Kanye West, international rap star and growing fashion entrepreneur. There is no denying on any level that the man exudes raw talent. Talent as a writer, as a designer, as a musician and performer. However, when ‘Ye’s name is mentioned, the world collectively ruminates – for want of a better word – Asshole. Now the media has led us to come to this rather rash, albeit partly true conclusion (everyone is a little aren’t they?) I’ve found that after his stint on the Ellen DeGeneres show on Thursday 19th May, my oh so abrupt opinion of him has changed.
Now hear me out, I’ve not gone entirely crazy. The epic rant that the world will forever remember was a little ridiculous, but he made some interesting and understandable points that have resonated with me.
Passion and belief drive a person
Firstly, after discussing with a rather opinionated friend of mine, the one thing we can agree on when it comes to Kanye West, is that he is passionate. He has an overwhelming desire to break boundaries. This belief in his own capabilities has allowed him to very successfully transcend industries. When the world first heard that Kanye was releasing Yeezy’s, it’s pretty fair to say that we all fell to the floor in hysterics with the firm belief that he’d never succeed. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but after three collections of Yeezy’s with Adidas, he has exceeded all expectations the mass public had.
We have become so accustomed to belittling each other, rather than supporting one another
Arguably this has got so much worse since the introduction and our subsequent obsession with social media. Whether you deny it or not, we all fall victim to this one. We judge. We see people on social media ‘having a good time’, living a life far more exciting, colourful and entertaining then we believe ours could ever be and we compare. We then post filtered selfies, and #foodporn images to counteract this, (yes I am just as much to blame, I live for the flawless skin filter on Snapchat!) This is much of what Kanye implied when he said that what most of us do is basically put one another down. This I agree with, we tend to find people showering us with compliments as being odd, because most of what we tend to hear are criticisms laced under a veil of ‘care’. Perhaps building each other up more, could lead us to achieving more of what we each want to do, or is this going too far?
He wants to make the world ‘better’
I think this is actually a rather lovely thought. I realise his focus, or rather what he mentioned in his monologue was bullying, and one can argue that there is so much more that he can be doing, but fundamentally his point was that he wants to support and help others. Whether you like him or not, some fundamental human desire to care for others does exist within ‘Ye; despite him coming across as a rather whiny child so much of the time.
While I’d argue with his comparisons to some of the greats – Picasso, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs – he hasn’t quite reached this level of success, (or do we relate the success of the aforementioned talents so highly now that they are no longer with us?) he has won 21 Grammy’s and is ranked 8th in the Grammy world records for the most Grammy wins. It is fair to say he is successful in his own right – through talent and sheer hard work.
So do I like the Kanye the world sees? No, not really. Do I appreciate his talents within fashion, within music, by transcending industries and attempting to break boundaries? Yes. Do I have an increased amount of respect for a man who highlighted his passion and desire to improve himself and support those around him? Hell yeah!
Kanye West, I applaud you.