On August 8, 2011 Kanye West and Jay-Z dropped what would become a Grammy nominated joint album called Watch The Throne. The 12-track LP shattered the iTunes one-week sales record selling just under 300,000 copies while highlighting the creativity of Kanye West and the lyricism of Jay-Z.
The album gave us ‘Otis’ and ‘N***as in Paris’ two singles that could widely be considered classics, but there was one record produced by RZA that deserves more attention as we scrutinize what’s happening with Kanye West.
First and foremost, bipolar disorder is what Ye’s wif,e Kim Kardashian-West, says has been causing his outbursts on social media and at public events, but in 2018 Kanye said on different occasions that he was misdiagnosed and instead was sleep deprived. Given the uncertainty on whether or not Ye actually has bipolar disorder, I think Kanye’s bars on ‘New Day’ give a good explanation of where his mindset is today. Let’s breakdown the verse.
“And I’ll never let my son have an ego// he’ll be nice to everyone wherever we go// I mean I might even make him be republican, so everybody know he love white people.”
The track which pre-dates the birth of Kanye’s children is a lyrical message to the future son of the rapper while at the same time addressing potential missteps that he may have taken in his career. Kanye has been very strong in his opinions from his famous “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” line after Hurricane Katrina to his “Beyoncé had the best video of all time,” rant at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Kanye’s “streams of consciousness” as he calls them made him one of the most hated artists in the industry. Kanye undoubtedly does not regret speaking up and his millions of fans will lionize him but the oppositions often screams louder than the supporters.
In his opening line, Kanye wants not for his son to have the ego that repeatedly landed him in hot water especially with White people and to ensure his offspring won’t be viewed as anti-white, he wants his junior to endorse Republican ideals to cater to the Caucasian majority in the United States who West believes did their best to marginalize the artist.
And I’ll never let him leave his college girlfriend// and get caught up with the groupies in the whirlwind// and I’ll never let him ever hit the telethon even if people dying and the world end//
The last two bars hit the hardest as Yeezy directly references the “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” comment he made during a Hurricane Katrina telethon in 2005. Kanye’s off script outburst along side comedic actor Mike Meyers was one of his earliest “Kanye-isms” to go viral.
The power behind Kanye calling out President George W. Bush Jr. for his poor response to the hurricane that ravaged the 90 percent Black city of New Orleans put the rapper in the center of the political conversation. Black America praised Kanye for speaking his truth. White america didn’t.
In the same way that Fox News Host Laura Ingraham told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” White america essentially wanted Ye to shut up and rap. To add some context to the timeline, this comment was delivered on live television a week after Kanye’s Sophomore LP Late Registration dropped.
I just want him to have a easy life// not like Yeezy life// Just want him to be someone people like// Don’t want him to be hated all the time, judged// don’t be like ya daddy that’ll never budge//
His whole career Kanye has hardly ever wavered from his position on issues. His most controversial in recent history came when he became advocate on behalf of Donald Trump, wearing the “Make America Great Again” hat and meeting with Trump on different occasions to discuss political concerns.
Kanye railed against liberals for their attempts to manipulate his thinking even going as far as posting text messages he got from close friends like John Legend who asked Yeezy to reconsider his support for the current President. “Don’t be like ya daddy that’ll never budge” is telling Ye’s son to be open to different ideas and actually take in what people of a different opinion are saying.
We’ve seen Kanye attempt to make this adjustment whether it was him admitting he was wrong to storm the stage when Beck won the 2015 Album of The Year Grammy award or the several times in interviews with Charlamagne Tha God or Jimmy Kimmel where Kanye took his time when answering a question rather than blurting out his first thoughts.
And I’ll never let him ever hit a strip club// I learned the hard way that ain’t the way to get love// and I’ll never let his mom move to L.A., knowing she couldn’t take the pressure now we all pray//
Before Kim Kardashian, there was Amber Rose, Kanye’s long time love who formerly was a stripper at Philadelphia’s Sue’s Rendezvous. The relationship dwindled prior to Ye’s classic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Album that seems to have detailed their relationship.
Ye has previously said on The Breakfast Club that had Kim been with him when he wanted her there would have never been an Amber Rose. Regardless, Ye and Rose did have a romance that could simply be described as toxic based on the MBDTF record “Blame Game” with John Legend.
Drug abuse, family issues and rough sex are just some of the things Ye addresses regarding their relationship that started in 2008 lasting roughly two years. Kanye looks back at the toxicity of this romance and prays his son never finds this type of love.
The producer turned rapper concludes the verse addressing his late mother Donda West who died in 2007 during cosmetic liposuction and breast reduction surgery. Kanye cites the pressures of the “perfect body” as a potential factor in the loss of his mother; an emotion that Kanye’s son will never experience according to the rapper due to an awareness of the worst case scenario of cosmetic surgery.
This is the one part of the verse that contradicts Ye’s path that ultimately landed him with an A-List Los Angeles celebrity in Kim Kardashian but Ye has avoided overly embracing the L.A. lifestyle doing his best to avoid paparazzi. These days you’re more likely to see Ye staying at his Wyoming ranch than in the city of Angels.
All of these pressures Kanye has felt throughout his career still weigh heavy on his mind and as he sees the struggle to manage all the emotions from bad breakups, battles with the media, societal disdain for being himself and the lasting depression of losing a parent. Ye would never wish these things on his own seed because he knows firsthand what it can cause. The futurist that is Kanye knew this in 2011, but we’re just seeing it now in 2020.