I even, and maybe especially, liked Kanye West more when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMA moment. I like Kanye West because he LIVES IN THE NOW, and appears to always operate from deep within his truth.
However, truth is subjective. If reality is dependent on personal observation and perspective then there can not exist one singular reality that is true for everyone. We can only sort of appear to agree on and accept some things as fuzzy facts that kind of cover most of the bases (because Science).
Back to Mister West though… Here is someone who is so far inside his truth that he makes it equally as easy to hate him as to applaud and love him. He is at all times both a hero and a villain of modern society.
From day one parents, friends, and media try to rear and wrangle us all into the corner of acceptability. We are cajoled and coerced into being pleasing and non-threatening. Even when we give one another advice there’s typically a layer of caution against too much upset so as not to embarrass ourselves in the face of the collective’s conditioned opinion.
Except, apparently Kanye. He refuses to be programmed. He bucks your conformity, your notions of embarrassment, your silent instructions to be non-disruptive. Add to that he is an intelligent, talented and wealthy* black man in America. If you think his race has nothing to do with why it’s so easy to throw shade at Kanye West you know nothing of blackness in America, the ever present sub-text in the media’s portrayal of the black man, nor the hundred years’ old shaping of public opinion regarding the black man in America by the powers that be [in America]. Kanye West is the personification and rejection of that image.
He has rejected, defied, and superseded the programming. Every project, every album, every decree (read: rant) that he gives unto this world is a victory against the programming. Kanye West is the ultimate vanguard of the slowest churning revolution in modern times: that of the freeing of the collective mind. He forges onward so consistently, fearlessly, and apologetically against the numbness of our collective minds that we cannot decide exactly how to install his software onto our hard drives. Whether we love or hate him he overwhelms us and does not let up.
Put simply, Kanye West is too much.
This is precisely why Kanye West is great. Not because we wont or can’t let him be, because we don’t know how. Kanye West is greater than society can fathom. And we ought to be ashamed of ourselves to ever anticipate his failure. We ought to only hope with every invisible fiber of our higher selves for his ongoing success. He is self-sustained, self-motivated, self-involved, and probably even self-inspired.
1. FEEDBACK The beat on this track just resonates between my ears, as do these lyrics:
I’ve been outta my mind a long time
I’ve been outta my mind a long time
I’ve been saying how I feel at the wrong time
Might not come when you want but I’m on time
2. I LOVE KANYE This track is sofa king meta. Kanye hears your shit, and you joke on him but he is him and you’re not him and your hate equates his love. So there.
3. HIGHLIGHTS If only because he shouts out Blac Chyna and Rob. Like I literally can not even and I love him for it. But not only because he uses the currency of his peripheral fame and relevancy but because his flow on this track is so swift and sharp and cutting like the sound of a bamboo stick whipping forceful and quickly through the air.
4. REAL FRIENDS I relate so hard to the title and first few lines of this track. I could play it on repeat and just stew. All DAY.
Real Friends. How many of us? How many of us?
How many jealous?
Real Friends. There’s not many of us. We smile at each other
But how many honest?
5. FADE Let the music critics tell it this isn’t even a real track and it doesn’t count because Kanye’s own vocals are so largely absent. But I fuck so hard with the groove and vibe. The sample, the beat, the feel of it really does everything for me (not to mention the kid Post Malone is a feature). At first it’s like you’re waiting for that steady jungle-esque rhythm to break and give you something more concrete and robust, but then you’re lost in it, and wanna listen again, realizing the gift is in its brevity.
I feel like Kanye West is trying to teach us to experience and listen to life and music in a new ways, but we struggle because we’re so accustomed to experiencing and listening to Kanye in one way and we’re addicted to shooting the messenger. And yet, he persists, an incredible testament to the determination and will of art and creation. Kanye West is everything we need and don’t want him to be.