"[How about] Kanye West ft. Macklemore: Jesus Walks...Down the Aisle with Another Man" - IGot2Hanz, on a RapGenius.com message board

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what you get when you trudge through the trenches, wading in the muck that is internet message boards. Nevertheless, this is what I'm doing, halfway insane, for the sake of a follow-up story. We were pretty tricksy last week on April Fool's Day.

Unsuspecting Kanye West fans' hearts burst and then broke all over the world as the story was both consumed and debunked as a nasty prank. The story got picked up by a number of outlets, including Reddit and Rap Genius. It seemed plausible enough. Reports of a new Kanye album had been circulating for a while, including speculation of a James Blake collaboration.

The new Kanye is, of course, not yet upon us. The cruelty of our pretty perfect April Fool's joke wasn't all for our own personal enjoyment though. Jokes are funny because they play with our expectations about reality, and we all know that expectations are high for anything Kanye releases. So let's get our hands dirty, keep slogging through that chatter, and see if we can shed a little light on what people have come to expect from Mr. West.

The persona: judging from the reaction to the heavy-handed religious iconography and megalomaniacal language we used to create The Rising, this is what people now expect and almost demand from Kanye. Rap Genius commenter Dinokyu was fooled at first, "this is lefit and Kanye planned to have everybody think it's an April Fool's joke." Others noted that they knew it was a fake because the album art wasn't "provocative" enough. But the consensus seemed to be that this (borderline?) blasphemous premise, the kind of thing that pushes boundaries and has the power to shock, is what Kanye is and needs tp be about.

The heavy hitting collaborations: Of course, no Kanye West record is complete with out some serious names in the credits. But Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, and MC Ride all on one track? People were going apeshit for that one. "Corinthians...Only in my dreams," lamented Hellblazer. Another commenter stated matter-of-factly that it would "break the internet." He might actually be right. The nod to Springsteen had some people giggling and others eager. Same for Hyuna and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Naturally, the mention of James Blake seems to have caused the believers to go ahead and piss themselves with excitement. (I guess that goes for any mention of James Blake, really.)

The talent to back it up: Here's the thing. If it were just the persona and the star-studded air about the album, no one would care. Part of the reason this story had the legs that it did was because people freaking love Kanye West. Because he's got balls and everyone wants to work with him Because he's that good. Like the ego or not, the talent is there, the public recognizes that, and acts a fool accordingly. Plain. Simple.

Real, factual stories about Kanye West have been plentiful since then. Around the time we broke this story, Kanye said that he was postponing his Australian tour to finish the new record, actually and seriously set to be released this summer. Kanye was featured on a Future track titled, 'I Won', which digs into, of all subjects, wife Kim Kardashian's ex-boyfriends. And still, anticipation for fresh Kanye material is at a fever pitch. We'd love to think of ourselves as the winners of April Fool's Day, that we tapped into people's expectations and turned them on their head. Which I guess we did, so good job us. But in light of everything, it seems pretty clear that the real winner, with the 'trophy wife' to prove it, is Mr. Kanye West.

God help us all.