I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a Kanye West fan. The only album of his that I’ve ever bought was the first one. That is pretty much as far as my relationship goes with West. Sure he has consistently put out some pretty hot music, but there’s just something about him that rubs me the wrong way. Since the death of his wonderful mother, Dr. Donda West, I just don’t find him to be the same artist. And I’ll admit that Kim Kardashian thing isn’t helping.
When he stood up and spoke truth to power during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, I applauded his bravery. In him, I thought we had finally found an artist that had the spirit of Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Ossie Davis. A person who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth no matter how much it might cost him financially or emotionally. But quickly he proved me wrong with some of the actions he engaged in afterwards.
But with all that being said, Kanye still manages to say something that I completely agree with. Recently he was performing in London, when he decided he needed to get something off his chest as it relates to art and commerce.
Here’s a little of what was said as reported by RollingStone Magazine:
Kanye West took a moment at his London show on Friday night to deliver another searing rant, largely focused on the relationship between art and commerce. Over a spare instrumental from the G.O.O.D. Music track "Clique," Kanye referred to Jay-Z and dismissed the recent Justin Timberlake single that his friend collaborated on: "And I got love for Hov but I ain't fucking with that 'Suit & Tie,'" he said.
After airing his hatred for "business people" and the Grammys, he went on to discuss corporate sponsorships, apparently joking about his infamous Beyonce-related VMA awards faux-pas, but also perhaps taking a swipe at the pop queen's recent Pepsi endorsement:
"Can I sell a drink for you please? So you can help me put on a better show. Please corporations. Can you please support me, Kanye West? I swear I'm a nice n***a now. I swear I'll put the pink polo back on. I swear to you. Please? Just for three million dollars. I need it so bad. I need a new pool in my back yard. So I'll tell all my fans your shit is cool. And if they believe in me they should also believe in you. . . . What's my public rating now? Are people liking me again? Enough to get some money for some corporations? They forgot about the whole Beyonce thing right? Okay cool."
I actually have to give dude a standing ovation for this one. I might not care for the messenger, but I can still hear and agree with the message. I understand that artists have to make a living, and I don’t knock their hustle, but what commerce has done to music is atrocious.
What do you think?