Experience

Kanye West contradicts his former self

Alex Camilli, twitter.com/A_Carnation

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Kanye West is insane to some and inspirational to others, boasting a monumental ego making him susceptible to criticism. As an artist, West has been known for voicing opinions on a variety of political and racial issues with unwavering fan support –– until recently when he touched on a controversial topic that caught everyone off-guard. 

“You hear about slavery for 400 years, that sounds like a choice,” said West in the TMZ staffroom.

 In contrast to his consistent success of people gravitating toward him despite his strong views on equality, this has sparked controversy. Some fans are questioning his mental state and disassociating themselves with his art as a whole. As a result, unofficial monikers such as “Old Kanye” and “New Kanye” are being used to differentiate this duality: Old Kanye conveyed the hardships of people less privileged, while New Kanye has let his ego get the best of him.

Within his first album, “The College Dropout,” West incorporated lyrics that reveal grim lifestyles such as drug dealing, prejudice and the need for monetary gain. In the seventh track, “Jesus Walks,” he summarizes the stereotypical roles associated with a predominantly black community. 

“To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers, even the strippers, to the victims of welfare feel we livin’ in Hell here,” said West in the track.  

In addition, West became an accomplished record producer, idolized by a younger audience who appreciated his triumphant defeat of his past. Children who are born into poverty, or live with a single parent, are more likely to relate to West because of his similar upbringing. The fact he achieved status on his journey despite coming from nothing gives them hope.  

The Old Kanye targeted political figures such as the former president George W. Bush. In 2005, West appeared on NBC Universal, which was airing a concert for hurricane relief post Hurricane Katrina and made a comment that showed his drive to make his beliefs public. West said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

West released three more studio albums before going on tour for his most recent album at the time, “The Life of Pablo.” When he began touring he suffered from anxiety and sleep deprivation, which contributed to a mental breakdown that required cancelling the rest of the performances.

After his last show Nov. 19, 2016 he was persuaded to seek help at the UCLA Medical Center. He described how beneficial the experience was in a recent on-the-record interview with radio personality Charlemagne the God published May 1, 2018. 

“I think I’m in a stronger place than I ever was after the breakdown, or what I’d like to say the breakthrough,” West said.  

Since then he has returned to publications for interviews. At the TMZ offices he made his controversial comment on slavery. He became active on twitter, promoting that the world needs more free thinkers.  

West speaks about how he developed an addiction to opioids as a result of a liposuction procedure while he was hospitalized. In interviews he makes it apparent that he and President Donald Trump have maintained a friendship since the two met at Trump Tower in 2016. Singer John Legend made an attempt to sway West from nurturing his bond with Trump. 

“I hope you’ll reconsider aligning yourself with Trump. You’re way too powerful and influential to endorse who he is and what he stands for,” said Legend.  

West announced over social media that he has two future projects, one is a solo album titled “Love Everyone,” and the other with protégé Kid Cudi, titled “Kids See Ghost.”

Time will truly tell what West’s mindset actually is, because this has been a new side of his personality. West appears to be challenging the norm the only way he knows how, by going against any preconceived presumption about his past egotistic nature.

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Kanye West contradicts his former self