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KANYE IS A GIANT TOSSER. LET’S MOVE ON.

By May 26, 2016 August 14th, 2019 No Comments

No one, not even his fans, likes Kanye West anymore.

People are just on different places in a spectrum of distaste for him.

At the one end is the person who’d struggle to pick Kanye out of a lineup consisting of R Kelly, MC Hammer and Bunk Moreland, but still uses him as a go-to metaphor for everything that’s turned the music world into the vortex of poo it’s become since his pirated VHS copy of Rattle & Hum became obsolete.

When Bowie died he asked Facebook why God didn’t take Bieber instead and then put “Ground Control to Major Tom” on repeat for an hour, telling colleagues that no one writes music like that anymore. Later that night he went to Aces and awkwardly tried to tear his shirt open two chords into the Beds are Burning intro.

This guy may represent many of the things I despise about earth, but it’s infuriatingly difficult to disagree with him about Kanye. Mainly because we’ve reached a point where the artist’s giant, bloated head is eclipsing the quality of his music.

Kanye’s narcissism is not only really annoying, it’s damaging a future generation of musicians’ perception of what it means to be a successful artist

Kanye’s narcissism is not only really annoying, it’s damaging a future generation of musicians’ perception of what it means to be a successful artist. His pursuit of something more, something beyond fame is so classlessly relentless that it’s become impossible not to shudder at the thought of his antics, even if you genuinely love his music.

Which brings us to the other end of the spectrum.

“I’m a motherfucking monster”

Here lies the fellow who heard Through the Wire at a time when he desperately wished he could get into The Blueprint.

He couldn’t believe his luck when finding that the dude who produced something this accessible was being embraced by the greater hip hop community and revered by all the cool critics.

Later, when it became clear that many of his peers still thought about Kanye as just another ‘rapper’, he started grasping the scale of the credibility his opinion would soon have.

“Late Registration sounds to you like every hip hop album you’ve ever heard?”

“Dude I’ve never HEARD a whole rap album rap is crap.”

“Wtf this is almost too easy.”

Then came My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Pitchfork’s perfect 10 and suddenly this guy’s opinion of his opinion was catapulted to a height hitherto unexplored by people not wearing space suits or sitting in front of Timothy Leary.

And then Kanye married into a family comprising the most unpleasant lumps of useless flesh ever to be smeared across the eyeballs of humanity and things got tough for our hip friend.

The internet, right on cue, lost its shit

At that point it became impossible not to prefix the story about how he wept the first time he listened to Blame Game with his thoughts on how one must differentiate between the artist’s persona and his art.

“Just look at John Lennon for Christ’s sake AND WHAT ABOUT ROMAN POLANSKI!”

And then came the Beck incident and he grimaced as hard as he’s ever grimaced before..

And then came the Bohemian Rhapsody incident and our man was well and truly fucked. It was now virtually impossible for him to defend or feel affection toward Kanye.

The only way he could still listen to The College Dropout without retching was to try convince himself that Kanye’s persona is actually a carefully manufactured component of some grand piece of performance art we’ll only understand after the rapture and we can see the world through the eyes of Jesus Christ himself.

Up until last week I found myself in this camp. Certain that Yeezy was fucking with us, but deeply annoyed with him all the same.

Then he went on Ellen and delivered an embarrassing, self indulgent rant about the things in the world he has the unique ability but, alas, not the resources to fix.

The Internet, right on cue, lost its shit.

“Who does this arrogant dickbox think he is?”.
“I don’t wanna live on this planet anymore!!”
“Die in a fire, Kanye!”
“Kanye I hope you fall on the ground break your legs and my dad shows up in a doctor’s outfit and strokes your head while you cry on his lap and he kisses you on the mouth while I’m watching from my closet.”

And at that point things made sense to me and my feelings about the man took an unexpected turn.

I realised that while Kanye may be his own worst enemy, there are people who benefit from the whole “Kanye is a megalomaniac” narrative.

The media will always position him as this villain. Because the world needs one that’s as uncompromisingly awful as Osama bin-Laden or the Eye of Sauron.

We don’t have time to digest nuanced bad guys anymore because soundbites and clicks and traffic and switching the channel and followers and shares and whatever the next social media currency is.

Everyone knows that giving Kanye a platform is the equivalent of placing bombs against that creaking, groaning dam holding back an ocean of verbal chaos. And prompting him the way Ellen did is the equivalent of pressing whatever button detonates that shit.

There was a cynicism to middle America’s favorite purveyor of middle American ‘edge’ wheeling the notoriously controversial HuffPost headline-generating machine out into her inoffensively beige studio.

There were tactics behind the buttons she started pushing the second West sat down in front of an audience so vanilla ice cream I wouldn’t be surprised if 25% of their combined body weight melted away under the glare of the studio lights.

“Fuck arguing and harvesting the feelings
Yo, I’d rather be by my fucking self
Till about two a.m. and I call back
And I hang up and I start to blame myself”

There was a disturbing, Howard Beale-esque, orchestration to the whole thing – the stunned silences, Ellen’s ‘shocked’ expression, the artificial applause when he said something marginally relatable – that made me realise how magnificently inconsequential it is to have an opinion about the man himself.

Yes, there is no doubt that he cares more about himself than he does about the ‘differences’ he says he wants to make.

Yes, his claims of being the renaissance man the creative world is desperate for are embarrassing and infuriating.

Yes, his reach exceeds his grasp by a distance you need astronomical equipment to measure.

Our outrage over the idiotic and offensive bullshit that sometimes flies out of his mouth says more about the monetized cult of celebrity we have created a market for than it does about him

But let’s not lose sight of the fact that this isn’t a man with access to the big red button in the Oval Office.

This isn’t the man calculating the amount Zuma has to pay us back.

This isn’t the man performing open heart surgery on your favorite uncle next week.

This is just a really annoying megalomaniac and our outrage over the idiotic and offensive bullshit that sometimes flies out of his mouth says more about the monetized cult of celebrity we have created a market for than it does about him.

This is a man who once, in a moment of compulsive, sincere bravery so delicious I almost dipped my laptop in the bucket of soy sauce I keep next to my couch when I saw it, accused the most powerful man in the world of not caring about black people.

I’m not saying he’s a flawed hero; that would be giving him too much credit.

But he is a man who wrote some of the most brutally sensitive, relatable and self-deprecating pieces of music we have access to and I suggest that those with a taste for hip hop remain grateful that so many of us found him before he was co-opted by the international shock machine.

I suggest we move on. There’s nothing to see here.

– Adriaan

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