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Investigating the Conspiracy Theory That David Bowie Foretold the Rise of Rock's Savior: Kanye West

Real recognise real.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB

In the tremendous and vast pool of history, there are records that suggest prophets, oracles, and divine beings walk our earth. Sure: some people can’t future-plan a week’s worth of bringing lunch into work, but others are blessed with fatidic foresight. Nostradamus predicted events ranging from The Great Fire of London to Princess Diana’s death, prolific nineteenth century writer Morgan Robertson wrote a book about an iceberg sinking the Titanic fourteen years before the ship’s maiden voyage, and Papa John texts me every Sunday with a mouth-watering delivery deal, knowing I will inevitably end up eating pizza alone in bed again.


Of them all though, one grand soothsayer stands out – the late, and great David Bowie. Just take a look at this video of him predicting the future of the internet back in 99. Or the time he joined fellow seer Homer Simpson (who predicted the iPod) and foretold the iPad. Whether it’s these instances or the fact he rocketed in from outer-space, Bowie had a prognostic ability to outweigh the average human. So it seems fitting that, like John the Baptist (but on the remix), a conspiracy theory is rising around the idea that Bowie foretold the second-coming of Jesus. Or rather Yeezus: our deity of Good Friday and Good Music.

Learned mystics have long been aware of the deep connection between Kanye West and The Starman. Yet, given that most civilians are so disengaged from the spiritual world they laugh off Mercury Retrograde as an astrological phenomenon that doesn’t exist (good luck getting on transport tonight guys!!!!), there’s a chance you, dear reader, are yet to learn how David Bowie predicted the messianic rise of Kanye West. And, at a time when US rapper BoB is preaching about the world being flat, there are certainly stranger things that this. So, prepare yourselves, reader. What you are about to read may just change the way you think about the world and its inhabitants. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be burning sage in your room like me this evening.


Our tale of biblical proportions all starts with an iconic album: David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. How? I know you guys are not blind – if you were you wouldn’t be looking at the internet – so I won’t patronise you. Be a seer and use your mind. Or look at the album cover.


See that. That’s Kanye West’s initial and last name. I hear you skeptics: the sign is for a now-defunct tailors based in London. But isn’t that the point? Why else would Bowie choose to pose outside a tailor’s called “K. West”? He’s obviously trying to say something. If the cover art for Kanye West’s latest album SWISH was shot outside Londis, we would assume that Londis had a deeper meaning to Yeezy – and this is no different. Everything an artist does has meaning. Always. To suggest otherwise is sacrilege to our icons.

Bowie hasn’t just left us a clue on the album’s artwork though. The first track on that album says the world has “Five Years” until its eventual demise, unless a “Starman” arrives to save earth. Here’s where things fall into place. Kanye Omari West was born almost exactly five years after the release of Ziggy Stardust, missing the release date by just two days. Coincidence? Not so much. Bowie knew Kanye West would be born, because Bowie is an artistic savant. Don’t @ me.

The story doesn’t stop there, either. If Kanye wasn’t a biblical deity brought to earth to resurrect our souls, to end the drought with a fire so infinite it can warm the mantelpieces of public desire, then why else would he appear on the cover of Rolling Stone dressed like a deity? C'mon guys! Tell me why!?

Perhaps, and most importantly, we should look at track number three on both Bowie and West’s most recent albums. Bowie’s is called “Lazarus”, named after a biblical character who was resurrected by Jesus Christ. West’s is called “I Am a God”, as in, he is a biblical character – pertaining to the fact he heralded himself as Jesus, otherwise known as Yeezus.


Still not convinced? Take a second to look at the rest of the lyrics from Bowie’s most recent album too. On Blackstar’s opening track, Bowie tells the story of a leader dying and someone else coming to take his place. "Something happened on the day he died," the lyrics read. "Spirit rose a meter and stepped aside / Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried / 'I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar!'"

Who is a blackstar?

Kanye West is a black star.

The Bowie track also states the “Blackstar” is not a “gangsta”. Know who isn’t a gangster?

Kanye West is not a gangster. In fact, his separation from the culture was something he prided himself on when he first stepped out in a pink polo and a backpack, rapping about how he “woke up early this morning with a new state of mind / A creative way to rhyme / Without using knives and guns”. However, if that’s not enough of a connection for you trainee mystiques out there then just take a look at these final two pertinent pieces of information.

On the Jay Z single “Takeover”, Kanye sampled the Bowie track “Fame”. As in, Kanye is going to "takeover".

And look. Here’s Bowie’s infamous Ziggy Stardust make-up transplanted onto Kanye’s face. Who did this? Some bored kid with Photoshop? Or, perhaps, fate itself?

So there you have it. Of course, this story of fantastical and biblical proportions can be foiled by one simple word – coincidence. But where’s the fun in that? Isn’t it much better to think about our idols as possessing some sort of magical prowess that elevates them above our mere mortals? So guess what, crusty old rock fans: maybe Bowie did predict Kanye. Maybe Kanye is the biblical figure of our generation. Maybe, just maybe, this is the thing we need to stop yet another YouTube comment about Kanye being “an untalented fuck-hole”. RealRecogniseReal, guys. Real Recognise Real.

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