Kanye West, the artist who used to be great, faces a dizzying descent into madness

Kanye West at the Vanity Fair party in July 2020 (Photo: DPA)
Kanye West at the Vanity Fair party in July 2020 (Photo: DPA)

In 2016, the leaders of the Republican Party and, particularly, of Trumpism, were enthusiastic when Kanye West, dyed blonde, came to show his support for the then new president-elect at Trump Tower in New York. “Kanye West is blonde and gone” – he is blonde and finished – he sang King’s wool on his 2019 song “The Greatest,” a few years after the rapper’s endorsement of the former president but still before his downward spiral into the hells of the far-right and American white supremacist underworld.

In 2020, West, who by his own admission had never voted in his life, ran for president with meager results. His candidacy was supported by Elon Musk. Time later he would deepen a slope of madness that would lead him to say in 2021 that the existence of slavery was “a choice” for African-Americans, or to defend the following year the police officers who murdered George Floyd in front of the cameras in 2020. It’s been a while since West He is more in the media for his sayings that are no longer controversial, but directly reprehensible, than for his art. However, this was not always the case. But what happened to Kanye West to become one of the most important artists of the 21st century to become an outcast?

It may interest you: Towards the origins of national rap: fragment of “The evolution of flow”, by Juan Data

In 2002, during a special fundraiser for the victims of Katrina, West had said before the cameras that the then president George W. Bush “He doesn’t care about black people.” In 2010, Kanye called for a “boycott” of Trump due to his racism towards the African-American population. A native of Chicago, like Barack Obama, supported his campaign in 2008, when he was already one of the biggest stars in the world of hip-hop. In 2009, when West interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards to say his award deserved it beyoncé, Obama was recorded saying that Kanye was a “jackass” – the closest translation would be “asshole” -. In 2012 he reaffirmed it in public, although he qualified with a “but he is talented”. In 2015, yes assured that Obama He called him on the phone, but the Democrat denied it in public. That same year, kanye he first announced that he wanted to run for president, and Obama publicly “advised” him with a sneer and a laugh. That year he had a meltdown in the middle of the show Saturday night Live and several interviews where he rambled incoherently. He was diagnosed with bipolar, although on Twitter he claimed that this was “wrong”.

Elon Musk with Kanye West, when they were still friends (Photo: Instagram @kanyew.est)
Elon Musk with Kanye West, when they were still friends (Photo: Instagram @kanyew.est)

Before changing her name to Ye, Kanye West he became one of those artists who appear rarely in a generation. When he broke into the mainstream of the rap world back in the early 2000s, his proposal was extremely novel. His debut The College Dropoutbrought a breath of fresh air and style preppy to a hip hop scene dominated by him gangsta rap of people like 50 Cent or the permanent shock of Eminem. Even his personal style was new: while the others used the aesthetics of the street and gangs, kanye he didn’t pretend or overact the neighborhood and wore polo shirts, shirts or college jackets all the time.

Kanye West – Life of the Party (2022)

From then on everything went up artistically for Kanye until he reached his 2010 masterpiece, My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasywhich was rated with the highest score by specialized media such as pitchfork, and considered one of the most important records of the millennium so far. In between, he became an all-powerful fashion entrepreneur with a mega-contract with Adidas based on the Yeezys, the sneakers he designed that, at first, sold for astronomical figures. In 2009 he had started in the world of fashion with his close friend and also a native of Chicago, the designer Virgil Abloh at Fendi. Abloh died in 2021 and there was talk of Kanye West as his successor. However, all the brands that collaborated with yes have parted ways in recent months, including Adidas, which will continue to sell its Yeezys, albeit without the rapper’s name.

For years, Republicans struggled to link up with African Americans, when someone the likes of West supported them in 2016, they thought they could finally start getting in there. This was not the case, to the point that he himself Trump she had to come out to deny her ties to him after a dinner between them and the white supremacist Nick Fuentes at the mogul’s house in Mar-a-Lago, last Thanksgiving. Trump he was forced to come out to deny that he knew Sourcesand even toned down his relationship with West, calling him an “obviously troubled man, who needs help.” At dinner, according to what Trump’s advisers told, yes He expressed his intentions to run for president in 2024 and asked him to be his running mate as his vice president.

Kanye West in the first act of his presidential campaign, in July 2020 (Photo: REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo)
Kanye West in the first act of his presidential campaign, in July 2020 (Photo: REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo)

The former president was stunned by the proposal, advised him not to do it and told him it was crazy, things ended with a shout, and now he doesn’t know how to get rid of a relationship that, at this point, brings him many more problems what benefits. The Republican Jewish Coalition repudiated in a statement West and demanded from the Republican leadership that his “outcast” status must be made clear. the same Bidenwithout referring to the rapper or his relationship with Trump, affirmed that there should be no place for anti-Semitism, racism, or expressions of this type in the United States. The Kanye affair was the topic of conversation in all the national media and on social networks, all the politicians in the country were asked for an opinion, and they all repudiated it.

A few days after this, in a taped interview with the illustrious conductor of American conservatism, Tucker Carlson, sealed his alliance with the American extreme right. Carlson’s team edited out anti-Semitic comments and disjointed ramblings from West to make it stand better. A few days later, the public debacle was complete. yes went to the program Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist and well-known far-right journalist. There, he made live anti-Semitic comments that were too much even for Jones, who tried to help him. But in the face of a wild attempt by the journalist, Kanye did not take the lifeline, saying that “everyone has great things to offer, especially hitler”, then he continued to praise the genocidal man with delirious “arguments” without any kind of sense such as that he “invented the highways, or the same microphone that I use to sing”. Even her Twitter account was suspended by her former friend Elon Musk after tweeting a swastika. The public appearances of yes They are just as bizarre, when he is not wearing a mask that covers his entire face, including his eyes and mouth, he is shown with a unkempt beard and a wandering look, while delving into unconnected, anti-Semitic, racist, and LGBTIQ+ discursive labyrinths. haters.

Kanye West ft. Lupe Fiasco – Touch the Sky (2009)

In the United States, the social weight of African-American artists is greater than that of whites. It may be another sign of systemic racism in American society, but much more is required of a black musician, athlete or actor than a white one. You must be an activist, talk about politics, be in all the causes considered noble by progressivism. In addition to being good – or the best – at what he does, he has to speak like Tupac Shakur or as Muhammad Ali. Kanye West seems to be the perverse inversion of all this. Yes, he talks about politics, more and more, but to say that hitler “had a lot of good things” or to deny the existence of the Holocaust. It’s clear that Kanye West is a man who really needs help, who was used by the American right at the same time that nobody cared about his mental health. Currently no one wants to have any association with him, and it is highly unlikely that he could experience an artistic and commercial return to the level of what he became. What he urgently needs is to seek help to begin to recover and get out of a path where he could end up much worse. Like so many who were once geniuses.

Keep reading

“5 thousand shots”, an x-ray of hip hop culture in the neighborhoods
Kanye West: cool rapper and producer, egomaniacal, provocative and everything in between too
Towards the origins of national rap: fragment of “The evolution of flow”, by Juan Data

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