“nah bro, i’m not on no selfie vibes today. i’m just here trying to help my daughter work the lemonade stand,” i overheard kanye patiently convey to a man asking to flick it up. henny ye is hilarious, producer ye is a genius, maga ye is wack and there’s so many versions of ye that we love, but during an afternoon with the West & Kardashian family, DadYe easily became my favorite.
at 2:28pm i get a text from modi telling me to pull up to a yeezy lemonade stand in hidden hills, california by 4:30pm.
it was the most vague text ever accompanied by an hour uber ride… fuck it.
at that time i saw wex reposting some lemonade stands across the country and told myself, “at the very least it will be cool to document something different in sneakers.” mind you, i’ve been documenting sneaker culture since 2006 but the mysteriousness of this text kind of gave me that thrill that i might miss out on a moment if i didn’t go.
i pulled up directly to the last house on the longest street i’ve ever rode down feelin broke as hell, look to my right and i’m like, “yo, that’s kanye lmao. is mans doing a lemonade stand right on the driveway?” even my uber driver is looking at me like did you really just casually have me take you to kanye’s crib, haha.
i still have no idea what’s going on.
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PHOTOS – @RayPolancoJr
i’m directed a couple stop signs down the block to where everything was getting set up. a few minutes later the whole family comes to the spot. it was kanye, kim, chicago, north, saint, penelope, khloe, and true… no security, no entourage or anything. ye opens up the back of the truck and starts unloading yeezys and wooden crates.
“what’s good ya’ll, we about to set up this lemonade stand.
i designed it myself [chuckles to himself].”
i couldn’t have scripted a better intro to kanye in real life moment lmao.
it was a really intimate setting just posted on the corner of a street. not many people got the text to pull up. there were no cameras and no tv production people capturing the moment. being respectful of the environment the West’s were creating, i asked the team if i could take photos and they delightfully agreed due to my relationship with adidas. it immediately became an even bigger moment for me knowing no one else would have hi-res photos.
i was tapped on my shoulder to be the first in line for yeezys where all profits earned would go towards the National Alliance for Mental Illness, an organization chosen by kanye himself.
kim goes, “north! ask the man his shoe size.” i said i’m a 9 and kanye accompanies north to look for the size. north in the sweetest voice ever approaches and goes, “here you go sir.” kanye leans in and gently whispers in her ear and north says, “thanks for stopping by the lemonade stand!”
as a guy who wants a daughter as his first child, the yeezys didn’t matter in the moment, the fact that my style icon north west just handed me yeezys didn’t matter in the moment, but what hit me deep was that this lemonade stand represented kanye as dad creating a sense of normalcy for his family and teaching values of community.
from the calmness in the air to chicago petting horses and kim being such a sweet mom helping organize everyone’s sneakers, you forget ur in a community of multi-million dollar homes and you definitely forget these people are megastars. at least that’s how it felt for me.
during moments of people being unable to hold back their fandom, kanye reiterated politely to those individuals that he’s just here to run a lemonade stand with his daughter and family.
DadYe is fuckin’ dope.
i guess the painted bins on each side of the lemonade stand hadn’t dried fully, so some boxes people got were full of purple paint. kanye and kim insisted they were, “exclusive boxes painted by north.” it made the little one laugh and melted everyone’s heart.
i was trying to be in the moment as possible while also trying carefully capture what was going on without ruining the vibe. i felt the world needed to see this wholesome ass content with all the negativity that is constantly on our social feeds.
it’s one thing to develop a perception of people via the internet and it’s another to feel their energy right in front of you.
shout out to the West & Kardashian crew for their hospitality. it was a really special moment. big ups to modi, dan and ryan.