Kanye West is known for being unpredictable, but it seems like he really doesn’t have anything to do with a mysterious NASA-themed project bearing his name that’s had Ye fans scratching their heads. Last week, MTV News received a strange package that, along with an equally impenetrable website, appeared to tease a new Kanye album coming out on March 20. Well, that day has come and gone, and the website has updated, but it certainly isn’t a new Yeezy LP — and it really seems like this sketchy project has nothing to do with the iconic rapper.
To recap, on March 15, MTV News received a package at their New York office (MTV News has since deleted the post). The box, which was adorned with an outdated logo for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the space agency’s return address, contained strange objects like a plastic-encased pebble, a white, faux credit card with Kanye’s name on it, and the number “772233688.” Both NASA and Kanye’s label, Def Jam, denied any involvement.
Going to 772233688.com prior to Monday night took visitors to a sparse website with a staticky video, some of the same phrases from the fake card, and Monday’s date. Visiting today, though, turns up a lot more details that only raise further questions. Now, the site promotes “Kanye West for Astronaut,” or “THE SPACEDOUT EXPO.” The event, which is later described as an “independent art exposition,” will take place in Brooklyn on May 17. Tickets cost $50 on Shopify and are very explicitly non-refundable, and the website warns that the organizers can’t be held responsible if any of the information is wrong or something changes. All of this seems more than a little dodgy.
The video on the site has also changed. Now, the static fades away to reveal three lights and what appears to be a mountain range, before zooming in on something at the very end that’s too fuzzy to make out.
Inverse reached out to who we believe are the organizers and will update this post in the unlikely event they get back to us.
Folks on the r/Kanye subreddit were highly suspicious. “Pretty sure it’s some random dude cashing in on the publicity and trying to make some dirty money,” one user wrote, which seems like a good bet.
Again, Kanye West, Def Jam, and NASA have all either stayed silent about this whole mystery or explicitly denied it. This seems like a hoax — some weird hipster project piggybacking on Kanye’s fame for some attention and 50 of your hard-earned dollars. Inverse is sorry for giving them the former, but you should probably avoid giving them the latter.