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Kanye's foolishness shouldn't affect his work

by Joseph Massaro - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Sep 11th 2018 04:00 pm

Kanye West is the new Thin White Duke. In case you don’t know who that is, it was David Bowie’s darkest character in the mid-seventies. The Thin White Duke made alarming comments about fascism and maintained a diet consisting of peppers, milk, and cocaine. Yes, you read that correctly - it was Bowie’s most controversial persona. 

It seems like recently West adapted a similar role, given his comments about slavery, his support of Donald Trump and “seriously” running for president in 2020. 

I feel like he is being controversial to either get a reaction from people or because he's just being Kanye. Either way, it is dividing his fan base. It looks like he is joining the list of discussion topics, such as politics and religion, to avoid this Thanksgiving. 

West has been known for his controversy dating back to last decade. During a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, West ignored the teleprompter and addressed to the President George W. Bush saying, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on national television. However, what really set the streak of West’s outrageous and cruel behavior was at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when he took the microphone from Taylor Swift and declared that Beyonce should’ve won the award for Best Female Video for “Single Ladies” and how it is “one of the best videos of all time.” Of course, this carried over into the next decade. 

Over the past few years, West has been at full-beast mode with controversial comments. Whether it was calling Bill Cosby innocent, on his account of sexual misconduct or when he referred to slavery as a “choice.” However what really divided his fan base was when he showed up at Trump Tower back in December of 2016 and posed with President Donald Trump. This turned off his fans and the public. Now everybody thinks Kanye is “crazy.” Well sadly, in some ways he isn’t your ordinary person. 

West was diagnosed with a mental condition in 2009, which is alluded throughout his most recent excellent studio album, “ye" this past June. 

Last April, West released “Lift Yourself,” an avant-garde hip hop single. This made the public react by ridiculing the song and started to not take West serious; he basically became a meme with lyrics like “Poopidy scoop, scoopdiddy whoop.”

However on “ye,” West backtracks to how his life has been, since starting a family, being diagnosed with a mental condition, and how he is perceived by the public due to his comments. 

On the standout, “Yikes” West raps “That’s my bipolar s**t! / That’s my super power! /Ain’t no disability! / I’m a super hero!” With the loud bass and droning effects, it’s the song fans have been waiting for since his last release, "The Life of Pablo" in 2016. 

Throughout the twenty-four minutes consisting of seven tracks, West proved there was more to having less. 

Given our current state of affairs, people are political or overly-political - everyone has an opinion about everything now. If somebody makes a comment, that someone else doesn't agree with, that one hostile person completely cuts off all ties with that other person even if they are best friends. 

I have seen my friend circle completely disintegrate just because of politics, which was one of the saddest things I have ever seen. 

Instead of interacting with the topics or interests that bonded us together, some would rather separate because they were exposed to something outside their narrative. The worst of American politics is on full display right now. 

This concerns me because after conducting a poll in our last issue, people looked at me with distaste, when I told them I thought “ye” was an excellent album. When I asked them why they didn’t like it, their response mainly had to do with West as a person and not as an artist. The best thing was, they never even listened to one song on the album. This killed me inside. 

Never should you not acknowledge somebody’s talent or artistry just because of their politics; it's not like he committed assault or killed somebody. 

My old economics teacher used to be a huge Clint Eastwood fan, until he supported Mitt Romney, Republican presidential nominee in 2012. 

A man who once had posters in his classroom of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Dirty Harry,” referred to Eastwood now as no more than a “stupid bigot” just because he supported a different political candidate. I feel like now people are reacting towards West like my economics teacher did towards Eastwood. Once a person exposes themselves to something outside their narrative, they freak out and react irrelevant.

I am open to people learning from their mistakes after they realize they said or did something which isn't correct or appropriate. However, some people like to kick others to the curb and completely block them out of their lives. 

To all the people who criticize “ye” and haven’t listened to it yet, go listen to it already. Even if you don’t like it personally due to your music taste, at least you gave it a go and were open minded, which isn't common in America.


campustalk.editor@gmail.com | @joeschmoe9000

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