

Mister West has also long maintained an east coast residence. Property records reveal that in October of 2004 Mister West paid $1,384,820 for a 1,589 square foot pied a terre in a newly built building in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. A couple of years later, in February of 2006 according to property records, Mister West snatched up the 838 square foot unit next door for $1,250,000.

In a stroke of architectural chutzpah Mister West hired genius Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin to do over the interiors. The result is a sculptural, elegant and austere space wrapped in French limestone and pear wood that's absolutely stunning to look although, admittedly, not so easy to imagine cluttered with the detritus of everyday life. The 1 bedroom and 1.5 pooper apartment–at least we think it's got 1.5 poopers–has a continuous and interrupted flow from the long, gently curving entrance hall to the seamless integration between kitchen an living room and then into the bedroom area that is flanked by a large dressing room and a monolithic, trough-like limestone sink. The windows are covered in floor to ceiling shades through which filtered light creates a soft shadow pattern that plays beautifully against the rigorous geometry of the interior architecture. This interplay of soft light and shadow combined with the warm, organic quality of the materials–the limestone and the pear wood–keep the aggressively minimal space from feeling stark or lifeless. It seems, strangely, full even though in the photos it is empty.

It's unquestionably a challenging, architecturally provocative environment and we imagine not one that most people will appreciate or like at first glance. But children, seriously, before y'all rush to judgment and go hating on this apartment, just look at it, really look at it. You don't have to live there, you only have to look at it for what it is: someone else's apartment. Try to see it that way. We don't care to live in such such a demanding and restricted apartment but we still think it's a magnificent and carefully conceived space done by a master of minimalism. We're sure we're going to take some flak for saying that, but that's alright. Our skin is thick. We dish it out and we can take it too.

photos: Hilton & Hyland / Alexander Davis (Los Angeles); Claudio Silvestri (New York)


Anonymous said...

The place LOOKS good but I would hate to have to live in it. It is not "living friendly". Does he, I wonder, actually spend much time there?

Anonymous said...

This looks like a prison designed by a queen!

Halle Berry said...

I recently bought me a $3.5 million home in Beverly Hills and people are getting jealous. :)

blu said...

illegal downloading has made guys like kayne poor

when you spend 20 million in shows, promotions, ect ect and only make back 18 million in cd sales, ringtones, itunes ? that is bad esp when that number was 100 million in revenue 10 years ago,

everyone I know in music biz is going broke

itunes does not support nor did it ever really support the music industry

cd sales did

in the coming years you will see a dramatic drop in talent that used to sell millions of cd's to a huge rise in no talent nobodies that may sell a thousand cd's each

the same is about to happen to the movie industry and TV industry,

sad sad sad


Anonymous said...

Those that choose to invest wisely may prosper..not like Nicholas Cage but Mr and Mrs Carter( JayZ Beyonce) getting revenue other than music( thanks with the help of Goldman Sachs LOL)Also the royalties from the itunes, ring tones, radio plays, are still some what significant for the major players.. it is how they SPEND it that matters.. any celebrity purchasing property that is seriously over priced and having to maintain the expenses maybe wiped out if their career is on the decline

Anonymous said...

don't know shit about the music business buy kanye ain't broke. he may not be as rich as a musician might have been in 1980 or whatever, but I don't think he'll find many sympathizers to artists who live in multi million dollar houses whine about downloading cutting into their profits? Really? Beacause apparently it ain't cutting so far into the profits that they can't live like royalty.

Jeannified said...

So are you all saying that he's selling doe to going broke? His house isn't THAT expensive! if he's fallen on hard times, financially, it's due to giveing so much money to that gold digger, Amber Rose!

This house is to "museum-y" for me! Beautiful, none-the-less.

Village said...

In the west coast crib, is that FLOOR FAN in the corner?

Anonymous said...

The music industry is just "correcting" itself to how it used to be. Back in the day, performers cut singles and records for the most part as promotional tools. They made their real money from live appearances.

Anonymous said...

I love the spaces in the second set of photos. Minimalist/moderne/etc. are normally not my cup of tea because they usually are so frigid. But this I find beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Love the NY apartment - modern day Zen monastery a la John Pawson. As long as I still had money in the budget for a world class art collection to install in it I'd take it!

Anonymous said...

@Village, no that is not a floor fan. It is a Fortuny style floor lamp runs about $4-5k. classic, early 20th century design.

chris said...

"strangely full"??!? Yeah, Mama, very strangely since normal eyes would find it hideously empty. Is that a bed in the living room for "furniture"? I wouldn't be surprised that guests would be expected to lie down to talk, and probably do "strange" things to each other. It's that kind of place: strange.

Aunt Clara said...

Svetlana might like that new York place

blu said...

It is not about kayne and others living like kings, if they are making the label hundreds of millions in profits they deserve their 10 million,

The problem is that as of now lets say a label spends 500 million on a hundred artists to launch them on a massive worldwide scale for the year, and the label only makes back 400 million because cd sales are flat, the label is now a hundred million in the hole so....

labels are now telling the artists,

"you pay for us to blow you up, your album up, get you to number one and you can use our name"

truth of the matter is that the artists do not have that kind of money, sure artists may have a million or two lying around here or there but for a real shot to make their album number one and to get back on the map the artist needs to spend at least 5 million, and the artists just do not have it, and the labels are slowly going out of business,


Unknown said...

I think the new york apt is SUBLIME, but can anyone actually imagine conducting the business of life in a place like that? just looking at the photos is giving me OCD; i cant imagine what it would do to poor dear svetlana.

Jumpin' Jehosephat in LA said...

I fully agree with you Mamma, in regards to the east coast crib. It's totally a piece of art and I can appreciate it as such. Heck, I could probably see myself using it as my office. As a living space however, not in a million years.
I just cannot imagine a single piece of furniture that I could conceivably put in there that would allow me to relax the day's stresses away. And my mind cannot rid itself of what it thinks the facilities are undoubtably styled after. You know what I'm talking about, right? Yeah, one of those squat over a hole affairs. While I'm sure it would make Svettlana's life a bit easier, it's pure Hell for those 2 AM grunge-in-your-squinty-eyeball trips to take care of yet another enlarged prostate demand. I probably should have kept that between me and my Urologist, but regardless, you know what I'm talkin' about.

Anonymous said...

Poor thing, he can't afford closet doors.

Anonymous said...

What a tool.
He spent under $2 million for this house a few years ago and now he thinks it is worth more than double?

Eff off Kanye.

Jonas Brother said...

Kanye west made 25 million dollars last year according to forbes, So he is not hurting financially. If he did he would probably sell his loft in New York or house in Chicago before his La crib.

The place is cool, but I suspect that he's tired of living in California with all the paparazzi etc. And Kanye normally change style every other month or so, so most likely he's getting a different place instead of buying another house and ending up with a major dept like Nicolas Cage.

Zoo said...


How is Kanye "poor"e when not only is he a multiplatinum selling artist but he is also A MULTI PLATINUM SELLING PRODUCER WHO PRODUCES THE BIGGEST HITS FOR THE TOP HIP HOP & R&B ARTISTS. And we all know producers get the money yet he is getting on both endd. Whats sad is your ignorance on the matter.

blu said...

No one and I mean no one has made any money in the music business since 2009

everyone out there is broke, and producers are out of business


Anonymous said...

Money can't be class, and Mr. West has none.

Anonymous said...

I think Mama forgot to metion that Kanye almost singlehandedly ended the revoting fashion of the "pants on the ground" in rap. I am not a big fan of him in general, but I sure thank him for that.

Anonymous said...

You're right about album sales trends and label spending however suggesting artists like Kanye "have no money" or aren't even that wealthy is an exaggeration -Artists continue to evolve with the times. Maybe royalties from album sales have shrunk but they have diversified their income streams and now receive a significant percentage of revenues from publishing & licensing (movies, TV, videogame sound tracks), ringtones, clothing lines, commercial endorsements, launching their own imprints (giving them the opportunity to rip off even newer artists), and of course touring -where many big-name artists have been making most of their money for decades.

The days of diamond-selling (10x platinum) artists is over (except maybe for Nickleback) but we don't need to take up a collection plate for Ye.

And labels have noticed -hence the "360 degree" like Live Nation & Jay-Z: where Live gets a piece of touring, publishing and other revenues in exchange for upfront money, guarantees, financing arrangements, stock options etc.

blu said...


don't kid yourself, the music business is about dead, you will see maybe 5 artists a year blow up, vs hundreds 10 years ago,

it costs 5 million or more to blow up a artist from scratch

I am not talking about Jay Z, Nickleback, they made it over 10 years ago,

I am talking about Drake, BOB, Ke$sha, instead of them selling over a million records each in a month, they will sell 100,000 and that my friend it a huge drop in sales,

Anonymous said...

looks like it's on beachwood

Aunt Gina said...

it is hard to believe the music industry doesn't pay any more when you see the likes of such "luminaries" [yes, that's sarcasm] as, let's just say for example, Little Bow Wow on MTV Cribs bragging about his six Rolls-Royces while quaffing Cristal poolside at his megabucks mansion. I call bullshit. If barely talented "one hit wonders" can live like
Saudi princes, someone is being grossly overpaid.

Lydia said...

I deal with real estate in Connecticut, and I don't know if I could live in such a place as Kanye's NYC apartment. It just seems so lonely!

Mike said...

It didn't matter how big someone's house is. What matters is that they have their health and there happy.