Michigan Daily Music Writers are sharing all of their thoughts on Kanye West. Stay tuned for more in the coming days, and check out our Life of Pablo review here.
G.O.A.T. — Greatest of all time. A gray Hanes cotton t-shirt. Pretentious, but like a good pretentious. Like if I could be that pretentious and still have a bunch of people worship me, I would. Kim Kardashian. Yeezy 2020. North West. Love. Perfection. Legend. My #1. God.
My friends had a lot to say when I asked them to talk Kanye to me. Some of them love him more than others — they think of him in different ways, different forms. But regardless of their own perceptions of Kanye, we can all agree on one thing: we know him. We all know who Kanye is and what Kanye does because that’s an inherent byproduct of genius. You know genius when you see it; you may not like who they are as a person, but you know what they do and what they’re about because it’s impossible not to. But then, for me, the question becomes how do I write about someone whose talent and persona extend beyond what words can do?
I guess I can start with the fact that I’m not the biggest rap fan. I like it when I work out and I like it at my pregame, but I’m not an expert and am in no way qualified to write about Kanye’s music critically. What I can write about is Kanye as a person, because at the end of the day that’s what all musicians are. They’re just people. However, Kanye is different. He isn’t just a person you can toss words around lightly with. His abilities and capabilities surpass that of any celebrity, any musician, any creator and when people jokingly say Kanye is God, I really think they half believe it. Ignoring religion and convention and without sounding disgustingly sappy, God is just a “superhuman” worshipped as having power over people.
Think about all Kanye has done with his life. Coming from practically nothing, Kanye inarguably embodies the modern American Dream. He’s an entrepreneur, fashion designer, musician, producer, philanthropist, celebrity. He’s a husband, father and member of the Kardashian empire. Everything Kanye does, he doesn’t just do — he slays. From his music to his fashion line, I think this past week could convince any Kanye-hater that he, at the very least, is an innovator. Ignoring the content of The Life of Pablo and the Yeezy Season 3 collection, Kanye’s show at Madison Square Garden, from a purely experiential perspective, is enough to solidify him as genius. No other artist has ever presented their music or their fashion line in the way Kanye did, but what’s more impressive than his unique presentation of everything he’s created is that he’s the only fashion designer to put so much diversity on display. For the first that I can remember, I stared at a stage where white was the minority. For the first time, I stared at women who weren’t being sexed-up and pranced around for the world to see. For the first time, somebody got it right. Kanye got it right.
Kanye got it right because, more often than not, that’s what he does best. He gets it right until he makes a statement or a tweet that some deem wrong, but being publicly controversial and outspoken is just who Kanye is. It’s who anyone should ever hope to be. Kanye puts himself out there and isn’t afraid to make provocative statements. He isn’t afraid to think differently, to be different. So when Kanye claims that in 2020 he’ll run for president, I hope to Yeezus that he does. The world could use a dose of genius, a pinch of innovation, a sprinkle of non-Trump crazy — it needs Kanye.