October 28, 2013

THOMAS: Let’s Have a Toast for the Douchebag

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By DEON THOMAS

Dear Kanye West, today I’m going to do the thing that you like best: I’m going to talk about you. Kanye, it’s been a long journey hasn’t it? I remember meeting you like it was yesterday, though it was a little more than nine years ago. Finally, I had found a rap album my parents didn’t mind me listening to. I must admit, I was a bit confused at the time; how could somebody from the suburbs of Chicago make a rap album? What would he even rap about if he hadn’t struggled, sold drugs or killed anybody? How would this man garner any respect in an industry dominated by gangster personas? Well, 21 tracks, one near-fatal car accident and a couple pink polos later you had a triple platinum album and ten Grammy nominations. Which reminds me that not only do you have five platinum albums, one gold album, six consecutive number one albums upon release and 78 million in digital tracks sold worldwide but, you also have an astounding 21 Grammys. People would be quick to agree that Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles are musical geniuses, but imagine a world in which you have more Grammys than any of them do. Now take a moment to realize that you live in such a world.

Yes, in this letter, I’m talking about the man who interrupted a teenage girl while she was on stage accepting an award. Yes, I’m talking about the man who went on TV and blurted out that the current president didn’t particularly care about black people. Yes, I’m talking about the man who, in a radio interview, was especially upset about not be credited for creating leather jogging pants. However, the fact of the matter remains that Beyoncé did in fact have one of the most influential music videos in recent memory, George Bush did in fact do a poor job of aiding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and okay, fine, I still don’t know what the hell leather jogging pants are. Nonetheless, I struggle to hate a man who attempts to speak the truth not because it will make him more popular, but because he simply wants us to see the world the way he does.

Kanye, if I had your credentials, if I was one of the best selling and most highly acclaimed artists of my generation, and nobody took the things I said seriously, I would lose my mind. I would go on stage and after performing my songs I would spew rant after rant. I would go on the Jimmy Kimmel show and yell at the cameras until they were forced to concede to my argument. I would get drunk, show up to the VMAs and steal the microphone from teenage girls who were wrongly awarded. What does it take to be taken seriously? It’s extremely easy to write Kanye off as some kind of heretic when almost everything he says or does is taken out of context. He might have made an album called Yeezus and a song, “I Am A God,” but if you actually took the time out of your day to listen to the album, not once does he refer to actually being a God. It also amuses me that people are so upset by the album title, Yeezus, yet have not blinked an eye when Jay-Z calls himself Hova (Jehova).

Kanye, I want everyone to ask themselves why they seem to hate you so much? What vendetta do they have against you? It seems like the day you decided to step outside your boundaries and do something other than make music people got upset. The world is constantly yelling at you: “Stop what you’re doing! Musicians are supposed to make music!”

However, let me end my rant by raising a glass to the woman who was able to land the man of the hour: Let’s have a toast for the douchebag. For the rest of you, if you continue to spend your time streaming Kanye hatred, drowning yourself in pointless animosity just remember, it’s not me, it’s you.

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