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How Did Kanye West End Up $53 Million in Debt? A Line-by-Line Estimate

Kanye West claimed on Twitter he has amassed $53 million dollars in personal debt. Many wondered how this is possible. Maybe it was all the rare feathers?

You’re not the only one who signed up for a Mint account and then never looked at it again. Just before releasing his new album The Life of Pablo, Kanye West claimed last night on Twitter that he has amassed $53 million dollars in personal debt. Many wondered how this is possible. With an esteemed career in tax and finance, I decided to crunch the numbers and answer that question as precisely as possible. The whole ledger is detailed herein, but a few items are worth highlighting. Put on one of those green visor things and join us below.


Rare Feathers – $4,050,000.00

Rich people are not like you and me, so we might not understand the importance of fine, high-quality rare feathers. Feathers are soft, delicate, and ephemeral. They are also versatile. I would guess that Kanye probably uses them in his bedding, as pens, for tickle fights with his children, and in his bi-weekly massage ritual. As you might’ve guessed, these aren’t pigeon feathers either. I figure only the rarest of birds on the brink of extinction make it to the Kanye feather silo. Rumor has it that there are even feathers from the Most Dangerous Bird: ya mans.

Tailoring for North and Saint West – $1,271,999.30

Kanye recently mentioned that he wanted to only design children’s clothes for the next Yeezy Season. It’s an open secret that Nori’s clothing is skillfully and precisely tailored. What you may not know, is that all of North’s clothing is already bespoke and custom made… through age 18, when Papa Kanye will cede creative control to North. The computer modeling and trend analysis to immediately tailor 18 years of perfectly fitting clothes upon birth takes a team of designers, engineers, consultants, and paleontologists. Add in the cost of new arrival Saint’s wardrobe and you’re talking major Kimoji money.

"Flour" – $12,000,000

Gold Medal just won't do for Kanye. He sources his flour from locales all over South America. It’s the finest, purest, and most artisanal flour money can buy. It probably makes amazing bread. The flour itself probably smells amazing. Touch it to your tongue and… WOOOOO!!! And even though Kanye is a lot of things, he is nothing if not honest. He honors his commitments and that’s why he hasn’t run off on the plug over his twelve million dollar tab. Good flour really makes you feel like Pablo.

Ice Cream – $2,300,947.66

This may seem like a lot for ice cream but Kanye really loves ice cream. Like not smiling, it’s one of the few things that makes him smile. He also has two kids and a wife who is also an avid ice cream fan, so expect this debt to swell as the years go on.

Future-Related Costs – $32,000

On the song currently known as “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 & Pt. 2” we heard that familiar and comforting “Young Metro” DJ drop voiced by Future. Then later in the song we hear a familiar and comforting voice that many of us believed to be Future. It turns out that it was new G.O.O.D. Music signee Desiigner. There’s only one explanation for this line item.

Media Training – $7.79

You too can finesse public opinion like cultural icon Kanye West. By the way if that link ever dies, it was for buying a Magic 8 Ball. Journalism like this will likely outlive the internet, so let’s just be safe and preserve what we can.

Dentistry – $350,000

Kanye’s premium diamond smile reportedly cost upwards of $60,000. Continuous maintenance and cleaning probably costs quite a bit more. Replacing diamonds can’t be cheap. And having to manage around Kanye’s ice cream-crazed sweet tooth probably doesn’t help costs either. The dental plan at DONDA is terrible. Don’t even get me started on their paltry vision benefits.

Tactile Artists – $5,100,000

Visual art is some broke boi shit (no offense). Sound design? Whatever man. Kanye is always on the cutting edge so he works with Tactile Artists. My understanding of the medium is it’s just like other art except it’s about touching stuff. Rumor has it that Kanye has these tactile artists work with him not only on his clothing line but in his everyday life. Kanye never buys anything without his TAs touching it first. Every single item in Kanye’s many homes has been first touched by a tactile artist to ensure it meets Kanye standards. Once Kanye ate a pear that hadn’t been pre-touched and he threw up for hours.

Maybach Toilet Brush Refills – $2,333,114

I’m not 100 percent sure what these are to be honest. I haven’t had a real job since October. I eat generic tuna out of a pouch. These are either brush refills for the toilets inside Kanye’s Maybachs or toilet brush refills made out of recycled Maybachs (perhaps used on the Maybach toilets). Whatever they are, they’re expensive.

Slush Fund – $1,900,149

I had to look up what this was, and apparently it’s a fund for doing illegal things like paying bribes. Kanye seems like a law abiding citizen in my opinion so I inspected further. Apparently Kanye just sometimes isn’t in the mood for ice cream.

Kanye West's Full Debt Ledger:

Rare Feathers$4,050,000.00Miscellaneous Pornography (microfiche)$1,900,750.00Tailoring (Saint)$561,000.30Tailoring (North)$710,999.00Edible Arrangements$340,000.00"Flour"$12,000,000.00Writing Pads$477,063.75Auto Body Work$27,401.00Tidal Subscription$239.88Nonrefundable Deposits (party venues in LA)$6,137,000.50Ice Cream$2,300,947.66In-House Etymologist (specialty in "Z" words)$450,000.00Ghost Tweeter$2,000,000.00Tweet Supervisor$84,916.00Future feature$50,000.00Future feature (refund)-$50,000.00Desiigner Recording Contract$32,000.00Media Training$7.79iPad Apps (incl. In-App purchases)$2,712,808.00Dentistry$350,000.00Garment Scissors$31.99Garment Scissor Technician$205,000.00Hand-Sorted Denim Scraps$4,670,000.13Tactile Artists (on retainer)$5,100,000.00Maybach Toilet Brush Refills$2,333,114.00Slush Fund$1,900,149.00Liquor$3,741,487.00Lexapro (generic)$84.00Lexapro (Givenchy)$915,000.00 TOTAL$53,000,000.00

Yung Costanza is Noisey's personal finance columnist. Follow him on Twitter.