Kanye West will take the Studio 8H stage tomorrow night for his fifth appearance on Saturday Night Live. Despite his contentious relationship with the show — he once told the cast to “kiss his whole asshole,” and allegedly requested they not make fun of Kim Kardashian — ‘Ye has used SNL to mount some of the most discussed television performances in recent history, and he’s likely to do so again this weekend when he debuts new material from his upcoming album (you know, the God one).
Looking back at West’s history on SNL, we can view his career like a living museum exhibit. West has transformed himself many times over, and his SNL performances reveal the striking evolution of his sound, style, and aesthetic. Through the sketches that star and lampoon him, we see not just his most controversial moments, but how the tenor of his career has changed. The lovable jokester who once said things we all wish someone would say turned into the braying asshole ripe for being chastized by Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler.
When he plays new music on Saturday night (including a song that may be called “I Am a God”) he’ll be charting the course for the next phase of his career — and for the SNL jokes yet to come.