An Open Letter to Kanye West

Dear Kanye,

I know you’re a musical genius. I’ll never forget how surprised I was the first time I heard your music. It was 2004 and I was at home, sitting on the couch, watching MTV. For some reason, I had got the idea in my head that MTV stood for “Magnet Television” so when, instead of an enlightening documentary about the $500,000-a-year refrigerator magnet industry they played one of your music videos I was taken aback, to say the least. Ever since then, your music has been the soundtrack to my life. Not ALL of my life, or even more than a few minutes of it here and there (not a big popular music fan — I prefer listening to AM talk or just taking in the sound of my own incessant whistling) but I’ve definitely heard some of your songs. And that’s why I’m writing you this letter…


Communication via sound is what sets man apart from some of the lower species. Not birds or dogs of course but worms and plants and what have you. And the most beautiful form of sound a man can make is a whistle. Unmoored from the constraints of language, a whistle can say more in a few notes than all the words in all your raps combined. A whistle can say “I’m happy and I want the world to know it.” A whistle can say “I’m doing something sneaky and pretending I’m not in a funny way.” And while those are the only two things I can think of right now that can be communicated via whistling, I’m sure a musical genius of your stature could really make some magic with just your lips, tongue, breath and maybe a little bit of drumming with your hands on a table to add some “oomph” to the album’s dance club “bangers.”

I don’t know you personally Mr. West, but I do know how hard it is to remain creative in an industry that often rewards sex appeal and shock value at the expense of musicality. That’s why this whistling idea is the greatest “slam dunk” since “Shaq” retired. It will re-announce you to the world as an artist and make people forget anything else that may be going on in your personal life. And if you decide to release a deluxe hard copy of this albums for the superfans, I know just the add-on to put sales over the top — a picture of your own face on… a MAGNET!

Tony Zaret is freelance writer and blogger covering the novelty kitchen decor industry. His first book “The Original Flute and the Little Plastic Vegetable: What Whistling and Refrigerator Magnets Can Teach Us About Social Change,” will be self-published this summer via

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