We at war, we at war with terrorism, racism and mostly we at war with ourselves.
Kanye: true, this is very true so please choose your soldiers wisely. Ally with the civil rights, equality side of your mind and not the white-worded red hat side that shades your eyes from clear vision.
When Kanye first announced himself a Trump supporter I thought it was a publicity stunt.
Once he started wearing the red "Make America Great Again" hat I thought it was to be ironic.
Once Donald and Yeezy started tweeting love letters to each other I had to check my phone to see if it was April Fool's Day. On a daily basis.
I was born in 2000, so naturally, I was raised by blaring speakers in my house blasting "College Drop Out" instead of Dora on the TV. It was no secret that my household loved Kanye. I have a brother that is 22 and a sister that is 24. Each Kanye album release was a holiday in our household. Recently though, we have not been avid supporters.
In an attempt to boycott his actions and words I have not listened to his music since his initial advocacy for our president. Kanye is one of the most influential rappers of the century, one that offers a voice for people of color and talks about the oppression and mistreatment of African Americans. His lyrics are powerful and his platform carries even more power, so for him to consider himself a fan of a man who refers to African countries as shitholes, a man who says there were "fine people on both sides of the rally," in Charlottesville when one side was protestors and the other was members of the alt-right doing Nazi salutes and chants, a man who belittled the intelligence of Lebron James purely due to the fact that his ego hurt, a man who disrespects and dehumanizes immigrants on a daily basis and retweets white supremacists without apology was extremely contradicting of Kanye, and all I can say is Kanye… what are you doing?
My sister was one of the biggest fans I knew so I texted her immediately after his visit to the oval office. I needed to know her opinion on the matter. This is how the conversation went.
"Can you give me any type of opinion you have on Kanye and his affiliation with Trump for an article I'm doing this week?" "It's disappointing when the person you consider your favorite artist self-identifies as a huge supporter of Donald Trump." Especially considering the lyrics for songs like "All Falls Down," "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," and "New Slaves."
That text right there is the reason why I now have 11 tabs of Rap Genius open right now.
In "All Falls Down," he says:
We shine because they hate us, floss 'cause they degrade us // We tryna buy back our 40 acres
I say f--- the police, that's how I treat 'em // We buy our way out of jail, but we can't buy freedom
This line disses the corrupt justice system, police brutality, law enforcement, and the black American community. We buy our way out of jail refers to the fact that a wealthy person is above the law in many ways since money talks louder. It is also important to note that the entirety of this song is about internalized racism and internalized white supremacy. Mr. Kanye sir, all of your lyrics acknowledge racism in poetic words, so why is that when they stop applying to you since you have money now that you stop caring? You are being the biggest hypocrite you possibly can right now. And while your actions mean well about prison reform and change, do you really have to blindly praise Trump after all of the negative things he has done? You are treading very dangerous waters.
In "Never Let me Down," he says:
I get down for my grandfather who took my mama / Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain't want us to eat / At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins / And with that in my blood I was born to be different / Now n***as can't make it to ballots to choose leadership / But we can make it to Jacob's and to the dealership / Swear I hear new music and I just don't be feelin' it / Racism's still alive, they just be concealin' it
Lyrics Genius interpreted this as "West understands that there are active forces in the political system hindering African Americans like himself and other minority groups from actively participating in the electoral system. Referencing the infamous Jacob the Jeweler, Kanye believes African Americans are pushed by white America towards spending their money on trivial things such as jewelry and new cars, instead of being educated in the political system."
It's ironic that he realizes all of these things and then confessed that he did not vote in the 2016 election… and then advocated a white supremacist on Twitter and continued to praise him as a genius after. Hm, that sounds... counterproductive. These powerful lyrics from 2004 also do not correlate to his pro trump speech last month in which he said, "So many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, 'How could you support Trump? He's racist.' Well, if I was concerned about racism," West said, "I would have moved out of America a long time ago."
Wow. Kanye you're really letting me down. That's not what you were saying 14 years ago, and not much has changed except for your own personal experience and lifestyle. That scenario right there sounds like a word I learned in psychology today. Egocentric thinking. Egocentric thinking is the inability to see anybody else's point of view but your own. You've been in positions where you've felt oppressed and mistreated and you've spoken about your experiences and your families in numerous songs, but I'll say it again your perspective is truly just obstructed. Trump really is not "concealing racism" all that well, especially when he's backed by members of the KKK like David Duke. Kanye seriously, your eyesight is truly just hindered by that god awful ugly red cap and distorted by the privileges you were so lucky to obtain through fame and money. How could you be so heartless?
Kanye, I know you mean well, and imma let you finish but your words are so contradicting and it baffles me to think that you really only support him so much because that ugly cap makes you feel masculine. I know you said you wanted to raise your son as a Republican "so everyone knows he loves white people" in New Day to prevent him from living the life you did but is that really how you want to raise him? The way a hat makes you feel when you put it on should not overpower the decades of powerful lyrics you have written, the centuries of oppression African Americans had to endure in America and the never-ending list of insults Trump has used against minorities.
Kanye. Mr. West. Yeezy. You own a clothing line. Why don't you just put on another hat? I'm sure you can design another one that makes you feel like Superman. I mean you are a genius, so let's put it to positive use. We miss the old Kanye. But no seriously, we miss the old Kanye, straight from the go Kanye / Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goal Kanye.
And in this article I truly do not mean to undermine the efforts made in prison reform by Kanye and Kim, the changes truly make a difference. But I just want him to realize the power he holds and the influence he has. His influence on the music industry and the country as a whole have had such a huge impact on exposing inequality and racism. Lyrics truly hold so much power and he has utilized this power album after album since the early 2000's but recently his actions and advocacy just do not line up and as a huge fan who used to love him I want him to realize just how big his platform is and how many people look up to him including his kids. Like you said in "Power," I got the power, mother* if you didn't know.
Take the hat off. You're right, you do have the Power. We can be Stronger than this, and Fade away from this perspective in order for everyone to live a Good Life.