I caught this over at PerezHilton.com (yeah, I admit it — it’s one of my guilty diversions). Kanye’s mother sadly died recently in part due to a truly tragic excess of vanity and a temporary lapse of the wisdom and judgment that the former professor was surely capable of. I’m a fan and I can only imagine how painful her passing must have been for her only son. Still, vanity can also kill a career and after this recent commentary — and his recent diva eruptions, we might have to change Kanye’s name to Coonye. Because for rizzle, this is some serious self-hatred. Of the delusional kind that too often sadly turns to self-destruction.

“I’m a pop enigma. I live and breathe every element in life. I rock a bespoke suit and I go to Harold’s for fried chicken. It’s all these things at once, because, as a tastemaker, I find the best of everything. There’s certain things that black people are the best at and certain things that white people are the best at. Whatever we as black people are the best at, I’m a go get that. Like, on Christmas I don’t want any food that tastes white. And when I go to purchase a house, I don’t want my credit to look black.”

- Kanye West tells the new issue of Spin

Oh but there’s more! From the actual Spin interview, here’s a continuation:

Q: And what foods would fall into that category? A: White-people food? You know what it is. You never ate fried chicken and said, “This tastes white.” It’s America. People know the stereotypes. I play to the stereotypes. I believe in the stereotypes. And I submit to them. [Affects a black, Southern accent] “Man, black people sure can cook some chicken! And I’ma get some black chicken.”

Q: I’m trying to gauge if you’re being sincere or facetious. A: It is what it is. A lot of things that are funny have truth in them. So my music is a mix between some good Harold’s Chicken and…

Q: A bespoke suit? A: A bespoke suit!

We all recall that Kanye West, just a couple of years ago, achieved pop hero status when he broke free from the canned corporate teleprompter during a televised Katrina fundraising special. Kanye gave his own testimony about the government’s painfully inadequate response to one of America’s worst humanitarian disasters ever — and took a lot of heat for it, bravely brushing it off. He spoke the words that every black person in America was thinking (and a few other people too) when he cut through the saccharine crap and stated the obvious: “George Bush does not care about black people.”

Today? Well Coonye’s blog is an interesting look into what inspires him creatively in modern design and music. Yet, he carefully avoids any socio-political commentary of any kind. But let me leave it to Coonye’s soon-to-be diminishing fan base (if he ain’t careful) and their comments at P-Nasty’s gossip journal to have the last word.

Kitten said:

“i USED to think he was really cool but lately when he talks he sounds way to up his own ass and like he thinks he’s above everyone else. seriosuly Kayne who do you think you are?? you write songs and dance around for a living.. stop taking yourself so f’in seriously.”

whatever said:

“he needs to take the advice of gabrielle union and the example of perez – try boosting your people, not dragging them down. i get the food thing, and obviously it’s a stupid generalization, but the credit comment is so unhelpful”

And my personal favorite — from HRH Adam:

“Wow, that just dethroned so many items to win the crown of “Dumbest thing I’ve ever read.” This guy is no more talented as a rapper than Will Smith was in his Fresh Prince prime, except I don’t really see the mega massive acting career coming after Kanye’s “rap” career. This guy is a hack, dancing in a toy soldier suit on TV, his best rhyme scheme “Ferrari/Sorry/Lawry’s..” I guess thats what makes him a “tastemaker,” but who is he “making taste” for? I feel lame just reading the words “bespoke suit,” and I’ve never seen a Harold’s Fried Chicken restaurant in my life. I guess that is what he means when he’s talking about food that doesn’t “taste white.” Isn’t it certain types of schizophrenics that think they can smell or taste colours? Bespoke suits, Fried Chicken, and a white credit score. Kanye West, ladies and gentlemen, erasing stereotypes through music. P.s. I hope this tool has to apologize to the Rev. Al Sharpton for this.”

It’s like he feels insecure about his “blackness” and is trying to convince the world to overlook his education, intelligence, creativity and yes, middle class upbringing. Kanye West is an important artist who along with many other artists like Mos Def and Talib Kweli have taken hip hop beyond the booty vixen video. I hope that he can bust out the naps inside his own head and continue to make his momma (and a whole lot of other mommas he may never meet) proud. Because in the same interview, he actually manages to say something halfway sensible, leaving me a little hope for him:

Certain things are so good it doesn’t have to be white or black.

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