Latest Kanye West Merch Drop

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Kanye West is arguably hip-hop’s merch king. Travis Scott has been the closest artist to taking the throne, but Ye is the original that likely inspired La Flame’s countless drops. The merch trend really gained momentum in 2013 with West’s Yeezus tour offering up some of the most in-demand pieces released that entire year. Other fans might prefer the endless amount of “I Feel Like Pablo” merch a few years later that made a lot of people some money on the resell market, and some might even be reading this cozied up in their brand new Jesus Is King crewneck (wishing the album was on in the background). 

The point is, Kanye’s merch archive is incredibly strong. With T-shirts and hoodies still being the only tangible evidence that ‘Jesus Is King’ could be nearing an official release, we decided to take look back at West’s extensive catalog of merch. From College Dropout to "Sunday Service"-era threads, here is a timeline of Mr. West’s tour merch.

Year: 2004

Before West was a global superstar, he was just an act on a nationwide college tour trying to transition from behind the scenes producer to respected rapper. The School Spirit tour merch from 2004 is probably the most traditional offering from West’s extensive merch assortment. An image of the artist in a striped rugby sweater is emblazoned across the chest, and the back features the tour dates. Parking lot T-shirt quality at its finest. Despite its simplicity, it has become a collector’s item due to its rarity. —Mike DeStefano

Kanye West Fan ClubKamye West Fan Club

Year: 2004

These T-shirts are probably some of the Kanye’s rarest merch way back in the College Dropout era, Kanye gifted these exclusive T-shirts  to anyone who signed up for the official Kanye West fan club. The T-shirt features a sketch of the College Dropout bear that Kanye drew himself and even features West’s signature on the bottom right hand corner. These are nearly impossible to find on sale, but one XXL shirt sold on Grailed for $300. —Lei Takanashi

“Truth” TourTruth Tour

Year: 2004

The bear mascot symbolizes the first half of Kanye West’s rap career. So, it only makes sense that it was a part of the the merch program for Truth Tour, which he went on with Usher in 2004.  The signature bear head is sandwiched by collegiate-styled text that marks the album title. The back boasts the tour name, and the Chicago skyline graphic day one fans might remember from the KanyeUniverseCity blog header. Another T-shirt from the tour featured a large Chicago skyline graphic on the front in place of the signature bear head. —Mike DeStefano

Year: 2005

By 2005, West had two critically-acclaimed albums under his belt with College Dropout and Late Registration. For his first headlining tour, Touch the Sky,  merch included a  design that riffed on“Gold Digger.” It featured a retro movie poster-styled graphic positioning West amongst money, a convertible, and women in bikinis. A more rare piece was a super limited one-off that was only sold at a show in Hong Kong. It’s especially coveted because it was an official collaboration with Clot and Fragment. More straightforward T-shirts featuring the album artwork were also for sale. —Mike DeStefano

“Glow in the Dark” Tour'Glow in the Dark' Tour

Year: 2008

Obviously for the Glow in the Dark tour, which promoted Kanye West’s third album Graduation, he had to hit up Takashi Murakami to make concert merch. Most of the merch predominantly featured Murakami’s Graduation Bear character on brightly colored T-shirts. In the Figures of Speech book, Virgil Abloh says that making the Glow In The Dark merch was one of the first projects he worked on with West. —Lei Takanashi

“808s & Heartbreak”808s & Heartbreak

Year: 2008

808’s & Heartbreak never received a grand tour treatment because Kanye West canceled the hyped Fame Killz tour with Lady Gaga. However, he did release a small amount of merch to promote the album on kanyewest.com. One piece from that limited release of merch is this T-shirt with a broken heart logo. —Lei Takanashi

Year: 2011-2012

For a collaborative project this monumental, the merch had to be on point. The Watch the Throne tour merch indicates West’s street goth style at the time, which included leather kilts and Givenchy graphic T-shirts. It’s also the first round of merch that looked more like actual product. Around this time, Ye made his interest in pursuing fashion even more evident. Many people remember the Givenchy-esque pieces that were actually designed with the help of its creative director at the time Riccardo Tisci. West and JAY-Z each had their own version, which featured their faces fused with the mouth of a jungle cat. Alongside those shirts was a white option with the American flag artwork from the “Otis” single cover printed across the front. Considering their “falling out,” these designs are even more significant in retrospect. —Mike DeStefano

“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”MBDTF Merch

Year: 2010

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy merch featured a bit more design prowess than past collections. The George Condo artwork  featured on the interchangeable album covers made its way onto T-shirts. The formula is very simplistic, but the Condo art is so good that not much more had to be done to produce some cool pieces for the fans. —Mike DeStefano

“Yeezus” Tour"Yeezus" Tour

Year: 2013

You could argue that the Yeezus tour merch is the reason many artists began putting more effort into their own offerings. Kanye’s most rebellious project was paired with designs to perfectly match the tone. Artist Wes Lang, known fo previously working with iconic heavy metal band Metallica, was commissioned to design the graphics? The result is skeletons in traditional Native American headdresses, kneeling in prayer, and dressed like the Grim Reaper wielding a scythe. This tour also produced the infamous bomber jacket with a Confederate flag patch embroidered on the sleeve. Although West tried to position the design decision as taking control of the symbol and giving it a new identity, it is a notable stain on an otherwise excellent collection. The Yeezus merch was so popular that it even spurred a more attainable line sold at PacSun. Exclusive designs were also available at select festivals like Made in America and Bonnaroo throughout Ye’s headlining run that summer. —Mike DeStefano

Year: 2012

Kanye performed three shows at the now defunct Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, back in 2012. A special T-shirt designed by Virgil Abloh was available at the merch booth. It featured a small mountain graphic on the left chest and “The World Ended and I Saw Kanye West Perform Right After” in large lettering across the back. —Mike DeStefano

Europe/Africa MerchEurope/Africa Kanye Merch

Year: 2013

During the Yeezus era, Kanye West performed a number of one off shows in places like South Africa, London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. For these shows, West released simple tees with large, bold, lettering, and the flag of the country he was performing in. The front of the T-shirt featured a small graphic of the Yeezus mountain, one of the most iconic stage elements West ever incorporated into his tours. Although not as embellished as West’s other tour merch, these are certainly collector’s pieces. —Lei Takanashi

Hollywood BowlHollywood Bowl

Year: 2015

Kanye decided to celebrate his polarizing 2008 album 808s and Heartbreak in 2015 with a track-by-track live performance at the Hollywood Bowl. The set borrowed some of the visual stylings from the Yeezus tour, and introduced a vocal ensemble to perform the genre-bending tracklist. Black and tan T-shirts and hoodies sold at the event  were incredibly minimal in comparison to other Ye merch. They marked the date of the show on the front and the 808s tracklist on the back. White T-shirts and hoodies were also released with melting floral artwork by Nick Knight plastered on the back. —Mike DeStefano

Year: 2015

This merch was made to commemorate Kanye West’s 2015 performance at the Glastonbury music festival. The merch showcased the Yeezus logo that’s featured on other Yeezus pieces. However, this merch captures a particularly notorious moment within West’s career. When it was announced that West would headline the festival, over 135,000 people signed a petition to remove West from the bill in exchange for a rock band. The show went on, but not as West had planned. Early on in the show, British comedian Lee Nelson crashed Ye’s set while he was performing “Black Skinhead” and forced West to restart the song. Later, an attempt to win over the crowd with a performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” ended with Kanye forgetting the lyrics to a British rock classic. At one point, West declared to the crowd that he was “The greatest living rock star on the planet.” A year later, he mentioned in an interview that his experience at the Glastonbury Festival left him depressed. —Lei Takanashi

“I Feel Like Pablo” (OG)'I Feel Like Pablo' OG

Year: 2016

Kanye’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show and The Life of Pablo listening party held at Madison Square Garden back in February 2016 was monumental. Alongside moments like Kid Cudi and Kanye bouncing around to “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” and Young Thug modeling a bright yellow fur jacket, the event also provided fans with the first opportunity to purchase the maroon and blue “I Feel Like Pablo” merch, an item that would dominate the entire year of style and spur countless ripoffs. Lines wrapped the halls of MSG that afternoon. The airbrush-inspired tribute graphic to his mother Donda West and Kim Kardashian’s father Rob Kardashian, who are both deceased, was another memorable option for fans. Pop-ups in New York City would follow that drew equally impressive crowds. The TLOP merch felt more like a streetwear drop than some Gildan merch, and it certainly ranks among his most memorable. —Mike DeStefano

“The Life of Pablo” City Pop-Up MerchTLOP City Pop Up Merch

Year: 2016

It can be safely said that Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo pop-ups marked the first time West’s merch reached an unforeseen level of extreme hype. Originally sold exclusively at pop-ups hosted in 21 different cities, never before have lines snaked around several city blocks for Old English logos printed on Gildan T-shirts and long sleeves. Eventually, the “exclusive” pop-up merch was widely released online, so a lot of TLOP merch barely fetches any coin on the secondhand market today. However, it did get nominated by the London Design Museum for the Beazley Design of The Year award. —Lei Takanashi

“Saint Pablo” Tour"Saint Pablo" Tour

Year: 2016

The “I Feel Like Pablo” designs are the most memorable, but the collection that Kanye designed for the accompanying Saint Pablo tour was just as good, if not better. The main graphic used across the product was a take on the Yamaha logo. Standouts included the all-over Realtree camouflage long sleeve T-shirt, and a black long sleeve with bright red lettering that featured a photo of Kim Kardashian playing tennis across the back. The product can easily be acquired on the resell market to this day, but it’s still unfortunate that Ye abruptly ended the tour, that’s known for its floating stage setup. —Mike DeStefano

“Ye” Wyoming MerchYe Wyoming Merch

Year: 2018

Jackson Hole, Wyoming will forever be remembered as one of the most bizarre places for Kanye to have an album listening party. Even if the cover was photographed while Kanye was on his way to the listening party, those mountains are iconic and it will forever serve as a testament to this particularly intense period of Kanye’s life. Who knows how fast this merch was made. However, Wes Lang’s long sleeves will definitely be future grails. —Lei Takanashi

“Kids See Ghosts” MerchKids See Ghosts Merch

Year: 2018

Many people were underwhelmed by Kanye West’s run of seven-track albums in Summer 2018, but the one highlight was the Kanye x Kid Cudi collaborative project Kids See Ghosts. The concise LP also provided some great merch. The initial round of items featured the Takashi Murakami-designed album artwork on the back of beige T-shirts and hoodies. The second round, which is much more coveted, was crafted by Cactus Plant Flea Market’s Cynthia Lu. The crewnecks and hoodies came in various colors and featured puff print lettering that said “Lucky me! I see Ghosts,” alongside crudely drawn smiley faces and hearts. —Mike DeStefano

“Sunday Service” Coachella Merch"Sunday Service" Coachella Merch

Year: 2019

One of Kanye West’s larger “Sunday Service” performances was held at Coachella. To commemorate the performance, West released a T-shirt, crewneck, sweatpants, socks, and even a poncho. Like the merch released for Kids See Ghosts, it was also designed by Cactus Plant Flea Market's Cynthia Lu. Although it’s only available on the resale market today, it’s a must cop for Kanye fans and those looking to come to church dripped out. —Lei Takanashi

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