Kanye and Me

After finishing my final paper for the semester (I’m doing my PhD now as all nerds do), I decided to listen to some Yeezy, specifically songs from Yeezus.

Admittedly, I am a big fan of Kanye. Have been for a while. Probably will be until it’s my turn to compare myself to Jesus (just saying).

Still, I was in my room, listening to Black Skinhead and other tracks, when I couldn’t help but wonder how different his music has become over the years.

When he did Late Registration, I became obsessed. Dark Twisted Fantasy was in my car CD player for an entire year.

But I’m not unaware of how Kanye’s been acting up lately, especially saying weird shit every now and then. In many ways, wearing new robes, and skin. Being ten times taller than the skyscrapers in Chicago.

Kanye image
(Image from Google)

The lyrics from Black Skinhead played over and over, and over, and I was leaning my head back, staring up.

“Is this still you?” I asked.

And soon, smoke emerged from my radio, and formed an image of a man, like a fog with legs and arms.

“I’m here, always,” he said, “Why do you ask?”

“Just saying. You seem way too different now. You singing about getting your dick sucked every few lines. Going off during interviews on why you’re the best.”

“Is that wrong? You know the country we live in, right? These United States. That’s what we’re taught from day one. Be a winner, or lose.”

“I guess. But don’t you think you’re coming as arrogant.”

“I’m confident. I believe in myself. Don’t you?”

“Of course, I do. I have to.”

“Exactly. You must.”

“I will.”

“You should.”

We paused.

I was still looking up, at the spots on the ceiling, like water bleeding through from above.

“After 808s,” I said, “I think you became too into yourself.”

“Do you know what happened to me then?”

I was quiet, cause I knew.

He reminded me anyways, and I apologized.

“But why can’t you talk about something real again,” I said.

“I am. It’s real to me. That’s what art is.”

“Art is supposed to reflect what’s going on in society.”

“Says who?”

“Says all of us.”

“Listen. What do you want?”

“I want you to talk about race, class, and all that.”

“I am. But in my own way.”

“Well, I don’t sense that anymore.”

“So my goal is to do what? Please you?”

“No. It’s supposed to be about more than just bitches and hoes.”

“You’re lying to yourself.”

“Nope. I’m being honest.”

“No. You’re lying. You’re pretending. You’re just jealous of my success. You’re just full of it. I became someone. I embody the dream. You’re just left here, wondering what to eat for dinner, whether microwave that shit or not.”

“I don’t eat microwave shit.”

“And I don’t give a fuck what the establishment got to say. I’m not in this to win over puritans. I’m here for me, my wife, my kid, and everybody who gets me. Somebody clearly is connecting to my work. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be the biggest fucking star on the planet.”

Again, I didn’t know what else to say, other  than admit that a part of me wanted to be him, that a part of me, as a man of color, wanted to be seen and heard like him, to be in front of the camera instead of being in front of a policeman’s gun.

“Fuck you, you cocky asshole,” I answered.

“Fuck you, you worthless cunt,” he replied.

Late at night,

the smoke filled my room,

“I’m going to be happy,” he said,

“even if it kills me,” I said,

“I’m going to be wealthy,” he said,

“even if it kills me,” I said,

“I’m going to get power,” he said,

“even if it kills me,” I said,

“I’m going to live my life,”

“even if it kills me…”


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