Anyone between the ages of 25 to 35 likely witnessed the cartoonish arc of Kanye West’s rise to fame. Starting as a mildly talented producer for Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records in the early aughts, West’s celebrity has grown so bloated, it now overcrowds the current cultural zeitgeist in the same manner his wife’s giant ass smothers a coach plane seat. Even more flatulent than Kanye’s TMZ-annotated life is the wind of accolades surrounding The Life of Pablo, his latest album, which has received more praise by millennial white journalists than his father/mother-in-law’s award-winning admission that she prefers lipstick and high heels.
Aside from lacking talent, one thing his impressionable fans ignore, or potentially adore, is the fact that Kanye is an outspoken racist. Despite being raised in an upper-crust, middle-class environment, he recently stated “white people don’t understand what it means to be the great grandson of ex slaves.” While it’s impossible for white people to understand such a matter, Kanye’s comprehension of slave realities is likely as loose as any white person’s recollection of the rotten fruits of indentured servitude. On the other hand, any coal miner, meatpacker, roofer, or custodian could provide an opinion that bears a substantial weight difference.
In fact, noted historian W.E.B. Du Bois stated this after the abolishment of slavery:
Home labor in cultured lands, appeased and misled by a ballot whose power the dictatorship of vast capital strictly curtailed, was bribed by high wage and political office to unite in an exploitation of white, yellow, brown and black labor, in lesser lands…
Today’s social climate has many people believing that West’s skin color caused struggles that overshadow his privileged upbringing. If that’s the case, consider that he also told “white publications” to not write about “black music.” This statement’s obtuse point rails against the very same publications that made him famous.
Should Maximum Rock’n’Roll have refrained from covering Bad Brains? How about Oxford American’s feature on the unknown black Mississippi metal band, Men With No IQs? Should the honky-run Drag City label left the lost band Death in obscurity instead of granting them access to the white masses?
Kanye also repeatedly speaks of the “the white appropriation of black music” even though he has sampled everyone from Elton John to Steely Dan to Tears for Fears. He even pushed this appropriation to another level by ripping the beat behind Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” for his first Yeezus single, “Black Skinhead.”
On a broader scale, it’s hard to say that Shuggie Otis’s white father, Johnny Otis, appropriated black music. His classic raunchy opus Snatch and the Poontangs was one of the greatest R&B albums put to wax, and its genius is disproportionately praised in small black communities. If you flip that racial coin, Arthur Lee greatly appropriated white music on Forever Changes, an album that singularly surpasses the creative output of West’s entire discography.
Surprisingly, none of these remarks account for Kanye West’s most poignant hatemongering. In an era of homophobic witch hunts, Kanye regularly spews gay innuendos at anyone who questions his greatness. But instead of a deafening justice siren ushering social media warriors down the fire pole of outrage, the only sound is the echo of mouse clicks refreshing feeds in hopes of another antithetical update from an idiot that gets a free race pass. Are they afraid they’d have to end their fetish as willing masochists if they rallied in an attack? Like all submissives, these millennials remain loyal to their dominating deity.
West recently called the entire SNL staff “white motherfuckers” and implied that he made country singer Taylor Swift famous through years of public berating. He even escalated it further by calling her a bitch. The saddest and final anecdote to this story resides in a black journalist’s recent TED talk, aptly titled “Do White People Deserve Kanye West?”
A more appropriate question would be if white people hear Kayne or just listen to him. They definitely listen, but the missives written hourly promoting white guilt have them so brainwashed, they have no desire to hear what he’s actually saying about them.