Wake Up Mr. West

Facts: I have loved Kanye West since he dropped The College Dropout. I think I have his entire discography on my phone, and I listen to it all the time. Suffice it say, I love me some Yeezy.

That being said, I think our dear friend Mr. West needs a wake up call. ‘Ye has some brilliant ideas – not just as a businessman looking to sell to his consumers, but as a creator. Nevertheless, I think he’s lost touch with reality. He’s become a mockery to many of his fans, which is saddening: for a man of his creative caliber and intelligence to become a laughingstock on Scott and Todd just breaks my heart. How has this happened?

Well, we can start with some of his more recent … misadventures.

There was this interview:

And the infamous “You ain’t got the answers, Sway!

Remember the time he tried to pull this off?

kanye west confederate flag x17

And those are just some of the numerous instances. Oh, Kayne.

There’s an underlying thread in all of this. To me, Kanye is the epitome of the black man who doesn’t want to see race. We all have that friend, don’t we? The one who doesn’t want to acknowledge that his race could ever have anything to do with how he operates within the world, who blatantly overlooks the delicate intersection of race and social interactions in favor of a more “color-blind, Utopian society”. It’s not that this friend doesn’t know he’s black. And it very well might be that this friend understands so intrinsically what many non PoC don’t seem to get – that race and skin color have absolutely no jurisdiction over how well an individual can perform. But what our friend doesn’t realize is that it does have a say over how well that person is allowed to perform. And this is where Kanye has hit the glass ceiling.

He has said it himself, so many times in so many, many ways.

“Yo, why won’t you let me be great!?”

But here’s the thing. I hear you, ‘Ye. It’s tough when you hit that glass ceiling and you suddenly realize that no matter how effing awesome and brilliant you are, you will always first be a black man in the public’s eyes. Even if you suggested leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi. Even if you sold Air Yeezy’s for $90,000. Even if you put in your “10,000 hours.” Mr. West, you’re not going to get the attention you want screaming like a child throwing a temper tantrum. This has nothing to do with respectability politics. I am not saying you should sit down and shut up. I am saying you’re giving them a way to infantilize you. And let me tell you something – if they can make you a child in the eyes of the public, you suddenly pose no threat to anybody. Kanye has become so wrapped in his own ego and his own head he’s lost touch with his people and his roots. He wants so badly to force people into seeing him first as an entrepreneur and creative director instead of as a black music artist that he’s distancing himself from everyone – not just the “powers that be”, the big players who don’t take him seriously because of his race, but also those who have supported him for so many years but are getting a little fed up with the tantrums. We want to see you break that ceiling too, ‘Ye, but you’re going about this all wrong.

“There wouldn’t be no Kanye West without Michael Jackson … I’ve got to a point that Michael Jackson did not break down. I have reached the glass ceiling, as a creative person, as a celebrity … and I’ve been at it for 10 years. I look around and I say, ‘Wait a minute. There’s no one around here that looks like me. And if they are, they’re quiet as fuck.’ So that means, wait a second—now we’re seriously like, in a civil rights movement.”

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