The Curious Case Of Kanye West Vs. Society

The Curious Case Of Kanye West Vs. Society

Why does society hate Kanye West? More importantly, what does that say about society?
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Kanye West is one of the most influential, creative, innovative individuals of the 21st century. His mark on hip-hop, streetwear, music video production, etc. is unmatched. He’s one of the most committed artists working right now, and his art has been praised, enjoyed, and imitated all across the globe. So why, then, is he one of the most hated celebrities in the world?

“I'm living in the 21st century doin' something mean to it//Doin’ better than anybody you ever seen do it//Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it//I guess every superhero needs his theme music”

Our society has evolved to have one common mantra: whatever you do, do not make others uncomfortable. Don't worry, this is not another trite critique on society; I'm sick of those just as much as you are. However, it's important to make this observation seeing as it is society's biggest quarrel with Kanye West.

When Kanye put out his sixth (or seventh, depending if you count "Watch The Throne") album, "Yeezus," his objective was clear. He was not interested in making the music we wanted. He had already done that with his previous album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," an album many consider hip-hop perfection and one of the greatest albums of all time. Now, Kanye just needed to vent. Almost every song was lashing back at society in one way or another. Of course, people looked past Kanye’s message and latched on to the eye-catching third track, “I Am a God.”

Public outrage was immediate. Your favorite middle-aged mom took to Facebook, chastising Yeezy. Never mind the fact that Kanye was instrumental in making religion accepted in hip-hop with “Jesus Walks” 10 years ago and the fact that he consistently puts God and his faith at the center of his life; this one song makes him a blasphemer!

Of course, these sudden Kanye West experts didn’t even pretend to examine what this song could be saying. Kanye used this song to attempt to illustrate his frustration with society. The third track very well may have been called “I Am a Low-Life Good-For-Nothing Black Person,” and nobody would care. In fact, this idea isn’t even that crazy. Plenty of rappers such as Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar, and Earl Sweatshirt rap about their self-identity in a completely degrading, self-hating way. But when one rapper stands out and visits the other side of the spectrum and loves himself, now we have a problem. This is because our society would much prefer to watch you wallow in self-loathing than brag about your own character.

Sure, you can be the best. You can change the face of hip-hop single handedly, design the most sought after sneakers, and put out two high-end fashion lines, all while starting a loving family that you care for and protect. But once you acknowledge your accomplishments… well then, Mr. West, you have fallen out of America’s good graces.

See, we’re a rather forgiving country. We can forgive Ben Roethlisberger for sexually assaulting a woman, Chris Brown for beating up Rihanna, Bill O’Reilly for sexually assaulting his coworker, and any number of politicians for any number of lies. But when one of the most talented, accomplished names in music is a little too confident: well how dare he? Thankfully for us, Kanye doesn’t care.

“They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus//That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes//But if I talk about God my record won't get played, huh!?//Well if this take away from my spins//Which will probably take away from my ends//Then I hope this take away from my sins//And bring the day that I'm dreaming about//Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out “Jesus walks!””

All of his life, Kanye was told he couldn’t. Growing up as a poor African-American Chicago native, the world told him he couldn’t make it. Attempting to make his name as a rapper when he was a well-respected producer, the record execs told him he couldn’t do it. Rapping about minimum wage, religion, and the false security of college instead of money, sex, and drugs, the rap game told him he couldn’t do it. Starting his own clothing line with no design background, the fashion industry told him he couldn’t do it. Trying to go beyond art and spread his message through politics by running for president, just about everyone is telling him he can’t do it (that’s for a whole different article, though).

“Ain’t nobody expect Kanye to end up on top//they expected the College Dropout to dropout and then flop...Last year shoppin my demo, I was tryin’ to shine//Every motherf***er told me I couldn’t rhyme//Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem//Or use my arrogance to power my dreams.”

When just about everywhere you look you’re being told you can’t do it, you have to close your eyes and tell yourself you can. So excuse Kanye for proving the world wrong. Don’t put a muzzle on a dog and then be surprised if it wants to bite back when it escapes. Kanye knows that in order to make a sandwich, there might have to be a few crumbs. Sometimes great art requires great sacrifice ("Whiplash," anyone?). If being a little arrogant and obnoxious is what it takes to produce one of the greatest discographies in music, I think Kanye would take that trade 10 times out of 10. And down the road, when professionals are still breaking down the instrumental to “Lost in the World,” humanity will thank Kanye for not listening to his doubters.

There is also something to be said regarding race. The aforementioned wave of political correctness makes this paragraph difficult to type without happening to push a few buttons, but the argument should be made. The late 1900s were dominated by rock stars: Axl Rose, Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards, etc. These guys were the biggest party animals the world had ever seen. They would come to shows drugged out of their minds, then go back and destroy their hotels with a tornado of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Did it ever seem like these musicians had any ounce of humility? Any air of respect? Absolutely not. Kanye can write one of the most touching love songs I’ve heard to his mother (“Hey Mama”), pour his raw, heartfelt emotions out into an album ("808’s & Heartbreaks"), preach complete respect towards women, all while avoiding starting one single beef with any individual, and yet he’s still regarded, as our Commander-in-Chief so profoundly puts it, as a “jackass.” Nobody raises objection to white long-haired dudes, but a clean cut black kid from Chicago better watch what he says.

“I woke up early this mornin’ in a new state of mind//a creative way to rhyme, without using nine’s and guns”

I’d like to believe it’s born out of ignorance—that the average Kanye anti-fan just sees the entertaining YouTube videos and simply doesn’t know the amazing artist behind them. Whatever the case for our society’s hate towards him may be, one thing is for sure: our distaste of Kanye West says more about us than it does him. Once we turn against one of the greatest creative minds alive, some serious evaluation needs to be done regarding where our values lie.


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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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Do not fear the subtitle, embrace it

Why you shouldn't let a fear of "reading" while watching stop you from amazing shows or films...why you should embrace the subtitle.

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I am a lover of all movies, encompassing drama, comedy, romance, action, adventure, etcetera, etcetera. Whether films have subtitles is of no consequence to me now, but it wasn't always like that. In my younger and more vulnerable years, I heavily feared and avoided the dreaded subtitles, pesky words that meant reading when all I wanted to do was mindlessly absorb whatever moving image was on the screen of choice in front of me. I consciously stayed away from foreign films where I would have to put subtitles on and read actual words instead of just being able to listen and absorb whatever the characters were saying. I would love to say that my eluding of foreign films went away with age and was replaced with an eclectic taste for all films subtitled with languages alien to my American ears. Alas, that would not be the truth.

In actuality, my venture into the world of foreign films was forced upon me by high school level French classes where the teachers thought all of us 15 year-olds would suddenly become half fluent in a language we spoke 40 minutes a day if we watched a movie in said language. Sadly, I did not become fluent in French thanks to those high school classes; they did, however, lay the groundwork for a foundation of appreciation for foreign films. And they erased my fear and avoidance of all movies subtitled, instead, the forced high school French films of my mid-teen years created an appreciation for subtitles.

Instead of avoiding movies where I had to read the dialogue at all costs I, cautiously at first, started watching movies where the language was not of my tongue. I started with French films considering I was taking the language, and have been for five years but somehow still do not know it very well, and was pleasantly surprised with how well I actually liked reading the subtitles. I know it sounds crazy, but I really did like it and I will tell you why. First, it immensely helps when the movie you are watching with subtitles is one that you actually picked out yourself with a plot that intrigues you. I think in high school when kids are forced to watch movies in a foreign language class they think it's the subtitles they hate when in actuality it is just the extremely boring or underwhelming plot of whatever "school appropriate" and approved movie the teacher lazily clicks play on. It is so much easier to lose yourself in the feelings of a film when you are the one who picks it, subtitles or no subtitles, and that's a fact.

Second, people's main problem with subtitles is that they have to "read" when all they want to do is mindlessly melt into the couch while numbly consuming the movie in front of them. Well, that is just not possible with subtitles...but, that's a good thing. For one, you literally can't go on your phone because then you will miss whatever is happening on screen due to the face that you actually have to be engaged to keep up with what is going on. And two, a certain feeling of achievement washes over you after finishing a film with subtitles (as silly as that sounds). For one, you feel that you not only just watched a movie but you were also reading at the same time. Ergo, that feeling of having actually read something replaces the feeling of guilt at having not left your house all day to watch television instead. Therefore, making watching a movie with subtitles a very "intellectual" activity.

Also, many people do not take into account the amount of American or English films that subtly use subtitles in the film. Most famously Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" which switches from French to German to English and back again (I would say Italian but I do not think Brad Pitt's southern accent twanged "Buongiorno" counts). In cases such as those, yes you are watching a movie primarily in English but isn't there something unnameable and special when those scenes in an international tongue come on. Maybe you realize it and maybe you don't but I bet you're hanging on the edge of your seat just a little bit more or paying attention just a little bit harder because the characters on screen are speaking in a way your brain cannot translate so your eyes have to do it for you.

So, the next time you are scrolling through Netflix or Amazon Prime or any form of movie streaming services you prefer do not knock films with subtitles out of the waters right away. Take a minute, maybe two or even three, to see if there are any foreign movies that tickle your fancy whether they be dramas, comedies, romance, or anything else. Engage with movies and characters that may seem far removed from your life because they speak a language different than your own, but really they are just like you. Or maybe they're not, and that's why you love them. But, you will never know if you never try and read while you watch. Do not fear the subtitle, embrace it.

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c1.staticflickr.com

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