After I finish writing this article, it will inevitably go up on The Daily Banter’s Facebook page where it will inevitably be commented on by a handful of people that will, without ever reading a word of this article, dismiss it because they’re “tired of hearing about that adjective, adjective noun Kanye West.”
And Kanye is an adjective, adjective noun. A big one.
Because of this, a lot of what he says is dismissed; “Oh there goes Kanye on another crazy rant, that loon.” But those rants aren’t just full of self-aggrandizing bullshit. They all have these nuggets of insight and wisdom that are worth thinking about. In fact, I even made an "Insanity v. Genius" graph after his infamous radio interview with Sway that proves this. But people don’t want to hear that.
We like our celebrities simple.
We want to be able to immediately understand their narrative. We want to know exactly who they are within two minutes of observing them. We want them to fulfill our expectations, and we want them to stay that way.
We like them pigeonholed, and we don’t accept very real truths about them just because those truths don’t perfectly fit into our pre-arranged holes.
We’ve done this to Kanye West, and ironically, this is the exact issue that he’s preaching about in more and more frantic ways. Being seen as a hip-hop star dabbling in other pursuits as opposed to an artist/innovator who shouldn’t be restricted by medium annoys and frustrates him for sure, but it’s society's inability to grasp this very sane concept of unfair labeling which is, I believe, what's making him actually go insane.
Think about it.
I know I can’t be the only one with impatience issues.
Have you ever tried explaining what you believe to be a very simple concept to someone only for them to tell you you’re out of your mind? It’s infuriating. So you try to dumb it down with an analogy they might understand, only for them to dismiss it even more just because they didn’t understand you the first time and don’t feel like actually thinking. Makes you want to throw something, right?
That’s how Kanye has to feel.
Throughout his various “rants,” “tirades,” and “outbursts,” he has continuously tried to explain the very real phenomenon of celebrity pigeonholing and the glass ceiling that that limitation intrinsically entails. Honestly, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense and if circumstances were different, we might actually feel bad for Yeezus. But circumstances are what they are, and now Kanye has to resort to handholding us through the thought process by using analogies that he knows people are more likely to empathize with:
Like Michael Jordan.
During a planned spoken-word interlude at the Chicago stop of his Yeezus tour, an auto-tuned Mr. West, adorned in full-on performance art regalia, began chanting the simple phrase, “We should have never let MJ play for the Wizards.”
“We should have never let MJ play for the Wizards. Why did that happen?”
Donned in silver face anonymity, he brought the crowd along for a story about “when a player wants to become an owner,” a story about how "a player that’s done more for the league than the league has done for him wants to be an owner” of his team.
“A team who has his statue in front of the motherfucking building.”
A story about how a legendary player wanted to surpass his pre-determined expectations and how “the owners of that team told MJ, ‘You’re just a player, homeboy; you can’t own shit.’”
A story that ends with that team having “told Michael Jordan that you can’t own shit.”
“Now you know why MJ played of the Wizards; because this very team wouldn’t let him be an owner. To make a point he had to put on a motherfucking Wizards jersey!”
And with that, Kanye has to hope that you get it now.
Just a little? Maybe you sort of understand where he’s coming from? Why he believes he has to put on his own proverbial Wizards jersey? And it doesn’t matter if you don’t think he’s the Michael Jordan of hip-hop or art or anything, but if MICHAEL JORDAN couldn’t even break through the glass ceiling on the roof of the birdhouse we shoved him in, what chance does Yeezy have?
Plus Kanye’s trying to bring us along for the ride through that glass. And it’s got to be why he finds it so infuriating that people aren’t aligning behind him en masse. He wants to be the Messiah of course, but he wants salvation for all mankind as well. It’s why he decrees:
“Yes, I am the scariest motherfucker on Earth. You know why? Because i can make 15,000 people raise their hand and I can ask them one question and ask, ‘Do you believe in yourself?’ That’s scary to these motherfuckers.”
And while “these motherfuckers” are unnamed and vague, they do exist. They are the ones that kept Jordan from becoming owner, and they are the ones, Kanye claims with supporting logic, continuously restricting him because of the unspoken label of “rapper” that’s always there as is unofficial byline. With this MJ allegory, he’s just trying to get us to wrap our heads around what make so much sense in his.
Seriously, when you boil it down, is there anything that crazy with someone saying, “You can be everything. You know you can be everything. You know, you know, you know”? It might be motivation speaker/I wish I could muster that kind of manic self-worth crazy, but it doesn’t deserve the lambasting headlines that are automatically ascribed to every Kanye article or blogpost.
So prove that we’re not as dumb as the media makes us look, give the next Kanye rant at least a once-over before you make up your mind about it, and together let's stop AKB (Automatic Kanye Bashing).