Reader I hope you will permit me to make the most shocking of confessions. Once I have shared this nugget of truth with your good selves, it may very well lead you to request the forthwith revocation of my proverbial ‘Black Card’. There too remains the possibility that you may question my status as a true millennial and I am certain that you will think me a poor example of a generation that grew up on a diet of lacto-vegan hipsters, topped with a sprinkling of ‘me me me’. But if the truth be told, I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of Kanye West. This is not say that I am unable to recognize his talent, but as Kanye stepped out of the shadows of production, taking centre stage as a solo artist I always felt between myself and him a terrific disconnect. Despite Mr West possessing all the vital components that comprise a top tier rapper, to me there always appeared to be a vacancy in his character. The discrepancy between who Kanye believed himself to be and who he actually was always somewhat perturbed me.
To call Ye contrary is to call Donald Trump polarising; he is the Black Revolutionary whose song Jesus Walks positions Christianity as a cornerstone of personal strength. (Despite its introduction to peoples of the African Diaspora being highly contentious given its role in replacing indigenous religious beliefs and its use in the justification of the enslavement of African people.) Kanye who eloquently rails against a love of all things material in New Slaves, later informs us that his hallway looks like a ‘Monastery’ in his collaboration with Big Sean and Drake Blessings. Which leads me to bestow upon him the auspicious title of the world’s only anti-consumerist, consumer, who is consumed by consumerism. Of course we must not forget his fantastically misogynistic labelling of Mixed Race women as ‘mutts’, despite the fact that he is now the father of Mixed Race daughter. Oh Kanye, Kanye, Kanye confusion is thy name.
Yes, ladies and gentleman hindsight is a wonderful thing, and of course I don’t blame you for wilfully overlooking the (endless) signs that suggested Kanye was steadily speeding in fifth gear to destination Crazyville. But at what point does one abandon ship?
The last three years have seen Yeezus partake in a series of ever more disturbing interviews. He seems to be more tightly wound than a Swiss watch, so numerous are his ravings that I have to keep a bowl of popcorn to hand for every time YouTube comes up with the suggestion ‘Kanye West Rant’. The general consensus was that Kanye’s madness had reached its apex after that Sway interview. Surely there were no new depths of lunacy for Ye to plummet to? Trolls the internet over rubbed their grubby hands together collectively relieved that the general consensus could not have been more wrong. A Twitter meltdown ensued in which West begged for handouts from the elite and also admitted to being $53 million dollars in debt. Then an interweb feud with Wiz Khalifa lead to the revelation that West does indeed like a ‘finger in the booty’. And who could forget his May 2016 appearance on Ellen?
There is something distinctly repetitive about the approach West has taken of late to the media in general. His mind rarely veers away from his frustration with the fashion world. His self-announced alignment with greats such as Shakespeare, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. The limitless virtues of his two dimensional wife and his monosyllabic proclamation ‘we all slaves’. Though Kanye tries to spin his maniacal ramblings as a call for self-contemplation en masse, I can not help but see his words and actions as little more than a reflection of himself. Is his disillusionment with top couturiers a result of their lack of inclusivity to fashion outsiders? Or a result of their open refusals to include him? As West cries foul at the Western phenomena of brand worshipping, it seems unlikely he would scoff at the chance to have the public worship him. Some might say, he would relish the very idea of us 99 percenters being enslaved to his label.
Of his wife he has declared that she should be seen as no less than a modern day Marilyn Monroe, and when speaking to Steve Harvey he made the startling claim that Mrs West had broken barriers in fashion. Apparently prior to discovering her cosmetically enhanced form, designers saw women of the curvaceous variety as merely an after thought. Serena Williams and Jennifer Lopez please take note, Queen Kim is an innovator, not an imitator. In the same interview he also bizarrely declared that had it not been for Kim, interracial couples would be afraid to go to amusements parks. Got that Mrs Loving? Had it not been for Kim Black people the world over would not have the right to choose a partner who burns in the sun and pays £3.50 for a coffee. Kanye’s keenness to remind us all of Kim’s infinite contributions to humanity, only magnifies his own acute awareness of popular attitudes towards her. The most common being that she is a turd artfully covered in multi-coloured sequins and not his not –so- secret -crush; Beyoncé. Kanye seems to be going for gold in the buck dancing Olympics, I am expecting any day now the arrival of a new rant in which he heralds this truth; that God did not in fact create mankind on the sixth day, it was the work of Kim.
The days of Kanye challenging the Bush Administration’s anti-black sentiment are long gone, and in its place a new era has been ushered in. An era of blue contacts, unseasoned Father’s day chicken and styling Caitlyn Jenner. Was I right in my distrust of the simpering, flake-like, wisp of a fool they call Kanye West? Well I hate to say I told you so…
I do believe there maybe some small hope for our man. Should he heed the advice he imparts in his song Heard ‘Em Say’. It is as follows: ‘Wake up Mr West’.