Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. Actually, he welcomes controversy and backlash with open arms as he realizes they will culminate into “breakthroughs.” He’s on a constant mission of self-discovery and expression—regardless of whether he’s politically correct. He can’t wait to ruffle feathers, or in some cases, pluck them unapologetically.
While not everyone agrees with how he executes this expression or articulates his messages, Hip-Hop adored his honesty and his sheer bravery. At times we itched our heads and scoffed at his proclamations of being a genius; but after a while, we believed him.
He has risen and fallen like the tides.
And after his rant about Jay Z and a meltdown that led to him being hospitalized, he has risen once again. Only this time, it feels like the seas have parted; and for better or for worse, what lies ahead will change everything.
Kanye’s recent media frenzy is incredibly bizarre, unsettling, and rife with contradictions. This man’s mental health is questionable, along with his new political views. His comments on TMZ about slavery being a “choice” are perplexing. He’s had a rocky relationship with TMZ and paparazzi in the past, but he couldn’t wait to sprint to them and say some fake-deep words about freethought, and reveal he had liposuction…so that TMZ wouldn’t take pictures of him being fat.
In the short clip with him and T.I., the masses are given a glimpse into the recording process behind his new song “Ye vs. The People.” T.I. asks him about his reasons for supporting Trump, and Ye can’t give a concise answer without going off on a tangent about his idols, and Disney. He did admit that he doesn’t agree with Trump’s policies, but he is inspired by Trump.
When he sat down with Charlamagne, he revealed that he felt that Obama had to be the “perfect black person.” Which is true; but that was the gift and the curse of being the first black president in a nation that tolerates white supremacy. In the same breath, he can’t name one good thing Trump has done for him or others.
Charlamagne comes back to Ye’s stance on Trump numerous times, and each time the question is never fully answered. At one point, he mentions meeting with Mark Zuckerberg but never having a follow-up meeting.
I don’t know if he knows this, but Trump never followed up with him either.
Being an independent thinker, and resisting control from the “gatekeepers” of the fashion and entertainment industry is a consistent theme in his Charlamagne interview. His words sound like the Kanye of old, but his actions say otherwise. Because in the same breath, he’s thirsty for the approval of said gatekeepers. Desperate much?
The truth is, this new Kanye craves white validation. On his quest for white acceptance, he has become even more narcissistic and even less coherent. It’s hard to tell what he truly stands for anymore. He makes some great points along the way, but those are few and far between.
Sure, not every black person has to side with the Democratic party. Yes there’s racism in the fashion industry. Yes, Trump’s infiltration into politics as a celebrity is symbolic. And yes, Yeezys will be a billion dollar company some day.
However, I and others will be pondering these interviews for a long time. Will Mr. West ever be the same? Was this all just a marketing scheme to build hype for his album? Will he and Jay-Z ever meet in person to reconcile their relationship? Sure his art is his therapy, but will he ever seek out professional help?
His art will continue to live on, but the Kanye West we knew and loved is long gone…