Whether you love or hate the guy, you cannot refute the fact that Kanye West has made countless contributions to Hip-Hop culture, pop culture and the general social construct of society. Touted by many as a cultural phenomenon, Yeezus is now the main subject of a new academic textbook that may eventually creep its way into political and social science college classrooms sometime next year.
The Cultural Impact of Kanye West by author and assistant professor of Philosophy at Wittenberg University, Julius Bailey (who has also written Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop’s Philosopher King) is an “in-depth reading of the works and cultural impact of Kanye West” which examines “the moral and social implications of West’s words, images, and music in the broader context of Western civilization’s preconceived ideas.”
“If Julius Bailey was a song, he would be that surprise banger DJ Red Alert drops around one in the morning as the party is at its peak. He is humbly one part scholar and two parts philosopher, yet all hip hop. Respected for his integrity as a cultural critic and archivist, it’s no surprise that like a master beat maker finding the perfect sample, he was ahead of the curve ball when he proposed to explore the cultural impact of Kanye West … but right on time.
Provocateur, egotist, sage, and artist, no figure in the past decade of popular culture has reflected and defined the zeitgeist better than Kanye West. This collection lays bare the tangle of complexities and contradictions that have made the artist and the art indispensable to our era and proves that if game recognizes game, wisdom does too. – Jelani Cobb