Why was Kanye West in Uganda? Tremaine Emory's comment sparks interest

Eve Edwards October 5, 2022
Why was Kanye West in Uganda? Tremaine Emory's comment sparks interest
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

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Supreme’s creative director Tremaine Emory and Kanye West are engaging in a public back-and-forth, which has turned a spotlight on West’s trip to Uganda.

On Tuesday, October 4, Emory reposted one of West’s latest Instagrams (which has since been deleted). He signed off a lengthy caption with: “take care…at least we’ll always have ‘UGANDA’.”

While unclear what Emory is referencing here, his comment sparked interest in the trip West took to Uganda in 2018. Let’s revisit the trip to see why he visited the East African country.

Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

Kanye West heads to Uganda to finish his never-released album

Four years ago, Kanye West and then-wife Kim Kardashian headed to Uganda for the musician to work on his unreleased album, Yandhi. Ye hopped on TMZ Live on Monday, October 1, 2018, to confirm that he was going to Uganda to finish Yandhi.

Fans of the rapper had been anticipating his ninth studio album to drop the weekend prior before Ye announced to TMZ that it was incomplete.

TMZ reported at the time that the scheduled release date for Yandhi had been moved back to November 23, 2018, which was Black Friday. Yandhi, however, was never released. The album was scrapped, with Kanye West’s ninth studio album to be released the following year with Jesus Is King (2019).

Kanye and Kim meet with Uganda’s president

While Kanye West was there to work on his album, the trip also involved meeting with the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. It is unknown who organized the meeting, although they were said to have discussed the promotion of Uganda’s tourism and arts industries, as reported by Museveni himself.

Museveni tweeted after their meeting: “I welcome American entertainment stars Kanye West and Kim Kardashian to Uganda. I held fruitful discussions with the duo on how to promote Uganda’s tourism and the arts. I thank Kanye for the gift of white sneakers. Enjoy your time in Uganda. It is the true Pearl of Africa.”

The BBC reported that the president gave Kanye the Ugandan name “Kanyesigye”, which means “I trust,” and Kim was named “Kemigisha,” which means “the one with blessings from God.”

Yandhi was ultimately scrapped

Yandhi largely followed the steps of Yeezus (2013). Both albums featured similar cover art and had portmanteaus for their titles: Yandhi is a portmanteau of Gandhi and Ye, similar to Yeezus (Ye and Jesus).

Although the album was scheduled to release on September 29, 2018, it was pushed back until November 23, after the Uganda trip. Ultimately, the album was scrapped.

But if you’re wondering where Ye’s music went, then you might be interested to know that some tracks from Yandhi ended up on later albums. Three tracks from Yandhi reportedly appeared on Jesus Is King, and one track would appear on Donda (2021).

These tracks were modified from their original versions. Three tracks from Yandhi (“Chakras”, “The Storm” and “Law of Attraction”) were reworked into the tracks “Selah”, “Everything We Need”, and “Use This Gospel,” respectively.

In Yandhi’s release announcement, you can hear an original version of “Hurricane” which later appeared on Donda:

Tremaine Emory worked for Yeezy at the time of the Uganda trip

Tremaine Emory started out in the fashion industry working for Marc Jacobs. He worked at the fashion house for nine years before being invited to join Kanye West’s Yeezy as part of the creative team. Emory joined as West’s creative consultant in 2016 and later was promoted to Yeezy’s brand director, overseeing both fashion and footwear launches.

Emory worked for Yeezy from 2016 to 2019, during which time, Ye took his trip to Uganda. It is unconfirmed whether Tremaine Emory was on the trip to Uganda or not given his recent comments, although it is known that Ye took many of his collaborators with him on the trip.

The Focus has reached out to Kanye West’s representatives for more details about the Uganda trip and why Yandhi was scrapped.

Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
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Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.