How Kanye Loved - And Left - Cody, Wyoming
Will he ever return?
Back in 2019, rapper Kanye West purchased a ten million dollar property ten miles from the town center. At the time, Cody was isolated and pretty quiet - it had tourists in the summer, but its overall population was under 10,000 and not likely to grow anytime soon.
West didn’t exactly seem like an obvious addition, and reactions were - at best - mixed. The local papers, for example, met the rapper’s arrival with considerable scorn. One op-ed wrote that the names of Kanye’s kids - North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm - were ‘pretentious’, and complained that West was reportedly planning to enroll all four in a local school.
But the tide quickly turned. Cody hadn’t had an easy few years, with job losses having plagued the small town for some time. Where residents had once seen Kanye as an interloper, they now saw him - and his willingness to spend money, fly in his friends, and put on large events - as an opportunity to stabilise their economy. And the rapper came through - at least for awhile.
West quickly opened a Yeezy prototype factory in Cody, promising jobs and opportunities for locals, whilst his massive ranch was always in need of groundskeepers, cleaners, security and more. It was a prosperous time for the town.
But, like many good things, it didn’t last. Seemingly as quickly as he had come, West vanished.
2020 was a tumultuous year for the rapper. Where he had once spent extended time with his family at his Wyoming ranch, he now seemed too busy campaigning for President, and - it seems - struggling to keep his marriage to reality star Kim Kardashian together. After months of rumors and speculation, Kardashian finally filed for divorce at the beginning of this year.
In the midst of all this, Cody had been forgotten. The rapper is now rarely - if ever - seen in the town, and he’s taken his money, influence and employment opportunities with him. Left in the dust, residents now wonder if he’ll ever return.
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