Thou shalt not be alarmed! Although the title may suggest otherwise, no, I have not married a reality TV star and named my daughter after a direction, or given my son a title usually earned by those ‘special’ people who have lived a little and done a lot-tle. I have not grown a beard and told the world that my latest album which contains cursing and verses centred around sex and other ‘stuff’, that it is in fact a gospel album.
I just thought I should clear that up. (I’m naturally an exaggerator, sorry)
This morning, I was so close to putting my finger on the Twitter trigger and sending a series of word-vomit, off-the-cuff, rant-style tweets about things that irked me, and as I was about to pull the trigger and press send on my opening statement to let rip onto my timeline (you know, as you do), it dawned on me… it was only a few weeks ago that I was rolling my eyes at Kanye’s rant about the industry and kissing my teeth at the fact that he was always ‘on one’ (not to mention the fact that he basically referred to Africa as a country which is something that gets me easily riled up), but I was on the cusp of doing exactly the same thing! This somehow got me thinking about Kanye as a whole being and subsequently led to me writing this post.
Sidebar: is it just me that sometimes arrives at a thought and traces back to all previous thoughts that led to that final thought and gets amazed at the fact that the initial stimulus was (typically) completely unrelated?
I digress, for those of you who may not know who Kanye West is (or for those who enjoy a bit of scene-setting), let me give you a brief overview:
– Kanye Omari West is an extremely talented (imo), Chicago-raised producer, rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and (recently) fashion designer who released his debut album in 2004 “The College Dropout” which had great success. He has since released a multitude of highly successful albums to date
– He is well known for his outspoken views and outlandish ways of addressing them, notably when he jumped on stage whilst Taylor Swift was accepting an award for Best Video to say “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” or when he stated on a live broadcast for hurricane Katrina in 2005 that President-at-the-time, George W. Bush, “doesn’t care about black people”
– In 2007 he suffered the terrible loss of his mother with whom he had a great relationship – there was a noticeable change in himself and his music after that
– He is regularly hounded by the paparazzi, and his aggressive responses to the paps are repeatedly shared on social media where people ridicule or, in some cases, applaud him
– In 2014, he married reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian and the couple have since had two ridiculously cute children (North and Saint)
Okay, so now we all know (to some degree) a bit about who Kanye is, here are 7 ways in which myself and Mr. West are alike:
1. I love and respect great music/artistry
Of course great music/art is subjective, however I believe that my view on it is accurate, spot on and on-the-money. Much like Kanye, nobody can tell me that I do not know great music/art and that my taste sucks basically. Nobody.
2. I hate being put into a box
What if I don’t want to stay in my lane? Just because you like what I do in this space, does not change the fact that I have a burning desire to enter a whole new space and master whatever that is too!
3. I love my privacy and my personal space
If the paps were in my face 24/7, I doubt I’d be smiling politely and simply strolling to my car…
4. I don’t always think before I speak
I am naturally quite illogical and emotionally-led; I put my hands up to that. Sometimes, I say exactly what is on my mind, even when it does not make sense, may not be appropriate, is offensive, or isn’t actually how I feel. I often end up having to reconfirm what I really mean after getting out of my feelings (see Kanye’s apology to Wiz Khalifa after speaking about his little boy)
5. I can be a bit irrational at times
Again, as I am quite emotionally-led, I can act irrationally when under pressure or in an uncomfortable situation and can end up doing things that to people that know me, may seem completely out of character. We do not personally know Kanye at all, who knows what his norm is aside from those closest to him?
6. Sometimes I’m a hypocrite
I say I don’t agree with certain things, or profess to not believe in certain ideas/ways of living however some of my actions and choices I make wholly contradict that. I regularly justify this by saying “I don’t have bad intentions”, however I doubt the majority of us do have bad intentions yet not-so-great things do happen somehow don’t they?
7. I’m just trying to figure this whole life-thing out (and honestly, I’ve made and am making plenty of mistakes along the way)
Being in the spotlight in such a major way, means that negative things are inevitably magnified. Accidentally bumping into someone when running to the airport to catch the flight you’re almost certainly late for, can leave you branded an aggressor and have you slapped with a lawsuit. Not greeting a fan in an overly enthusiastic, hyperactive way because you just received some terrible news that morning, can have you labelled as cold and unappreciative towards your fans. I say the above 7 points are the reasons why I’m similar to Kanye, but in reality I do not know him and it’s therefore unfair to assume things about a man I do not know.
Although I share those 7 qualities with Kanye (I believe), they do not completely define who I am, what I believe to be right and what I’m about – they’re just a small part of me. Therefore, this could also be true for Kanye or those other people we (the public) have branded as ‘crazy’. I sat and tried to think of obviously amazing qualities that Kanye has (aside from his talents) and struggled to find more good than bad, not because he doesn’t possess them, but because the idea that “bad news travels faster than good” is unfortunately very true. Imagine knowing that you have many great and wonderful attributes that the majority of people are unaware of simply because your mishaps and awkward moments are the only things that make it to primetime.
I’m a firm believer in “there’s a reason why people are the way they are and why they do the things they do” (this applies whether the reason justifies it or simply just explains it). Kanye fans will agree that after the passing of his mother, there was a real shift in Kanye as a musician and ultimately, as a man. Life has the tendency to do that to us. We all have things about ourselves that aren’t particularly good, and have all done things that we are not completely proud of.
“Judge not that you be not judged. (…) You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Now, you may think that it’s more likely Kanye has a tree in his eye rather than a speck compared to you, but remember sin isn’t hierarchical in God’s eyes.
“As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10
We all have stuff going on. None of us are perfect. We all fall short but it’s only by His Grace that we get by. Before branding that guy as a write-off and that girl as wayward, remember that you should look at them with love and understanding first and remind yourself that you’re not so squeaky clean yourself.
Love, Stella West (lol, jk)