Kanye Omari West, rapper, poet, song writer, record producer, fashion designer, influencer, billionaire, son, father and expressionist. Is he talking crazy talk, or are we serious about refusing to listen?
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls dudes and dudettes, the sexy and the not-so-sexy, big children and little. I am the novelist, author poet LaMont Anthony Wright also known as Graffiti Bleu. Welcome to the “Let’s Think This Through” Podcast. The episodes of this series will no longer have numbers. For it is my assessment, that every episode in of itself is a piece of art and thus should be given a title instead. So the title of this episode is “A 2nd Look at Mr West” Let’s travel back in time shall we? One might assume that this trip down memory lane might make reference to some of the earlier versions of Mr West’s celebrity. There is “Roc-A-Fella” Kanye.. Pre-Kardasian Kanye.. and my favorite “Slum Village Kanye” There are many versions that were dope leading up to today’s present version. When people see you going through a difficult time, they often think of you when times we’re not so difficult for you. It seems like human nature is to compare your greatest pain with your greatest joy. So I can understand how someone would assume that, however those who would assume such a thing are wrong. This trip down memory lane will take us to the quote of someone who knows him. The date is February 12, 2006. The place is a TV show called “Inside the Actor’s Studio” Hosted by James Lipton. The guest is comedian Dave Chappelle. During this show Chappelle said many profound statements. One in particular stood out to me while he and James Lipton chopped it up in front of young eager actors in training. “The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. Chappelle rants. “It’s dismissive.” “I don’t understand this person so they’re crazy. That’s bulls**t.“People are not crazy, they’re strong people. Maybe the environment is a little sick.” Chappelle finishes. Flash forward to the present day and let’s apply that statement to his friend Kanye. Have we called Kanye crazy? Yes. Are we being dismissive? Absolutely. Are we listening? Of course we are. However, just because we listen doesn’t mean we truly hear what’s being said. Also with that, just because the messenger is crazy, doesn’t mean that the message itself does not have value. So here is how this podcast is going to approach this. We will put what we think we know against what we don’t know. What we think we know comes from a combination of listed facts from sources we trust, public perceptions and our personal perception. So what we collectively think we know might be things like; Mr West is a narcissist, Mr West is out of control, Mr West is an egomaniac, Mr West seems to have been greatly affected by the loss of his Mother, Mr West is anti-Semitic and Mr West is saying inflammatory statements simply for the press and promo. What we don’t know are his true motives. And that is really the bottom line in my opinion. Every provocative statement I have heard him say over the past few months had an interesting argument that went with it. For me it is all about the dialogue. No matter how reckless, messy, insane, or tactical a statement may be, the quality of conversation it generates afterwards is what matters to me. What questions are we asking now that we did not really ask before? Does the art that is being financed in Hip-Hop music truly represent the black creators of Hip-Hop Culture? If not, why? Could prominent celebrities be corporate puppets? It was certainly rude of Mr West to imply that about some of his on-time friends that at-on-time provided him opportunity. What if it were true? If Jesus had said “I see the god in the heart of Adolf Hitler, would we argue with him? What exactly are the limits of mankind’s wickedness? Are there any limits? Could a people that were once so horrifically oppressed not have empathy for a people who are oppressed through cultural appropriation and misrepresentation? Is Ye a Genius level savior, who will have to martyr himself in order to save us? Or is he a psychopathic artist, looking for acceptance from those who never invited him in? So what we think we know is on the table and what we don’t know is certainly on the table too. What I do know is this. Minister Louis Farrakhan made a remark on one of Kanye’s many statements and stated that he understood what Mr West was saying. Mr West of course, publicly stated that Mr Farrakhan’s statements he took as a slight. Slight or not. It is my feeling that people need allies. Whether you’re planning to conquer the world or concur white picket fence. So putting all of your allies under a thundercloud of suspicion, every time a microphone and camera are in your face might not work out to be a winning strategy for you.