OK. So, over the last few weeks…no, months…OK, years… Kanye West has dominated the media. From the infamous Taylor Swift VMA's moment, to the recent announcement of his impending Presidential candidacy, and now to his latest album’s highly criticized marketing, Yeezus (as he is commonly known) is constantly making headlines. However, despite all of this publicity, the artist is constantly portrayed in a negative light. But why?
I get it - Kanye’s style of music is not for everyone. And, yes, some of his lyrics are a bit ridiculous: One of his more interesting lyrics comes from the song "I Am a God", “In the French restaurant/ Hurry up with my damn croissants”. Not to mention the title of his previous album Yeezus being seen as a blasphemes attempt to paint himself as a Jesus-like figure - a musical messiah. And hey, there’s even a church dedicated to Kanye! Seriously, it exists! However, in what is perhaps his most famous song “Jesus Walks”, he also sings, “God show me the way because the Devil's trying to break me down”.
Honestly, just because the man carries an otherworldly persona doesn’t mean he actually believes himself to be God. Seriously. He recently tweeted, "My number one enemy has been my ego… there is only one throne and that’s God’s”.
There's a mindset of hating someone strictly on the foundation that you don't agree with their views or ideas. For God’s sake, my mom once told me that my grandmother actually threw away some of my her Beatles records because she didn’t agree with the music. Moral of the story: Unfortunately, people tend to hate what they don’t understand. In the rapper's defense, Kanye is just being Kanye.
Now I don’t necessarily agree with everything Kanye says or does, specifically with the release of his latest album, "The Life of Pablo," being exclusive to “Tidal”, the expensive ‘premium’ streaming service created by Jay-Z and friends within the music industry. I saw this as a way of Kanye saying, "Look, you should pay a premium if you want to listen to my new album. You have to deserve to hear it." Yes, the album is very, very good. But I think the consumer should make that judgement along with the artist.
I also believe Kanye to be purely stream of consciousness; he says what he thinks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Again, its just Kanye being Kanye.
However, Kanye does have some pretty reasonable ideas. One of them being on the education system in America, tweeting, “Education puts Americans into debt before they even get a chance to get started…” He also criticizes the cost of text books and the undervaluing of teachers when saying, “I’d rather teachers got paid more and books cost less…”
OK. His music may not be for everyone. And he may have some controversial lyrics. And his public behavior may not always be the easiest to applaud. But just because you may not like his music, or if you honestly think that a song titled “I Am a God” is the most outrageous, sacrilege thing you’ve ever heard, it doesn’t mean that Yeezy is a bad person. It doesn’t mean he is the Antichrist. The hatred isn't warranted.
So what he makes a lot of ridiculous and odd comments? So what he tweets whatever is on his mind at any given moment? So what he is married to Kim Kardashian?
He hasn't hurt anyone. He hasn't broken any laws.
Kanye is simply being Kanye, and he is doing what Kanye does best. He is an artist.
After all, on his latest release, "The Life of Pablo," in a song titled “Feedback” he sings, “I’ve been out of my mind a long time”. But he also sings, on the same track, “Name one genius that ain’t crazy”.
Go ahead. Name one.