Kanye West set the world ablaze when he appeared on TMZ and told viewers everywhere that slavery was a “choice.”
With two interviews released in one day — one with Power 105.1’s Charlamagne the God and the other with TMZ — ‘Ye sparked outrage as he continually professed his love for Donald Trump, a man he happily calls his “boy.”
One thing you notice in both interviews is that trauma and closed doors are what’s fueling Kanye’s thoughts that he is “bigger” than the Black experience. He’s promoting “free thinking” and “love” while subscribing to the white supremacy ideology and overlooks the issue racial disparity, which, through his own admission, led to his mental breakdown.
During Yeezy’s interview with Charlamagne, Kanye revealed that he is not seeking therapy despite being on various medications to soothe his mental state. This is important because it shows that Kanye is still struggling with the inability to listen to anything that counters his own thoughts. It also proves that he is not a free thinker, but an ill-informed thinker who would rather spout speculation than actually take the time to learn the truth.
The reality is that the new Kanye West is an example of what happens when the PTSD of being Black in America has finally reached its breaking point.
“I’m not trying to say the right thing, I’m just trying to say what I want to say out of love.” — Kanye West
Last month, Kanye West showed his support for conservative “free thinker” and commentator, Candace Owens, who has publicly ridiculed the Black Lives Matter movement calling those involved “spoiled toddlers” who exist in a “victim mentality.” Considering Owens’ far right-winged views, it’s not shocking to see Kanye West express his “love” for her thoughts – but it’s sad to watch.
I love the way Candace Owens thinks
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 21, 2018
I’m freaking out. @kanyewest ….please take a meeting with me. I tell every single person that everything that I have been inspired to do, was written in your music.
I am my own biggest fan, because you made it okay. I need you to help wake up the black community. https://t.co/Uz1nB9K0Oz
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 21, 2018
In their grand attempt to “wake up” the Black community, Kanye West and Candace Owens both fail to realize referring to slavery as a choice or using Black-on-Black crime to excuse police officers for killing Black people in the streets means they are accepting a narrative that facilitates relentless injustice. But ignoring the issue doesn’t make it go away, nor it does it make it less real.
While people like Candace Owens are using the “good negro” ideology to hoist themselves up on a platform to spew hate and increase her popularity, Kanye’s new found “free thoughts” seem to come from a place of hurt and puts him in a docile position, which is diminishing his voice.
If you look at Kanye’s professional and personal journey, you see he’s suffered extreme pain over the years. Between his 2002 car accident, which nearly took his life after he drove into an oncoming vehicle after falling asleep at the wheel, the overlook by Jay-Z and what Kanye deemed theft of his ideas for his project (see “Big Brother”), the death of his mother, ostracization by Jay-Z and Beyonce after risking his career by hopping on the MTV VMA stage, the departure of his friend and creative collaborator Virgil Abloh, who was named the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection in March of this year, to finally being called a “jackass” by former President Obama, ‘Ye has suffered a significant amount of rejection by notable representatives of Black America. His pain has led to a mental rebellion, which as led to a lot of verbal and psychological pushback. In a way, it’s like Kanye West is attempting to protect his heart from those he feels should have had his back.
Why is this breakdown important? Because it gives a glimpse into the thought process that’s causing Yeezy to speak outrageously about the state of African Americans and allows you to see that Kanye is not a free thinker, but in actuality, a hurt man bleeding on stage for the world to see.
“I’m fearful of certain things, and I’m trying to use bravery to overcome.” — Kanye West
During the interview with Charlamagne, Kanye revealed that he felt like he lost his confidence after he was released from the hospital, and he felt like he was able to be controlled because of that. But despite the personal hell he was going through, he produced one of the most widely received fashion shows by his white-counterparts because he “gave in to their control.” This statement speaks volumes because it was at this point, that for the first time in a long time, Kanye felt accepted into the area he fought so hard to break into.
Contrary to his free-thinking message, Kanye’s new quest to remove race from the conversation still includes the underlying desire for white acceptance. What he and others like him are failing to realize is that the historical erasure of the problem of racism doesn’t make room to overcome, but instead sweeps it under the rug while still allowing it’s derivatives to continue to affect society for people of color.
To hear him call iconic leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. “outdated and part of the past”, is the biggest example of his misinformation when it comes to his ideology of free thinking. Kanye is literally a part of a genre that heralds two iconic artists who were murdered in their prime, twenty years ago, as the measuring stick against artists today. To bolster himself to be along the same rebellious lines as Tupac Shakur while denouncing the importance that the legacies of Dr. King and Malcolm X hold today and their influence in Hip-Hop is not only ignorant but it’s dangerous. It says that our history of overcoming opposition isn’t important, as well as send the message that we should just “get over” issues that they and others like them fought against that still affect us today.
“Racism isn’t the deal breaker for me, if so I wouldn’t live in America.” -Kanye West
When discussing Nike during the interview, Kanye was overtly and unnecessarily repentant for not wanting to be in an unfavorable business situation. It’s like he was apologizing for standing up to being treated unfairly by a person who wouldn’t even accept or return his phone call. In a sense, it seems like Kanye feels that standing against the system is what cast him out in business because his most “erratic” moments were in opposition of what he felt was mistreatment to himself and the ones he loved in Black America; only to be rejected and isolated by the ones he felt he was protecting. That disappointment has led to him stopping himself from being the “cousin you can’t take anywhere” before he steps out of line, which is really taking a huge slice away from who he is and the legacy that built his career.
“I love Trump, Trump is my boy.” —Kanye West
When Charlamagne asked ‘Ye about his feelings regarding Trump’s proven racist stance and the “need for validation from white people,” Kanye never answered. Instead, he went into the simulation rhetoric borrowed from the Matrix. To some that meant he possibly supported Trump’s views but in actuality that meant Kanye knows that Trump is a racist but has learned that in the business and wealthy world he lives in, to accept it. Kanye prior to his breakdown called out Mark Zuckerberg for not holding his word and helping him with his business, in the interview Kanye spoke about why he called out Zuckerberg and why he felt his friends were holding back important information from him.
“When I tweeted at Mark Zuckerberg, it was because I know him and had talked to him several times. I had asked him to help me validate my business because I had discovered that that was important for my business,” Kanye said. “So when he acted like he wouldn’t give it to me, I was hurt because I am like why wouldn’t you want to give that information? That information being held from me is what stopped me from doing more and all I needed him to do was teach me.”
Kanye’s Zuckerberg recount is a great example of why his slavery was a “choice” idea is total bullshit. Kanye at his level of success, in 2018 where information is abundant online, said that the lack of that piece of information had the ability to stall him in success, so imagine that lack of information 200 years ago and the inability to not only access it but read and comprehend it because of force. The basic right to education and freedom that was stripped from our ancestors that he deemed had the choice to be free. His new “free thinking” needs to be reevaluated and he needs real people around him to keep him grounded and in touch with the very message that has been true to his heart all along.
Despite the consensus, I am not mad at Kanye, I am saddened for Kanye and I hope one day he will really receive the open mind and heart that he is pretending to have today.