West is Best

December 2018 View more

Five theories on why Kanye is eyeing Naperville

In September, Kanye West announced plans to move back to his hometown, Chicago. Given the Grammy winner’s off-the-wall behavior throughout 2018, it’s tough to tell whether West is serious about making a cross-country move. But the rapper-producer’s October appearance—shooting pool at the Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant on Ogden Avenue—sparked rumors he was house-hunting not in Chicago, but in Naperville. Why might Kanye be eyeing a move to the suburbs? We have a few theories.

He’s obsessed with being NO. 1
Depending on who you ask, Kanye falls anywhere from confident to braggadocious to full-blown egomaniac. Regardless of personal feelings, it’s clear that the rapper is truly obsessed with greatness. Now, sure—in his world—that means being the best rapper of all time, the best producer of all time, and a self-declared genius. But who says he doesn’t also want to lay claim to 2018’s “Best City in America to Raise a Family”? Naperville hasn’t won any Grammys, but the city is committed to excellence, just like West.

He can’t live somewhere that shares the same name as one of his kids
That would obviously knock the city of Chicago out of contention, thanks to Kim and Kanye’s 10-month-old daughter, named for her father’s hometown. But it rules out a lot of the greater metropolitan area, too: none of the northwest suburbs would fly, due to his eldest daughter’s directional name (North), and his son, Saint, means
St. Charles is a no-go.

Naperville’s just as college-educated as he is
Our riverfront town is one of the most educated cities in America—a 2015 study clocked Naperville at about 71 percent college-educated. The College Dropout creator left school when he was 20 to pursue music—so we’ll call that 50 percent of a college education. Plus with the honorary degree West received from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, we’ll bump him up to 71 percent college-educated. What a match!

He’s embracing the responsibilities of fatherhood
It’s shocking that the man who once declared, “My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live,” has brought a new human into the world, let alone three. But maybe—just maybe—fatherhood is prompting West to reprioritize? To focus less on being “God’s vessel” and more on finding a place with easily accessible, well-kept public parks and some of the best public schools in the nation? Maybe.

He can satisfy his outdoorsy side
The Jackson Hole, Wyoming, album listening party Kanye hosted this past May shows the city-raised producer has a yearning to connect with nature. No, the Midwest’s plains aren’t exactly the Grand Tetons. But could a long, meditative stroll down the Naperville Riverwalk allow West to tap into his inner Bon Iver? Sure.