Let Genius Be Free.
I wanna talk about these Kanye interviews.
But first let me say, the purpose of this post is not to argue about Kanye’s poor choice of saying '400 years of slavery sounds like a choice'. I think we all agree that was a terrible example. One that he apologized for. Moving along.
Kanye dropped a lot of bombs all at once. Just a couple things he addressed:
Rejecting the concept of icons
Using the world as your therapy session
Ego & humility
Mental illness and ambivalence towards psychiatric medication
Writing people off as crazy when you don’t understand them
breaking the class system
White teachers defining the narrative (especially incorrectly) for black children
the possibilities of a new better world
Choosing love instead of fear
The beauty in this period of self-expression that we’re living right now
Taking your destiny in your own hands
The importance of and desire for family
Creating a new way to succeed in the fashion industry
I get it. It’s a lot to digest in a short period of time. So why is it that the only thing everyone’s talking about it is 400 years of slavery and Trump?
Full disclosure, I write a lot but this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to post anything I’ve written publicly. This was too important to keep to myself.
Don’t be fooled by the media’s attempts to use this an opportunity to boost their views and engagement. Make no mistake, TMZ is doing it for the views. Kanye is doing it for the people. ALL OF IT needed to be said, but very few are paying attention.
Think about it, it’s the media’s job to start controversy, to tell a story. This whole drama is underscoring what Kanye wants us to understand: the importance of free thought. Don’t blindly accept what the media feeds you. Do your research and come to your own conclusions. Think for yourself.
Also, be careful of what you see on social media. It’s already been confirmed that one of the largest Black Lives Matters pages on Facebook was a scam. Tons of other fake pro black pages were planted on social media to cause division and throw the election. This is public knowledge and yet we still fall for every provocative headline. I’m curious how many people actually watched both interviews before they reposted a clip that was intentionally selected by the media for the purpose of stirring the pot, increasing views/clicks/comments and getting people excited. Like this shit is so basic I can’t believe how many people are falling for it.
Now back to the slavery is a choice comment. Yes this is absolutely disrespectful to the ancestors and insensitive to the realities of slavery. I don’t think we, living in 2018, have a right to say what we would have done in that situation when the majority of us have never experienced anything even close to that level of brutality, and constant mental and physical oppression.
I’m not mad at the underlying sentiment tho, we need to wake the eff up to our true potential, whatever that is for us both individually and collectively. Applying the current popular mindset, of manifestation and being in control of your destiny, to slavery back then, hypothetically what would have happened if the slaves decided they weren’t owned? What if they refused to accept that way of life? And before anyone jumps down my throat, we already know there were some that did exactly that. So what I’m saying is, what if they ALL had the mindset of those that revolted? We wouldn’t be having this conversation in 2018.
Now apply that same thinking to today’s standards for success. We look at celebrities and rappers and professional athletes as being wealthy and admire their lifestyles, while working thru the ranks of bullshit promotions for companies we’ll never own. Billionaires aren’t even on most people’s radars, so they definitely aren’t aspiring that level of prosperity. Or what would happen if we all collectively refused to apply for $50k a year colleges that start our students off as modern indentured servants? Personally, what are you aiming to achieve in your lifetime? What if the reality of what you could achieve is 100x that? And why are people so up in arms to avoid this idea? That, to me, is the epitome of being mentally enslaved.
What I heard Kanye talking about was insanely motivational. It was hopeful. It was inspirational. He’s talking about setting higher goals and growing exponentially faster than we are now. He’s talking about creating your own lane. And he’s also saying don’t make me the icon, pass me, do better. Look at the examples he gave of the various forms of opposition he’s met. The things he didn’t get and what he did next. He always leveled up. Continually aim higher.
Now about the Trump stuff. He’s comparing himself to trump because trump is his proof that he can really run for president and win. He knows Trump is a horrible president, but he’s not going to say that because he’s playing the game. And I believe he can win a presidential election, as long as he doesn’t mess it up by letting his ego get in the way by doing things like trying to prove his point with inappropriate examples.
Other things that stood out to me on the Charlemagne & TMZ interviews:
Being hard on yourself as an artist
Some things need to be done just so people can see it that it can be done.
Aim high AF. He literally compared learning how to value a company to getting a social security card.
Be yourself always. I owe it to the world to be me.
Don’t be afraid to break the mold.
Challenging the idea that Black men have to be perfect all the time and can't show emotion
Collecting tools along the climb to your goals and realizing you gained so much more along the way.
What is my plan? What do I want to accomplish? How do I get there knowing that what I think is the goal is actually just getting my social security card.
As artists it’s good to document our now. See if we could recognize ourselves in the future.
So many other things but for the sake of this post, I’ll stop here.
Kanye I see you, I hear you. Please keep expressing yourself.
I hope today and into this weekend he reflects on his conversation with Van Lathan, that dialogue needed to happen for them and for everybody. Hopefully Kanye will see this as an opportunity to support the smaller grass roots people that are fighting black on black violence in their community without the help of celebrities rallying behind them. The real heroes.
I haven’t even gone into all the stuff around mental health, because that’s a whole other post for another day. I will say this though, don’t discredit someone and label them ‘crazy’ because you don’t understand what they’re saying.