I Miss the Old Kanye
October 3, 2018
“I miss the old Kanye, straight from the Go Kanye
Chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye
I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye
The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye”

Dear Kanye,

Please stop.

It hurts my soul to watch your breakdown in real time. To watch someone I admired so deeply turnout to be a false prophet.

A slightly more self-aware version of yourself penned the above lyrics in “I Love Kanye”, in response no doubt to the sentiment that has become common amongst your fans. It was a tongue-in-cheek, self-parody that gave me a little hope that Kanye was still Kanye.

He was able to make light of his own meme-worthy narcissism and able to respond to those who felt he was changing.

“He is a jackass. But he’s talented.” – President Barack Obama 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a sign of true awareness, but rather a pit-stop on the devolution of the music icon (at least to me) to his current state. Before, I was able to agree with President Obama when called Kanye a talented jackass, but now it’s like we have completely lost him.

Kanye likes Trump. I think at first his fans didn’t want to admit it and some argued that maybe he just liked the idea of how Trump was the underdog, or was rebelling against people basically saying it was off limits for him to support him. But, it’s clear Kanye is an honest to goodness Trump supporter.

I’m mad at myself for ever thinking Kanye was some transcendent genius. For thinking of him as bigger than his music. Thinking that his ideas and vision were as profound as his songs.

Kanye will no doubt go down as one of the greatest producers and rappers of all time. For me, College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy are truly some of the greatest Hip Hop albums ever. Even though I thought his most recent album, ‘Ye’, was pretty trash, there is no denying Kanye’s musical talents.

On the other hand, the worst part of what i’ll refer to generously as “political” Kanye, is that his “message” is based on and promotes ignorance.

Kanye has said plainly that he doesn’t know or care about actual policies or political stances, and as such is able to distance himself from the damage he is doing when supporting this weird brand of far right conservatism. He proudly wears the #MAGA hat, while staying silent on the caging of immigrant children, banning of muslims, and support for white supremacists.

I see a parallel in this situation to NBA player Kyrie Irving repeatedly claiming the Earth is flat.

After an initial comment Kyrie made about “not knowing” whether the earth was round or not went viral, he was further questioned.

No, I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s fun to think about though. It’s fun to have that conversation. It is absolutely fun because people get so agitated and mad. They’re like, “Hey man, you can’t believe that, man. It’s religious, man. It’s just science. You can’t believe anything else. O.K.?” Cool, well, explain to me. Give me what you’ve known about the Earth and your research, and I love it. I love talking about it.

Irving has since apologized, saying he “didn’t realize the effect” his comments would have. His joked about apologizing specifically to science teachers who have been coming up to him telling him they’ve had to change curriculum and deal with students parroting his comments.

With Kanye, we have an exponentially worse situation. Of course, he can believe and support whatever and whoever he chooses. The damage comes from him taking the step further to preach his ignorance.

When Kanye (or Kyrie) tell their millions of generally younger and more impressionable followers that their decisions or statements are merely “going against the grain”, rebelling against a corrupt system or questioning what authority would have them do, they are both lying and instilling a dangerous aversion to facts and critical thinking.

The concept of questioning authority or things that are told to you holds a lot of value. But, watching a series of conspiracy theory videos on Youtube, or having your entire political philosophy easily upended by Black Tammy Lauren doesn’t make you smarter than everyone else, as badly as you may want to feel that way.

It just makes you yet another pseudo-woke, fake-deep, uniformed citizen, at a time when America cant afford to have any more.

I don’t know how we went from “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” Kanye to “slavery was a choice” Kanye, but I know I want the old one back.

 

 

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