Kanye Has a Point
A few days ago, Kanye West did something only he can do — he hosted sold-out album listening party/fashion show at Madison Square Garden in celebration of his new album, “The Life of Pablo”. After a few days of waiting, his album finally released this past Saturday evening to the general public, but in the days leading up to (and after) the release, Kanye has gone on a myriad tweetstorms. I feel like too often people just dismiss his ideas/tweets as Kanye “just being Kanye” without really listening to what he has to say. However, I found many of his tweets to be truly inspiring and insightful to understand Kanye as something he rarely wants us to think of him as — a person.
Kanye even has a song he previously released entitled “I Am A God”…he wants people to see him as more than simply another human being. I feel like with that song specifically, people thought that Kanye was declaring himself as an omnipotent being. It wasn’t meant to be taken that literally, but instead was Kanye’s way of expressing his desire to have an impact on the world. He doesn’t want to be seen as God, but instead as a master of his craft, someone who changed things in as dramatic of a way as God. So, when Kanye portrays himself in a much more personal light (similar to how he did on his album 808s & Heartbreak), it would make sense as to why people were originally taken aback by his comments.
This was by far the most controversial/talked about part of Kanye’s twitter rant, but is also the most telling. It all began with this tweet:
A lot of people took that as Kanye being personally in debt for $53 million. But, to Kanye, there is no difference between personal debt and professional investments. He considers himself in line with his his art and craft. If G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye’s record label) loses $10 million (they didn’t, just an example), Kanye considers that to be the same as him personally losing $10 million, even though financially that is not the case. He clarifies this later:
However, he continues to focus on what he really meant by his original tweet:
Kanye isn’t $53 million in debt to where he isn’t supporting his family anymore, he needs $53 million to achieve his goals and dreams. To me, him asking for money is no different than any other startup or company asking for an investment, except Kanye doesn’t want you to invest in a product, he wants you to invest in him.
He thinks that money is essential for him to be able to finance his ideas and achieve his dreams (along with keep his family life stable), because without it he is under the influence of the larger powers that hold these revolutionary ideas down:
Kanye’s public outcry on Twitter wasn’t completely random in the sense that Kanye was having a bad day and decided to lash out. It appears that Kanye had been trying to acquire these finances for a while, but ran into trouble:
I can’t imagine how frustrated Kanye is feeling trying to pitch his ideas to others and having them consistently shoot him down because, well, he’s Kanye. If you think I’m off about this assumption that this is what’s happening, he hints at this theory here:
People see him as a celebrity and nothing more than that while he is desperately trying to make a larger impact on the world than simply being a tabloid cover.
Kanye As A Person
As previously mentioned, Kanye in these tweets is showing a very personable side to himself, one that is dramatically different than his usual “I am a God” persona. He recognizes this himself fairly easily:
He wants people to see the gravity of what he’s saying saying, especially coming from him. He addresses his critics fairly directly in a way that I absolutely love:
He’s frustrated with how the world is criticizing not only him, but everyone. He believes that the establishment is in place to prevent people from succeeding and to continue this trend of negative energy that perpetuates throughout all of modern media. This negativity leads to nothing productive, just people shutting down other people’s ideas without letting them express themselves. He even realizes that he himself sometimes falls into this pattern of negativity:
It’s important for Kanye to make as much of an impact on society as possible, so he doesn’t really care if people like him or not. That’s why he’s asking for help in the first place on as public of a platform as Twitter. He knows he’ll get crap for what he’s doing, but if it furthers him toward his goal, it won’t matter to him. He can handle public embarrassment as long as it means furthering his vision.
I know there’s more analysis that can be done by including his lyrics in this discussion, but I felt that it was especially pertinent to address his latest tweets as I’ve seen many in the technology and entertainment community belittle him. We make fun of Kanye for asking for $53 million in funding, yet companies are getting billion dollar valuations left and right. Kanye is asking for help in the only way he knows how at this point because all of his other options have been exhausted.
As the first tweet in this post said, “No matter what level you’re at in life there is still a struggle”. We need to see Kanye as a human being, not a personal brand or celebrity. He is struggling because he, like everyone else, is stressed out and incredibly passionate about what he’s working on. He realizes how little time we have on Earth and he wants to devote all of his energy to changing the world. I think that it isn’t something we should joke about, but applaud. If as a society we were more supportive and less critical about people following their dreams and making an impact, we would have more people going down that path and truly changing the world. Whether you like him or not as a person, Kanye West undeniably just wants to dedicate his life to making an impact on the world in the best way he knows how. He truly sees the bigger picture of what he’s doing, something where he’s dreaming and planning years into the future to create something great. And that level of determination and drive that Kanye possesses makes most people feel uncomfortable (resulting in them making fun of him) simply because they are envious that he has it.