How to understand Ye’s rants with QPA analysis

March 31, 2022 — by Apurva Chakravarthy and Shaan Sridhar
Photo by Ye
Ye posted a rant about Pete Davidson and Disney to Instagram on Feb. 12.
Ye’s Instagram posts showcase a perfect combination of English skills and pop culture

In English 10 and English 11, a heavy emphasis is placed on using Quote Passage Analysis (QPA) — a short analysis of a quote focusing on word choice, figurative language and more — to discern the deeper meaning behind a piece of writing.

For this article, we have tried to make the example as relevant to student culture as possible — we will focus on the Instagram posts from Ye.

On Feb. 12, Ye — formerly known as Kanye West — posted a “rant” to his Instagram account about actor Pete Davidson, his ex-wife Kim Kardashian West’s new boyfriend. It’s important to understand that there is a lot of emotion in this post, which is why it is so compelling:

“THIS AINT ABOUT SKETE PEOPLE  IT’S ABOUT SELLING YALL A NARRATIVE SKETE JUST PLAYING HIS PART IN FROZEN 3 ACCEPT ITS NOT IN THE THEATERS THIS TIME  ITS ON DAILEY MAIL  TELL BOB AND THE ENTIRE DISNEY STAFF YOU WAISTED YOUR MONEY ON STARWARS AND MARVEL BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH IT MAKES MONEY YOU WILL NEVER CONTROL THE HIGHSCHOOLS NO ONES EVER HEARD A MACHINE GUN KELLY SONG BOB”

On first glance, the quote’s structure immediately stands out to the reader. Note the way Ye uses all capital letters and no punctuation, a technique similar to famous poet E.E. Cummings, but is still able to structure his argument and separate ideas by the use of double spaces.

Ye’s first idea focuses on a person he calls “SKETE,” a play-on-words alluding to “Saturday Night Live,” the comedy show that Davidson acts in. Ye’s lack of punctuation leaves the meaning of the word “PEOPLE” in doubt: He simultaneously addresses his fans and refers to Davidson’s friends.

The next idea focuses on Davidson’s supposed involvement in “Frozen 3.” Ye argues that Davidson is “JUST PLAYING HIS PART” in the larger Disney franchise, referencing the high pay that Disney voice actors earn to portray Davidson as a sell-out. Ye claims that the movie will not play in theaters, using the word “ACCEPT” instead of “except” to emphasize the general public’s compliance in accepting Davidson’s dubious business. Because “Frozen 3” does not actually exist, Ye further casts Davidson as a greedy capitalist willing to do anything for money, even if there is no substance — unlike Ye’s award-winning music.

Ye’s last idea focuses on the Walt Disney Company, a detour that encapsulates the struggles Ye is facing as a result of his divorce. Ye lashes out at “BOB” of Disney, a condensed attack on both former CEO Bob Iger and current CEO Bob Chapek. Ye argues that Disney’s subsidiaries Marvel and Lucasfilm are trying to “CONTROL THE HIGHSCHOOLS” so the company “MAKES MONEY,” which it is currently achieving via its partnership with Davidson (Ye later clarified that Davidson is a “pawn” to Disney, further supporting his argument that Disney is complicit in Davidson’s insulting attack on Ye).

Ultimately, Ye’s creative language forms his thesis: Davidson’s relationship with Kardashian, an insult to Ye, is part of a larger corporate agenda to make money. 

 Or, instead, you can choose to find an entirely different meaning: Ye’s Instagram post is an assault on his ex-wife and he should get the mental health help he needs.

In the end, it’s all up to interpretation — which is why your QPA skills are so important!

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