It seems impossible for anything Kanye West does to fly under the radar. But it appears the Most Polarizing Man in the World managed to quietly throw an early morning concert in North Portland today, with hardly anyone noticing.
Rumors that Yeezus was in our midst began to trickle out on social media last night. A Twitter user claimed to have just missed the rapper having dinner at Han Oak, then a Kanye fan account tweeted out a photo seeming to confirm that report:
Other than that, there was little indication of what West was doing in town, other than enjoying some of the city's finest dining. (Really, who'd be surprised if he flew up here solely to eat some of their pork dumplings?)
This morning, though, a few clues leaked out, suggesting that West was performing some kind of private show at Adidas Headquarters on North Greeley Street. An Instagram user identified as an employee of the footwear giant posted a video from outside the campus with the caption "Time for Service"—a reference, perhaps, to West's new concert series, basically a gospel jam session held weekly around L.A. Another employee who'd posted a video outside the Adidas campus declined to give details when contacted by WW.
More videos, however, have started to make their way online. The aforementioned Twitter account, Team Kanye Daily, posted what looks to be a livestream of West performing "Jesus Walks" backed by a choir, where he improvises an Adidas shout-out:
UPDATE: Jon Wexler, Adidas' Vice President of Global Entertainment and Influencer Marketing, uploaded a longer video of "Jesus Walks," taken inside the venue:
Representatives from Adidas did not immediately respond to request for comment, but it would make sense for West to perform in the company's North American home base: He partnered with Adidas six years ago for his line of Yeezy shoes, and even recently said he'd been angling for the job of creative director at the company.
It's also worth noting that this impromptu show happened the same day two former Adidas higher-ups were sentenced to a total of 15 months in prison on felony wire fraud charges. Former executive James Gatto and consultant Merl Code were convicted in October of paying the families of high-profile basketball recruits to ensure they ended up in Adidas-sponsored college basketball programs.
Obviously, Adidas is being pretty tight-lipped about this surprise gig, but we'll update this post with more information if and when we get it.