The hypocrisy of Kanye West

RnB/Hip Hop | Friday 21st June 2013 | Conor

Kanye West has never been one to shy away from controversy, drawing upon the infamous ‘Taylor Swift incident,’ claiming George Bush to be inherently racist and comparing himself to Hitler at 2011’s Big Chill Festival. The whole Bush debacle led Kanye to do something he is not all too accustomed to, and he apologised. This isn’t the only presidential run-in that Kanye has experienced either, with Obama labelling the rapper as a ‘jackass.’

Watch Kanye go off script and cause controversy


 More recently, he has caused outrage concerning lyrics appearing on his latest album Yeezus (the title in itself not doing much to help his cause) referring to Parkinsons disease. As if that wasn’t enough, his firstborn child, mothered by Kim Kardashian, will go by the name North West. Where does Kanye draw the line between social commentary and idiocy? Does he even understand the concept that such a line exists? Perhaps a more poignant question however would be, do his antics detract from his political messages, which I’m sure are on the whole meant with the best intentions. Can we accept and agree with what comes from the mind of a man who likens himself to the Nazi German dictator?

In October 2011 Kanye dropped in to show his support to the Occupy Wall Street movement. You know the one. It’s the group who protested the unfair distribution of wealth within America using the slogan 'We are the 99%.' The other 1%, the horrendously wealthy 1% own 43% of America’s financial wealth. And it is in this latter group that Kanye falls. I guess the irony was lost on him.

During a New Zealand press conference, West stated ‘No! I don’t wanna fuckin’ be Christ-like. I want to be me-like.’ Yet on Yeezus track ‘I am a God’ he blurts his own self-importance through the line ‘I just talked to Jesus/He said, "What up Yeezus?... I know he the most high/But I am a close high." Oh yeah, and how can anyone forget that Rolling Stone cover from 2006?

 All of this after renouncing his Christian upbringing and stating that he is not affiliated to any faith.

Another famous incident was concerning his 2005 track ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone,’ a track deploring the exploitation Sierra Leone and its people for profit and material gain. Yet the intro to the song is by Chosan, a Sierra Leone born artist, who Kanye refused to compensate for his inclusion in the song.

Being a fan of Kanye’s music, his latest album was hard to swallow. Perhaps that is because I spend most of my waking hours reading far too deeply into pretty much every song I hear, although no one has to listen too deeply to Yeezus to recognise the hypocrisy. Black Slaves highlights the struggles that modern day black Americans face, whilst Kanye profits from every sale. If I was on a par with Charles Bukowski in terms of cynicism I could make a pun that ‘Kanye West doesn’t care about black people.’ Of course, that isn’t the truth before you all start lambasting me. I just think he is going about raising awareness of the issue in the wrong way. I am yet to have a discussion about the issues raised in Yeezus. All conversation seems to gravitate towards how much of an ass Kanye has become.

Earlier today we posted an article about whether politics has a place in music, which you can read here In the case of Kanye West, I can't help but feel he has gone too far in trying to get his political agenda across, and that the message is getting lost within Kanye's hypocrisy.

By Conor Giles