It’s almost been a month since the Kanye West’s Twitter debacle about him being in support of Trump, bashing Barack Obama, and making that ludicrous statement about slavery on TMZ. Just recently, his longtime work partner, Rhymefest tweeted that Kanye said, “f*%k the youth,” when asked to help contribute with the funding of Kanye’s organization, under his mom’s name.
But what happened to the talented, confident, “woke” man from Chicago, who came in the game with purpose and a will to educate the youth? Some knew Kanye as the producer who used to make beats for the Roc-Fella artists. But when Kanye dropped “Through the Wire,” rhyming about real life issues, give us something we haven’t heard before, and doing it all with his jaw wired shut. That song made most of us pay attention and like him. Then he dropped, “The College Dropout,” which made the world pay attention, and LOVE him.
The College Dropout Era vs. Now
When “The College Dropout” dropped, this album changed the game, with songs like “Spaceship,” “Get Em High,” and Slow Jamz.” Then there was the meaningful songs like “Jesus Walk,” “We Don’t Care,” and my all time favorite, “All Falls Down.” On “All Falls Down” Ye was discussing his personal battle with consumerism, and issues that black people face within society. With lyrics like, “We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us, we trying to buy back our 40 acres. And for that paper, look how low we a’stoop, even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coop/coupe.” And “say fuck the police, that’s how I treat ’em. We buy our way out of jail, but we can’t buy freedom. We’ll buy a lot of clothes but we don’t really need ’em. Things we buy to cover up what’s inside, cause they make us hate ourself and love they wealth.”
Ye was explaining how some black people who are flashy, that wear jewelry and designer clothes, as a way to show their wealth and to heal with their low esteem of being made to feel inferior to white people. And how no matter how “fly” we look, or how much money we have, at the end of the day, we will always be just another black person most white people look down upon because they’re made to feel superior to black people, ever since slavery.
Fast forward to now, Ye is on TMZ ranting about how, “400 years of slavery was a
choice.” Luckily, one of the TMZ’s black producers, shut his ridiculous statement down real quick, and told him how he was super disappointed in him making such a false statement, knowing how those “400 years of slavery” is still affecting how black people are treated in today’s society.
Ye took to Twitter to clear up the slavery comment, tweeting, “My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we mentally enslaved.” This lead him to say, he would been more like Harriet Tubman or Nat Turner, trying to break free. However, that didn’t help, sort of made it worse, because people quickly responded to him saying there were more slaves that tried to escape, but were killed or beaten like Nat Turner.
Late Registration Era vs. Now
Two years later, he released his sophomore album, “Late Registration,” which was just as woke and conscious, and solidified his name in hip hop. Dropping singles like “Diamonds,” “Heard Em Say,” “Hey Mama,” and how can we forget about “Touch the Sky” and “Gold Digger?”
In the song ,“Gold Digger,” and video “Touch the Sky,” Ye called out other black entertainers for no longer dating black women, once they become famous and rich. In the song, “Gold Digger” Ye says, “And when he get on, he leave ya ass for a white girl.” In the “Touch the Sky” video, there’s a classic skit with Ye, Tracee Ellis Ross and Nia Long, where Tracee says, “Girl, I told you when he get on, he gonna leave ya ass for a white girl…what you want a Barbie(meaning white girl in the video, Pamela Anderson)?” Back then, Ye was engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Alexis Phifer, who was a black woman.
In 2012, it was revealed that Kanye was dating longtime friend, Kim Kardashian. This came as a shocker to some of his core fan base, because he made the assumption he was pro-black love, against anything else. Not to mention, how the Kardashians are notoriously known for just dating rich black men, and he had a song called, “ Gold Digger,” where he talked about woman who have that same reputation.
On top of that, Kim and her family are known for cultural appropriating black culture, especially black women. A lot of people have noticed since the two got together, got married, and started a family, his conscious music hasn’t been “conscious” at all. Some people even pointed out his that voice sounds different now, and he doesn’t seem to care as much for the the black community. Then there’s the constant jokes that he’s in the sunken place, making a reference to last year’s hit movie, “Get Out.”
Hurricane Katrina Telethon vs. Now
Back in 2005, New Orleans and a few other southern states experienced a horrible hurricane, that left almost two thousand people killed. There were a lot of people talking about how the president at the time, George Bush, could have done more to help.
A lot of well-known celebrities came together for a telethon to raise money for the victims. When it was Mike Myers and Kanye’s turn to talk, Ye made a bold statement on live television that would shock everyone, “George Bush, doesn’t care about black people.” A lot of Bush’s supporters were upset, but for most of the black community, who wasn’t a fan of his republican policies or him, were happy that Kanye said what they were all feeling. But that was just like Kanye to say something like that, because he was for the people, especially the black community.
Now in 2018, Kanye tweets that he supports Donald Trump and tweeted a pic of him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. Which some would say, it shouldn’t be such a shock, considering the fact that a year ago at his concert he said, he would have voted for him(he didn’t vote at all). Then a little after that incident, he was seen taken a picture with Trump in the lobby of Trump’s building. But we knew Kanye was having some mental health issues, and we all thought that was him acting out.
But now that he’s supposedly “better,” we know that this is how he actually feels. We’re in a bit of disbelief that Ye, who used to be such a advocate for the people, would want to support a president like Trump. Keep in mind, Trump has spoken negatively about people of color, and people of different religious backgrounds.
“Old Kanye,” which is ironically a song title on his last album, wasn’t nothing like the Kanye we’re seeing today. He would have never made such a ridiculous and ignorant statement about slavery being choice, probably would never dated a Kardashian, and definitely wouldn’t have supported a president like Trump.
So rather the Old Kanye is the sunken place, and we need to flash a light to get him out, or the old Kanye was just an act and this is actually the real him; I think most of us would love to have the Old Kanye back. We want that young man with the polo shirts and Louis Vuitton book bags rather than what we have now, with the holes in his shirt and MAGA hat.