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team kanye. team crazy.

this is an unhinged post about kanye west.

i am going to go full-wacko about how fucking amazing he is. i am going to speak in a paranoid way about how everyone loves richard branson, warren buffet, karl lagerfeld, crazy old eccentric businessmen, designers, heads of corporations and creative industries, actors and writers off their leash. unless, you know, they black. then, you gotta be all well-spoken and well coiffured and well-behaved, he's gotta get in line, dammit. 

according to you guys, he cannnot be running his mouth, talking about how you're the next big thing, or better than the last big thing. he cannot be making wild statements about how amazing he is, or how excited things could be for him and how many risks he's prepared to take for his brand, because it's not allowed.

i'm going to talk in delusional ways about the 'rebellious' label of creatives and marketing people, who find his ego too intense, but happily love jeff koons, damien hirst, ernest hemmingway, don draper, eric from true blood - a stack of other OTT creative madness types. and how it's perfectly acceptable to dumb that shit down.

well, not on my block blog. 

here are my opinions. ones that are especially unpopular with my white friends. 
it doesn't matter if you agree or not. i'm just leaving this here.

i think kanye IS the fucking greatest. 
i think he's a genius. yes, on the level with albert einstein and steve jobs.
he is out there and making things, pushing art and what's possible with creativity, extending people's expectations of music, production, love, film what 'hiphop' artist or 'black' artist is supposed to be doing. he's just continuing to extend himself and go further, longer, harder than he has before. he's michael jordan with a fucking mouth and a grill.

i think he was totally justified at MTV music awards. 
yes, i know, he was rude to taylor swift. whatever.

tell me something: how many flash mobs of that film clip have been done for t-mobile?
how many times do you hear You Belong To Me (a track i had to look up to see what it was actually called) in the club and every woman in it knows all the routines.
how many pop references are there to that film clip? saturday night live pisstakes of the routine?

beyonce made the GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME and kanye interrupted a young woman's speech (a young woman who now has the sympathy from all her white empathy types who've had their feelings hurt) to draw attention to the big fucking elephant in the room, the emperor with no clothes: the fact that a young white girl who made a pretty lame-arse video won a major industry award over a strong black woman whose video went bananas the second it was released.

y'all take a business risk like that some time and still produce work. stand in the face of that white backlash* and survive without having to puff yourself up sometimes. that is balls.

i think he is on a level with nelson mandela 
(yes, that post is a hoax, but i'm going to defend it anyway because you all thought it was real for a reason and so i'm going to address those reasons)

as writer, poet and pundit musa okwonga has pointed out, mandela was not the smiling grandpa that we all know and love. he was a determined, focused man who believed in his principles.  he was willing to kill for freedom. he exposed the systematic oppression of people's daily lives and found ways to systematically undo it by undermining the current power systems.

just because he chose to not go crazy and kill his oppressors, prison guards, assasinate the entire national party and move on with more important things, like getting universal sufferage in south africa, doesn't mean he's just about forgiving people who fuck you over.

yes, the value that nelson mandela brought to millions of africans is more directly connected to political freedom than kanye west. 

but kanye is no less concerned with the creative and cultural emancipation of millions of people around the world. yes, he is also largely interested in his own creative emancipation too. but he is part of the people he wants to give the right to just make whatver the fuck they want. to be the heads of design organisations. to kick arse without having to do 'R&B' or a nice little diddy about a good guy. 
no, it doesn't look like altruism, but nelson mandela fought for armed struggle, was prepared to kill and trained in the army to get where he got too.

and you think kanye doesn't forgive arsehole white folk every day of his life? he still releases music and talks to the white press doesn't he? the fact that he spoke to jimmy kimmel again instead of sending a molotov through his window.

i consider kim kardashian to be the shrewdest business woman on the face of the earth right now and actually i'm glad they're married. 
ok, so i really didn't understand their attraction at first. especially because, well, amber rose is fucking hot. but now i get it. 

kim has a great body. and she knows that the reality of patriarchal, media-run world we live in, that is some serious capital. she has used that. she has made a business decision to use her image, her body, her iconography to play to the masses who drink it up. she sold it and everyone bought it.

if it didn't work, and that wasn't the case, she wouldn't be loaded. and featured in every fucking magazine. that woman has CONTROL over shit. 

it's not my basket, really. but it's a choice she made. she is not a victim to men and their gaze, women and our insecurity. she's playing it and that, in the business world, is ACUMEN. not immorality or sluttishness. yes, i would like her to not be feeding the patriarchal bullshit, but she isn't the only woman on the planet and patriarchy is bigger than her.

and, as he mentioned in that zane lowe interview (where i wanted to throttle zane lowe), she has money and power. of her own. 
she doesn't need it from a man. she doesn't need it from her man. 
she doesn't need to control him, or manipulate him. 
and he is so secure in his power that he isn't threatened by it. not one bit! how many men do you know who are not threatened by a woman who doesn't need him. especially given the kind of bullshit comments her accounts gets every day. and her image is all over the place. 
how many in the forbes top 100 you think can handle that? how about rockstars like mick jagger, rod stewart, powerful men like charles saatchi, anyone? 

and all the pisstaking of bound 2? you are showing us up, white-people, as petty insecure types who need 'satire' as a means to expunge our own lack of understanding and reluctance to not be at the forefront of dictating what's 'good, cool, interesting, or desirable'. 
it was laid out for us to fawn over.

it doesn't matter that he made a shit album.
anyone who remembers when 808 came out, you'll remember that everyone was OVER the auto-tune. t-pain killed it for everyone, kanye included. no-one was into it. late registration had been a HIT. it bombed.

but even if it was the worst album - he fucking came back with my beautiful dark twisted fantasy. one of the best albums of the last 5 years. seriously. he failed. and came back with a vengeance. he missed a drop shot and came back with a slam dunk over the musical equivalent of le bron james. in other instances - perhaps the socially acceptable forums for black champions like boxing or basketball, he would be a CHAMPION. even if he spent the whole time running his mouth.

it's easy to call someone crazy or an ego-maniac. 
that's like calling a woman ugly or fat. 
it's the go-to for keeping someone down at a level that you have some control over, where you feel like you're part of the game. 

but what if he's not? 
why do you/we need him to be crazy so badly? 
how does it serve you/us/humankind, for him to be 'humble?'. because steve jobs was humble?

and it's not easy to call out the awful people who truly have a bad effect on others' lives, so sometimes we find people called scapegoats.

does kanye oppress people? 
does he use people without power as a stepping stone for his own? 
does he steal ideas? 
rape/kill/decimate people or their land/livelihood? write it into law?
is he in a position of trust which he has abused just because he can?

what if the only reason you cannot stand kanye and his ranting and raving - his crazy - is because he's a rich powerful black man with lots of money and who doesn't need you and who sometimes calls it like it is? 

03 day three

a few years ago, i made a small shrine. well, the drawing of a shrine because i was still a nomad. but it was a shrine to the people - the artists who i think are great - who have perserverence and dedication and are a little bit mad, but make the world a better place by challenging us. 
patti smith, kanye west and louise bourgeois are on that shrine. 
this post is a little candle in front of that shrine.

listen, kanye is not perfect. his free use of homophobic language makes me ill and the painting of 'bitches'  in the way that he does is not cool. 

but based on the vitriol that i have seen coming from friends and colleagues lately - reposting fake interviews and fake videos of him kicking this shit out of papparazzi, slating his recent videos and posting every kind of pisstake possible, posting such angry 'crazy, overblown motherfucker' type shit about the 'crazy' on the BBC interview, the opinionated tweets of 'oh puhlease' from his last tour and reposting of the jimmy kimmel 'satire'? 

guys, you're champing at easy bits and circling in lynchmob territory.

and if you think i'm crazy after this, fine. 
i'm really ok with it. i'm happy to live in a bubble with kanye west being the greatest thing in the world and you worshipping the ground of the pope, or anthony robbins or nikki sixx or even steve jobs. same as it ever was.

*this is my favourite backlash from the huffington post: "The last thing I would want to happen to my daughter is some crazy, drunk, black guy in a leather shirt to come up and cut her off at an awards ceremony" << really? i could think of a lot worse fucking things to happen to her, sir.


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