Say hello to Cassius Marcellus Cornelius Clay, a Yale sophomore whose life changed at Barneys one day, when fashionable rapper Kanye West complimented him on his shoes and, eventually, invited the lad to travel the world as Kanye's right-hand man.
IvyGate's Alex Klein has the full story (and pics) but here are some choice selections:
As it happens, Cassius' blood is bluer than even his pretty eyes. In fact, he's the forebear of the Clay dynasty, New England's foremost titans of business and government. Cassius is related to Henry Clay himself, and takes his name from another old-Yalie ancestor, famed abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay. (To put the legacy in some context: When Clay's friends are asked where he lives, they have trouble answering - the man has no fewer than six estates across the country.) But despite the Yale debauchery, Cassius is no layabout. The kid earned top honors at prep-central, Phillips Academy Andover, where he was an international-level debater.
So nice to see such a self-made kid getting the chance to hobnob with celebrities. How exactly did he meet the College Dropout?
Rewind to earlier this summer. Cassius is doing what the does best: dropping tin at expensive, trendy designer stores. The lucky retailer of the day is Barney's, New York. Today, his outfit is impeccable, topped off with high-end Italian designer shoes. In the midst of shopping, a man approaches Cassius, taps him on the shoulder, and tells him that he really, really loves the footwear. Cassius looks up; it's Kanye West. Cassius keeps it cool, thanks him, and introduces himself. ...
The two get to talking as they shop. Kanye loves Cassius' style, his attitude, his patrician hipsterdom. They talk for over half an hour. Kanye begins to reveal a little more about himself, his reinvention in the wake of the Taylor Swift disaster, and his thoughts on life, art, philosophy, hos (maybe), etc. Cassius advises the rapper on his day's purchases. Eventually the two leave the store, shopping bags in tow, and exchange phone-numbers and emails. Kanye promises to keep in touch. And oh, does he.
The next day, Cassius receives an email. Kanye has bought a controlling share in the company that designs Cassius' sexy shoes, and wants to see his ideas for new designs. The Yalie mocks up some images, puts on his Sunday best, and heads to Kanye's lavish Manhattan office to present seven-plus mockups. Kanye loves them, and the two hit it off even more. In the weeks that follow, Kanye and Cassius exchange emails almost daily, and the young Yalie is invited into the superstar's inner-circle. There are lavish parties, industry introductions, and a grand tour of Ye's social life. Cassius ingratiates himself with Kanye's fashion team, and meets all sorts of high-rollers at Kanye's shindigs.
It's almost like The Great Gatsby, only hopefully with less death. And no green light, Usher already did a green lights thing at the VMAs and Kanye would never sample someone else's work.
Anyway, it seems that Clay hasn't returned to campus yet this year and his Twitter account is private, which is what people who are becoming famous do. Quit school and become exclusive. Once he gets really famous, he'll make that account completely public again, I guarantee it. But he won't go back to school. Good luck, kid!