I'd be the first to admit that I'm a big fan of Kanye West's music. I mean HUGE. "College Dropout", "Late Registration", and "Graduation" are ALL astounding masterpieces with an assembly of timeless ditties that draws an array of emotions that I thoroughly empathize with.
Laced with soul far pre-dating its years, the music speaks to me - the regular Black dude that's tryin' to do a lil' sumn' sumn' with the talent he was blessed with. The lures of being raised in a major metropolitan area that thrives on materialism and status - I share that in common with Kanye. Having a behemothic love for music and being from a city that has such a rich history in undeniable musical acts - I share that in common with Mr. West also. I'm emerged in the Hip Hop culture whether I like it or not and the influences that it has on me are seen in many aspects of my life. Kanye West is too. And just in case you missed it the first time, like I said, Kanye and I are both young Black males.
These are all facts that are irrefutable.
However, with all the similarities, I am NOT Kanye West.
I'm sure you've seen or heard about Kanye's incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in which he
Although very inappropriate for the time and place, what I find more appalling is the reaction and commentary his diva-esque action has resulted in. The Black community never cease to amaze me with how personal we take shyt. When I witnessed the spectacle last night and throughout today, I have heard and read countless numbers of Black people talk about how Kanye's actions was such a bad representation of our race. Everything from "He set us back centuries with that bafoonery" to "See, this is why they look at us the way they do" comments have passed through my ears or have crossed my eyes today. Why do we always do this?
Kanye West is NOT I and I am not KANYE WEST!!
Barack Obama gets elected as President of the United States and all of a sudden, we (Black people) feel like WE did it even though the majority of people who voted for Obama was un-Black. What.The.Fuck. are we acting like that's OUR President for when he's America's President? I have a great deal of respect for President Obama, but he isn't necessarily representative of our race as a whole and neither is Kanye.
Kanye does something that can only be classified as...well, "Kanye-esque" and all of a sudden he's a bad misrepresentation of HIP HOP or young Blacks or Blacks in general??
C'mon now. As I said, I'm a die-hard fan of his music and we share some similarities, but what that nigga did ain't got shyt to do with ME...nor my race...nor my culture. There's a great separation there. We don't share the same bank account and I love my mother enough to tell her, "Ma, you're BEAUTIFUL...you don't need any plastic surgery to keep up with the hollywood standards." I'm not Kanye.
Ok, maybe that was wrong, but you get my point...I'm NOT Kanye West and he is by no means a representation of me or my race.
As much as Black people don't wish to be seen as one-sided, we constantly generalize ourselves by raising certain public figures and viewing them as examples when they are just a mere portion of the whole. Kanye West and I have a lot of shyt in common but he doesn't encompass all that I am and neither does Barack Obama or any other public figure. I'm deeper than that. And WE have more layers than what's presented to us on a one-dimensional television screen.
I do believe we ALL have a little Kanye West in us. *waving my finger like young Tre' from "Boyz 'N Da Hood" in the classroom. All of y'all. At times, we all desire the ability to just truly speak how we feel with no regard to how others feel about it. There's a little bit inside us in which we all wish we didn't always have to be politically correct and we can say what's on our minds and hearts no matter who's in our presence. Don't front, you know you do.
But to say that that type of behavior is exclusive to one race is ridiculous and very laughable.
I don't hear white folks or even gays saying Lady GaGa made THEM look bad. Why are we?