Words by Andreas Hale.
Kanye West is a train wreck.
Kanye West is one of those Hollywood Fast & Furious seven-car pile-ups that you simply cannot take your eyes off of even though it’s so blatantly done for shock value. Except that Kanye West thinks he’s smarter than any Fast & Furious film and demands you treat him as such.
That sounds about right.
As if his mind numbing rants, knocking up Kim Kardashian with “Baby ½ Compass” and overall shenanigans didn’t drive that point home before. Well, his series of interviews – specifically his #YouAintGotTheAnswersSway rant on Sway In The Morning and incessant rambling and inability to directly answer a question on The Breakfast Club – pinned the tail on the fashion forward jackass. To lay it down as flat as possible: I’m sick of Kanye West and his egomania.
Before we get started, let me make a few things very clear. I am not a Kanye “hater.” Rather, I just really (really) dislike some aspects of his personality. I think he is an excellent artist and my byline is beside his 5-mic review in The Source for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I was a fan of his artistry from the first time I heard the Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes sampled “This Can’t Be Life” off of The Dynasty: Roc La Familia album. He merged the underground and the mainstream together in a way that was downright admirable at a time when hip hop was stuffed with cream puff tunes from tough guys (oh, hello 50 Cent and Ja Rule). He helped rescue the music from the strait jacket of crap music. For that, he is appreciated.
With that being said, I have always felt that he is overrated. While most credit him for the success of Jay Z’s The Blueprint, I have always sided with Just Blaze’s contributions “U Don’t Know,” “Song Cry” and “Girls, Girls Girls.” But that is a 50/50 argument where I wouldn’t argue with anyone who enjoys Kanye’s productions more than the work of Just Blaze or Bink. Nevertheless, he’s an incredible producer and artist. However, as a lyricist, I have never bought into his perceived greatness. Sorry kids, if I have to round up my 10 greatest emcees, Kanye doesn’t make my lyrical kickball team. That doesn’t take away from the brilliance of The College Dropout or MBDTF (his best albums IMHO), just a note that it was more musical aesthetic then actual lyrical substance that sold those albums. But Yeezus was a vanity project that, to me, was a bunch of noise and chest thumping. I don’t like it, never will like it and you can’t make me.
I say that to say this, the monster that we have created has bought into his own hype and truly believes that he is the smartest guy in any room. Not a music studio but a fashion studio. And, you know, fashion is like the most important thing in the world to Kanye West.
They say money and fame changes people. I believe that money and fame just makes you more of what you already are. The signs were there from his previous interviews and various idiosyncratic episodes (does anyone remember the “walk where we wanna walk” episode of MTV’s Punk’d?), we just didn’t care to pay enough attention. He’s always been called a walking contradiction with a penchant for showing out like a selfish child who believes earth owes him something, but I’d like to refer to him as a walking hyperbole. Now, more than ever before are his statements completely asinine and borderline offensive. Here's a few taken from his New York media blitz…
“The first time rappers rapped with each other on a God level was ‘Swagga Like Us.’ After that, all of the songs are like ‘Swagga Like Us.’ I’m showing us how to work together.”
Apparently, Kanye never heard “Buddy (Native Tongue Decision),” “Scenario,” The Symphony, “Affirmative Action,” “Self Destruction,” or “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix).” And, you know, if Kanye weren’t here rappers would be killing each other. Thanks Mr. West.
“Kim [Kardashian] is Marilyn Monroe”
False. Marilyn Monroe was an actress who won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in “Some Like It Hot.” Your wife played in a Tyler Perry movie and starred in a homemade sex tape with Ray J.
“I'm more like, a Walt Disney or something…”
Word? Walt Disney? Until you create something that is the equivalent of the cartoon mouse that remains relevant for a century, drawing that obscure parallel is unnecessary. Say “I want to be” rather than “I’m like” because you aren’t like anybody but Kanye West.
“In your mind you think Nike is as big as Apple almost…to the hood, because of Jordans and because of me and Don C because we started wearing retro Jordan’s when the soles were falling apart…”
For Kanye to even suggest that he made Jordans popular almost completely forsakes the concept that Michael Jordan even existed. Were Kanye and Don C the first people to rock retro Jordans? You can’t take full credit for repurposing an idea.
When you say that you are a cross between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., what exactly do you mean Mr. West? Suggesting that you are Steve Jobs, Michaelangelo, Howard Hughes, David Stern and Andy Warhol draws absolutely no merit.
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