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Saturday Night Live's Problem Child Kanye West Will Be the Musical Guest on the Season 44 Premiere

It's the controversy magnet's first time back since his backstage meltdown in 2016

Liam Mathews

Saturday Night Live is jumping right into controversy in Season 44, with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West slated for the Sept. 29 premiere. The BlacKkKlansman star will be making his second hosting appearance, while the problematic rap icon will be making his seventh appearance. This is very exciting for fans of Kanye West's music, because West is always incredible on SNL and often uses the show to debut new music. But everyone else hates Kanye West for his non-musical public outbursts and would prefer SNL doesn't give him a platform.

During SNL's 40th anniversary special, in 2015, he debuted the song "Wolves" with Vic Mensa and Sia on a memorably claustrophobic set. In 2016, he debuted the songs "Ultralight Beam," "Highlights," and "I Love Kanye" and then dropped his album The Life of Pablo after the performance.

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He's also had beef with the show. In 2010, he dissed the show on his song "Power," but later performed that very song on the show. He also had a wild backstage meltdown in 2016, and this will be his first time back since then.

Who knows what will happen? West has had a rough year, turning much of the public against him by indefensibly saying "slavery was a choice." But he seems to be a little more clear-headed now and recently apologized for the comment. He released a new song with rapper Lil Pump, "I Love It," and people love it even though they know they shouldn't.

Reaction was predictably mixed. On Twitter, it was either:


No matter your opinion, this is relevant:

Shortly after the announcement, West tweeted a photo of a Mini Disc that resembled the cover art for his album Yeezus, which had fans speculating he was going to release a sequel on Sept. 29. Later he seemed to confirm it, sharing a screenshot of a text message conversation where he sent the Mini Disc image accompanied by the text "YANDHI 9.29.18" This would be his third album of 2018, after his solo album Ye and his collaboration with Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghosts. He also produced albums by Pusha-T, Nas and Teyana Taylor.

Saturday Night Live Season 44 premieres Saturday, Sept. 29 at 11:30/10:30c on NBC