By now we’ve all been subjected to the nonstop Kanye coverage in some form or another.
Liberals went off the rails when Kanye merely suggested that he doesn’t toe the left-wing party line.
Kanye’s in the sunken place!
Kanye’s finally been beaten into submission by the Kardashian Klan!
Kanye’s finally lost what was left of his mind!
Conservatives went off the rails with glee at the thought of this pop culture megastar actually validating conservative/right-of-center positions.
Kanye’s a free thinker!
Kanye has left the plantation!
Kanye for President???!!
As someone who has often criticized the left for placing so much value in the opinions of celebrities who live in privilege and security, I was loathe to place any confidence in Kanye’s controversial utterances. I certainly found it interesting, like everyone else. I was amused, for sure. It even gave me the platform to remind America that there are plenty of black people in this country who don’t fall into stereotypical political categories. But as someone who has been a fan of Kanye West since he first broke out of the Chicago rap scene well over a decade ago I wasn’t particularly surprised.
I most definitely was not about to jump on the conservative bandwagon, or the liberal hater train for that matter.
After all, many conservative pundits (including myself) have severely criticized West for his oddball behavior in the past – things like deliberately comparing himself to Jesus, bumrushing Taylor Swift as she tried to accept an award on a nationally televised broadcast, suddenly and bizarrely blurting out “GEORGE BUSH DOESN’T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE!” on a national charity telethon as a mortified Mike Meyers stood frozen beside him.
Kanye West is not a hero of conservative thought…he’s a rapper with a product to push and he’s married to one of the savviest “pushers” in the business.
This latest move isn’t shocking…it’s just Kanye being Kanye. The proof is in his latest release.
Oh, yes. Kanye West has a new album. An album that has been in development much longer than just this last week. An album he began producing much earlier than the date of his now infamous “free thinker” tweet-rant. An album that was surely to fly under the radar of most Americans who were not already Kanye fans (due in no small part to his past behavior and on-again-off-again beef with music royalty, JayZ and Beyonce).
Is it a coincidence that he would begin to come out as a not-Democrat just days before he releases a track with these lyrics (with guest artist T.I.)?
I know Obama was Heaven-sent
But ever since Trump won, it proved that I could be President
Yeah you can, at what cost though?
Don’t that go against the teachings that Ye taught for?
Yo, Tip, I hear your side and everybody talk, though
But ain’t goin’ against the grain everything I fought for?
Prolly so, Ye, but where you tryna go with this?
It’s some shit you just don’t align with and don’t go against
You just readin’ the headlines, you don’t see the fine print
You on some choosin’-side shit, I’m on some unified shit
It’s bigger than your selfish agenda
If your election ain’t gon’ stop police from murderin’ niggas, then shit…
Bruh, I never ever stopped fightin’ for the people
Actually wearin’ the hat’ll show people that we equal
You gotta see the vantage point of the people
What makes you feel equal makes them feel evil
See that’s the problem with this damn nation
All Blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation
Fuck who you choose as your political party
You representin’ dudes just seem crude and cold-hearted
With blatant disregard for the people who put you in position
Don’t you feel an obligation to them?
I feel an obligation to show people new ideas
And if you wanna hear ’em, there go two right here
Make America Great Again had a negative reception
I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction
Added empathy, care and love and affection
And y’all simply questionin’ my methods
What you willin’ to lose for the point to be proved?
This shit is stubborn, selfish, bullheaded, even for you
You wore a dusty ass hat to represent the same views
As white supremacy, man, we expect better from you
All them times you sounded crazy, we defended you, homie
Not just to be let down when we depend on you, homie
That’s why it’s important to know what direction you’re goin’ now
‘Cause everything that you built can be destroyed and torn down
You think I ain’t concerned about how I affect the past?
I mean, that hat stayed in my closet like ’bout a year and a half
Then one day I was like, “Fuck it, I’ma do me”
I was in the sunken place and then I found the new me
Not worried about some image that I gotta keep up
Lot of people agree with me, but they too scared to speak up
The greater good of the people is first
Have you considered all the damage and the people you hurt?
You had a bad idea, and you’re makin’ it worse
This shit’s just as bad as Catholic preachers rapin’ in church
Y’all been leadin’ with hate, see I just approach it different
Like a gang truce, the first Blood to shake the Crip’s hand
I know everybody emotional
Is it better if I rap about crack? Huh? ‘Cause it’s cultural?
Or how about I’ma shoot you, or fuck your bitch?
Or how about all this Gucci, ’cause I’m fuckin’ rich
You’ll deal with God for the lack of respect
Startin’ to make it seem like Donnie cut you a check
Now you toyin’ with hot lava, better be careful with that
What’s it mean to gain the world if you ain’t standin’ for shit?
Okay I gotta say it, Ye, you sound high as a bitch
Yeah, genocide and slavery, we should just try and forget
And all that free thought shit, find a better defense
But if Ye just stuck in his way, he can leave it at that
I’m not a huge believer in coincidence and I suspect Kanye isn’t either. He may very well be genuine in his political views. Being a fan for as long as I’ve been, I know that the one thing that can be said with confidence about the College Dropout is that he’s never been afraid to take risks for the sake of his brand. Sometimes those risks have turned out to be extremely costly. Other times they’ve turned out to be brilliantly executed.
Whether this was a risk that will turn into reward remains to be seen. I suppose it all depends on what his ultimate, personal goals are.
One thing is for sure…Kanye doesn’t love Donald Trump. Kanye doesn’t love saucy black conservative millennials.
Kanye loves Kanye and as long is his name is coming out of your mouth, that’s all that really matters to him.