Who will survive in America?
“Racism still alive they just be concealing it”- Kanye West
Kanye Omari West is one of the biggest influential people society sees and has today. Wether good or bad, there is not a moment in where he is not being talked about or looked at. Most people you encounter and ask them what their first perception is of Mr. West, they will tell you that he is an asshole. I am a person who likes to dig deeper and pick people’s brains on how they think the way they do and why they think this way. So I took it a step further and asked these people why they thought he was an asshole and all they could tell me was that the way he carries himself is just ridiculous and that he needs to stop thinking the world owes him something. Then one simple word stared right back at me, which was close mindedness.
Mr. West, in my perception, is a modern day mixture of different people. One person is Jimi Hendrix because Jimi and Kanye both resemble the trait of being heard no matter the consequences as long as they were able to see some change happen from it. Another person would be Pablo Picasso because he broke the barriers in many different ways through his art such as Kanye with his fashion, music, videos, and art (album covers). There are so many others his traits take after, but overall he is a creative genius.
Creative genius may sound absurd to many people, but the boundaries he has crossed and fought for makes this man that amazing. I know it is hard to believe and think that people of such class face discrimination or racism, but no matter how much money or fame you have, if you’re a minority or a person who wants to break a barrier to do something different, this is bound to happen. Mr. West came from the Chi and was only found when Jay-Z heard one of his beats and asked him to help him produce. Since that day, Mr. West has been a successful rapper with eight albums that have inspired many people in society. Moving forward, Mr. West went to school and graduated with an art degree. While doing his music, he was always into fashion. It was recently when Mr. West went to Nike and tried to sell his ideas to them so he could create his own shoes. He was able to create two different pairs in many color ways. Since they were so limited, they sold out so quickly. Mr. West then knew that if Nike would give him a deal, he would be able to not only break a barrier he’s always wanted to break, but also make a lot of money for Nike and himself. Even though the shoes sold out and got a good review, Nike told Mr. West that they did not want to work with him or give him a deal because he was a celebrity. Nike also stated that since he wasn’t an athlete, it wouldn’t make sense for him to have his own shoe. This is where Mr. West faced discrimination right in his face. Mr. West knew that Nike obviously did not have the knowledge in believing in him not as a celebrity but as a designer.
“Knowledge — information and facts — can only exist within a context that is defined through specific ways of knowing and validation. In other words, human scrutinize how knowledge is produced and how it is validated as true.” -Patricia Hill Collins
People do not like to ever really go beyond the point and actually study and see between the lines. They just like to keep it at surface level and take things with such knowledge for what it is. But behind that knowledge there is always more, and even more questions to be answered. Mr. West got smart, pushed Nike to the side then took his ideas and knowledge linked up with Adidas, and has some of the most popular shoes in society today. Because of this boundary he broke, other rappers such as Pusha T, Big Sean, and Kendrick Lamar have had success in creating and being successful with their own customized shoes.
Racism struck Mr. West again as he got on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s speech. I remember reading a lot of articles after this moment, on how he really showd his ghetto side because obviously all black people are ghetto and loud. Also how since he is black he wanted to be the center of attention. I will never agree with how he did that action but he was just a man that believed in his knowledge of music and felt someone more worthy deserved that award. Yes, of course he voiced it the wrongest way possible, but does such mistake deserve such racial comments? I think not. Every one is bound to make mistakes but to belittle someone due to their race or skin color is just rude and unjustly. Let’s be honest when he was on national telvision and said, “George Bush does not like black people”, everyone was thinking it, but because he is Kanye West he looked crazy. He is just a human being just like everyone else. People assume that since he is in a higher class, such things like this don’t happen, but no one is safe.
He recently felt discriminated because since he has been doing his clothing line, many known designers did not think he had what it takes. It was also hard because since a lot of designers are gay they looked at Mr. West differently.
“I feel like I got discriminated in fashion for not being gay,” he said. “In music, you definitely get discriminated in music if you are gay. It takes amazing talents to break down barriers. Everyone thought that when Frank Ocean dropped that it was going to be bad for his career. I feel like it’s so cliché to speak about him as it relates to this subject, but there are people who broke the ground and he broke the ground. The people that break the stereotypes make history.”-Kanye West
However, look at Mr. West now, he is already on his third season of his clothing collection and already working on his YZY Season 4 which will be kids clothing only. Yes, Mr. West may be obnoxious, loud, serious, mad, or insane but it is a joy to see him break these barriers other artists could not.
“Think for a moment about what it means to center the idea of lived experience.” Patricia Hill Collins
He has opened so many doors for people in his class that want to branch out and do different things. Artists or celebrities should not be looked down upon or labeled because of what they do. They should be given a chance just like everybody else to make something beautiful or just create something different. If higher people in these industires would just open their minds more, the furture would look brighter. Until then, THEY DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERS!!!
“Name one genius who wasn’t crazy.” -Kanye West