I never loved Kanye.
I never rocked the pink polo and thought I was Kanye.
Therefore, I never really got the chance to genuinely miss the “old Kanye.”
Even though I was never a true stan, I’m still a fan. I’ve always appreciated the ruthless confidence he has toward himself and his talent, as well as the unabashed arrogance and blatant honesty he continues to utilize in fueling his success.
He capitalized off this perceived grandiose, god-like persona for himself and slapped the name Yeezus on it. Regardless of the moniker’s true meaning, Ye-is-us—it allegedly represents his self-acclaimed stance of being “for the people”—we took it as we pleased. And what we pleased was to inadvertently label him a demigod through our tweets and our search to find the next deity on earth—someone bigger than us, a person whom we could aspire to embody.
But what happens when we find out that our god of choice is actually human? When we discover that he can’t withstand any and everything?
Kanye Omari West made 1,395 beats over the course of just three summers. He became cultured at the early age of 10, spending a year in China with his mother while she taught at Nanjing University. He caught our hearts and ears with properly-executed public and televised freestyles and battles. He spoke for the masses when no one else wanted to or had the capacity to do so. He believed in and fought for his vision while everyone laughed. He directly and indirectly experienced death and near-death occurrences on three too many levels for one man to handle: his nearly-fatal car wreck that left the MC’s jaw wired shut, his mother’s death dealt by the blade of the nip-and-tuck knife, and his wife Kim’s run-in with law-defying citizens in Paris. He’s had to battle with losing his mother and best friend and almost losing his own life and the life of his other half, all while under the scrutiny of the public eye with assistance of wolves that take residence at culture-reporting media outlets.
Just before news broke that Yeezy was hospitalized due to exhaustion-caused paranoia, his rant at a Saint Pablo show stop in Sacramento went viral. We labeled him a brat, said he needed to calm down from his “hissy fit,” and accused him of using this opportunity as an outlet to recoup his debt. But, even as an outsider who doesn’t have a natural adoring inclination toward the icon nor knows him personally, I recognized that this wasn’t a regular rant—it was alarming.
HERE IS SOMETHING TO TO THINK ABOUT @kanyewest WE JUST SPENT $300 PLUS ON TONIGHT IN TICKETS ALONE NOT INCLUDING FOOD, PARKING, MERCH, AND EVERYTHING ELSE AND YOU COME ON AN HOUR AND HALF LATE PLAY ONE SONG STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SECOND AND GO ON A TWENTY MINUTE RANT ABOUT BULLSHIT JUST TO DROP THE MICROPHONE AND SAY THE SHOW IS OVER AND TO LEAVE?!? IM PISSED 😡 YOU MADE A FOOL OUT OF YOURSELF NEVER WILL I SPEND ANOTHER PENNY ON YOU OR ANOTHER SECOND LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC. #saintpablotour #kanyewest #kanyewestconcert
Colleagues, classmates and friends alike expressed their concerning thoughts on being reimbursed if they were in attendance that Saturday night (Nov. 19). But the real source of my worry was the state of his mental health. Likely in part by my disdain toward his Yeezus guise before actually knowing the meaning, I’ve always seen Kanye as a man, never a god. And men go through emotional states linked to the human nature, much like depression and paranoia. So while the news of Kanye hit Saturday of his updated mental state, I was neither surprised nor taken aback like some others were.
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We all just witnessed Kid Cudi fight his way through a similar battle: ranting resulting in hospitalization. I would think that’d make us, as a collective culture, a little more sympathetic to the possible repercussions that could’ve—and did—transpire from the Chicago native’s actions. The reality of this situation is that perhaps our beloved hip-hop culture still isn’t as perceptive to the possibility of mental health discrepancies as our progression over the years may have led us to believe. But regardless of our progression, or lack thereof, mental health is very real. The state of one’s mental health following the loss of a loved one, especially one as close as a parent, is all too real for comfort.
I, gratefully, still have both of my parents in my life. But there are people who I hold dear to my heart that have experienced the loss of one, or both, of their parents. Some of these people allowed themselves to move past it and continue their day-to-day lives as once before, yet holding the cherished memories of their mothers and fathers close to their hearts. But I’ve also watched two siblings experience the loss of their mother at a tender age and travel down completely different roads. One allowing the loss to fuel the depth of her love and care for those around her, even offering it to people she doesn’t know who are in much need of it. The other temporarily allowed the death to cast a dark cloud over his life, deterring him from what was his destined path. I’ve even watched the darkness consume some to the point that they felt it necessary to use themselves as a living sacrifice for the pain.
We don’t know how heavy a burden it is for Mr. West to live through the anniversary of his fallen angel for the ninth year to date, this month. We’re unaware of how hard it is for West to see himself as “too wild,” perceivably not living up to the man his mother would’ve been proud of. We can’t comprehend how much of a blow it was to see he and his wife’s lives being threatened by the very same “Wolves” he expresses contempt for in his T.L.O.P. track. How it must’ve been to watch their fame and fortune pose a threat to their safety and well-being; the same thing he once used to blame for his mother’s death. We’re incapable of fully empathizing with how heavy a cloud his debt has cast over all his problems, precipitating a drop of burden on his life every day.
My perception is just that, a perception. Just because I’m a writer for a credited news source doesn’t justify my perception as factual. While I’ve never felt the impact of Yeezus as much as his worshipping Stans have, I did feel an inclination to provide a more humanizing narrative to his fragile state. Especially considering my sympathy due to experiences with similar situations amongst my loved ones both alive and fallen.
For the wolves, the stans, the haters and appreciators, don’t miss the “old Kanye,” he never left. He’s still here with a little extra, publicized baggage. The question at hand now is, to quote the “Mortal Man” himself: “When sh*t hit the fan, is you still a fan?”