Why Kanye West Should Be Praised for His Hypocrisy | Guest Blogger Exclusive | Aesthetically Pleasing

Why Kanye West Should Be Praised for His Hypocrisy | Guest Blogger Exclusive


Kanye West's release of his sixth studio album Yeezus, has been the source of much controversy the past few weeks. Everything down to the tracks used in the song has been ripped apart and criticized by music and pop-culture commentators. This is no surprise considering his talk of heavy concepts such as racism, consumerism, and society in general in his album. The criticism regarding his lyrics is generally negative- his strong God concept and mysogeny has not helped his case any. But a good friend and fellow blogger, guest writer Jeremie Mango from ThreePeaceChicken.com, comes with a different point of veiw- one of the few validating Kanye's arguments with solid and plausible points.

Read his fresh perspective below and be sure to visit ThreePeaceChicken.com for more of his work.

-Anna Son 
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“ Kanye is such a hypocrite!!!”

“He talks about the corporations and labels and fashions, and he’s the first one wearing impossibly expensive labels!!!”


“He’s not a slave because he has a choice.........!!!!!!!”

Etc,
Etc,
Etc.

We should all be thankful for Mr. West.

First, allow me to clarify my perspective: I do not keep up with Kanye’s life and antics, nor do I have any desire to do so. There are few things less important to my life than the life of a “celebrity”. As such, I am remarkably ignorant to anything Kanye has done, said, bought, worn, etc in the public realm, unless he has communicated it in a song.

l only care about his music; I only care about his art.

There is a track on Kanye’s new album, Yeezus, which is generating a lot of controversy and criticism. Particularly on the matters of consumerism and contradiction.

(Let’s take this moment to reflect that this is only one track, and that there’s a whole lot more content on Yeezus - 900% more, in fact - than Track #4. But alas...)


New Slaves is an exploration of the consumerism and addiction to labels which plagues society, and especially the Black community. Many people criticize Kanye for this message, cite his own support of consumerism as evidence of hypocrisy, and thus dismiss his message as invalid.

And there are three explainations why this is entirely the wrong mentality to have:

1) "Kanye is acting like he is more righteous than us."


Many people almost get angry and defensive that Kanye - one of the biggest fashion icons and supporters of high-end fashion and luxury consumption - should tell them not to be consumers. They seem upset that Kanye has taken it upon himself to become the shining example of righteousness.

The problem is, this has no basis in the actual music: it seems that people have not actually listened to the song. Kanye never actually speaks to the audience, nor does he dictate or even offer advice for the listener. The song sounds much more like an angry diary entry than an instruction manual.

Kanye is hardly stepping onto any soapboxes. Nothing about this song hints to a “holier-than-thou” mentality. The “new slaves” are never referenced as “you” or “they”, but instead always as “we”.

“I throw these Maybach keys
I wear my heart on the sleeve
I know that we the new slaves
I see the blood on the leaves”

“...we the new slaves.” He is lamenting over the struggle that he and the rest of us (including you and me) endure on a daily basis. He claims that we are slaves to consumerism, not to specific corporations.

The word “slaves” is used to indicate the level to which rampant consumerism controls us: many times we do not even realize it. However, once consumerism grabs hold of us, it is painfully difficult to shake. It is like a disease and infection, and the longer we allow it to control us, the smaller the chance of breaking free.


2) "Kanye is using this for some attention, or to fake like he’s a revolutionary to get more sales."


While it’s certainly not a stretch to label this song and this album as simply a “cry for attention”, most songs, most albums, and honestly most art is inherently a cry for attention. I can’t speak for 100% of all artists, but I can say with certainty that most artists pour their soul into their art in hope that others to experience it and be changed - if only a little bit - by it.

As for being a revolutionary, I hardly think that Kanye is so hurting in album sales and income that he needed to fake anything. He is not exactly changing his image, and this is only one song out of the entire album which speaks on any remotely revolutionary or righteous topics.


3) "Kanye isn’t the right person to deliver this message."


We must remember that Kanye is not a pastor, politician, or activist. Kanye is - first and foremost - an artist. His music is the best way to get to know him, far better than any interview or paparazzi video. The job description of an artist is simply to make art, and maybe even to make art with messages. The job description does not include any obligation to become a role model or community organizer.

People claim Kanye is not the right one to put this song out, that he should leave the revolutionary stuff to the “real revolutionary” artists. But would the people who need to hear this message even listen to the revolutionary artists? Who else should be the vehicle to deliver this message, if not Kanye? Would the influence and audience size be the same if it were dead prez or Lupe Fiasco who wrote the track? If you think about it, the controversy itself is attracting even more attention to the song and thus to the message.

Furthermore, what should Kanye say? Should he verbally support and promote consumerism? Should he be complacent and just let it rock?

Kanye might actually be the ideal person to bring up this issue. Consumerism should be treated like an addiction. Yes, it is an addiction fault that they became addicted, but it is not as easy to break an addiction as most people think. Would we ever criticize a heroin addict for warning others about the misery of heroin use? Or a former corner boy for warning about the dangers that come with the fast money of the drug game? Remember, Kanye is an artist, not a role model. His job is enlighten, not to lead.


Is it foolish for Kanye to be hypocritical? Yes. Is Kanye human? Yes. Is it likely that any of our actions and opinions will change Kanye’s hypocrisy? Absolutely not. There is so much more to be accomplished by focusing less on Kanye’s life, and more on our own.

We should take this song and his music for what it is: a view into the mind of a man who seemingly has everything, but is clearly tormented and even possibly a little crazy. Out of all his work, I - personally - prefer the music of Late Registration through College Dropout Kanye the best. I also am a very big fan of lyrical, storytelling hip-hop a la J. Cole. In fact, I actually don’t enjoy listening to Yeezus all that much. Nonetheless I am very appreciative and in awe of the level of artistry and bravery that was put into this album.

Few artists - certainly even fewer MCs - are brave enough to share such an unfiltered and raw tour of their mental state with such a large audience. Even with all of his (human) flaws and (human) hypocrisy, Kanye West should be praised, not condemned.

After all, who among us is not guilty of our own hypocrisy? Don’t we want our voice to be heard, nonetheless?

Just a thought.

~ Jeremie Mango


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Do you agree? Should people lay off of the criticism or is he a wannabe revolutionary?

Comment below!

Check out Jeremie Mango at ThreePeaceChicken.com


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