In the aftermath of his interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the VMAs last month, [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] told Jay Leno that he planned to take some time off.
And in the weeks since that statement, his Fame Kills Tour with Lady Gaga was canceled, he didn't appear this weekend at the 2009 BET Hip-Hop Awards, and he's been relatively quiet as his latest protégé, Kid Cudi, promotes his recently released debut album.
Kanye has been posting his usual photos of things he's interested in on his blog, but apart from a post about Derrion Albert's murder in Chicago and one about Nabil Elderkin's forthcoming photo book of Kanye's Glow in the Dark Tour, he hasn't spoken much there, either.
But the Chicago superstar hasn't vanished from the spotlight completely, and a couple of his friends talked about where Kanye's at these days.
"He's in a good place [right now]," Consequence, a frequent collaborator whose upcoming Cons TV album is being overseen by West, told MTV News last week on the red carpet of the Hennessy Artistry 2009 Series in New York. "We talk every two or three days. I got up with him right after [the VMAs] happened. At the end of the day, MTV has been a great outlet for [Kanye's label] G.O.O.D. Music as a company. Regardless of whatever [else] goes on, there's a great respect there, a great admiration for what the outlet is. We grew up off of that."
Those sentiments were echoed by Elderkin, who has also directed videos for West (including the Rihanna-starring "Paranoid"), and added that his friend is not only extremely passionate, but loyal to the point he defends his friends.
"He's good, he's got some good people around him and he's just doing his thing," Elderkin told MTV News last week. "He'll be the strong guy. I think right now is a good time, he's just kinda chilling. Relaxing, and trying to absorb life.
"I know people have a different perception of it, but he's very generous and he looks after his friends," he continued. "He makes sure everyone gets a chance, you know what I'm saying? I'm not saying his security hasn't told people to back off or anything, but I've never seen him be rude to people unless people are pestering with a camera and will not leave him alone — more on the annoying side of things. The crazy thing is, if this stuff happened to me, or just about anyone else, I would probably flip out. But the fact that he's Kanye, people take it like he's doing something out of the norm. But everyone has their moments. In general, he's an inspiring person, always pushing creativity."
West and Elderkin are currently preparing for the release of "Glow in the Dark," which comes out on October 20. Elderkin said the book-release event and creating new music in the studio will likely put the rapper in good space.
"We are gonna have the book opening event in the next couple of weeks," Elderkin said. "We are trying to set that up. I think he's gonna move forward and start creating some great music again."