An Ode To Kanye’s Decade of Artistic Resilience
When Ye dropped his 2010 blockbuster masterpiece, “My Beautiful, Dark Twisted Fantasy,” it could only be best described as the sublime reveal, that ominously gifted the beginning of what turned out to be a prolifically tumultous decade.
And after much reflection that seriously weighs the highlights of crippling monolithic assessments and expectations, we can conclude that Kanye’s most majestic album to date, is also the vivid blueprint of what will enduringly serve as the heightened soundtrack of authentic artistry at its best.
My fandom with Jay Z’s on and off again “brother from another mother” has become more personal and even precious, in the midst of vehement “cancellations” and the generalized proclamations, that assert how the Chicago-proud rapper, designer, and #MAGA-wearing “Trumpster,” has irretrievably lost his damn mind.
Kanye’s cultural footsteps have taken a maddening detour from the “Messiah-like” journey that launched his brand decades ago, and propelled the star-making trajectory, that perfectly matured from heightened exposure to vibrant characteristics that are now blindingly offensive to crowds of disapprovers.
When he accused President George Bush of not liking Black people for the whole world to see, he absolutely meant it.
And when Kanye repeatedly declares himself “a genius,” he’s not asking or even expecting cosigns, because the chatter and elongated Twitter threads won’t alter his beliefs.
That has to be the most infuriating and enviable aspect of a devotionally selfish artist, who is completely unbothered and purposely negligent when it comes to the compulsory agent of caring a great deal about the erratic temps, that thrive from that wielded power of unpredictability.
This is why we must consider the precious gems that are immune to the scathing community of evaluators. They possess the in-built code of self-preservation at all costs.
We have to agree that this stifling climate of suffocating perfection, that obsessively rates the lucky streak of exhibitors, who contain the inhuman cells of infallibility, has more to do with misplaced insecurities of a collective. They righteously form into beastly attack stations, hitting from all corners of the universe.
We are closing out the decade with a “fuck you” to formidable creators, who aren’t melting from the heat of mob mentality, as the ordainment falls on the fresh supply of newbies, who are trendy enough to warrant that blessing.
It’s happening now with Lena Waithe, as she stoically weathers the unexpected storm that was borne from her cinematic debut. Queen & Slim, which was meant to be the love letter to her community, but has drastically turned into an unfolding nightmare.
The character assassinations on Twitter by combative engagers has gone too far. It even includes screenshots of the script that Waithe wrote, based on the story that she helped conceived. She’s mercilessly mocked by the same folks who still believe in the validity of #OscarsSoWhite, and yet torment the Black creatives, who are lucky recipients of that evolving movement.
Things are so bad that we can’t respectfully disagree in a space that should accommodate healthy debates that don’t have to scornfully hit below the belt, especially when one of us is bleeding out for the all to see.
Tiffany Haddish is another artist to the core, who has been branded with labels that are meant to ridicule her station as the “tacky” Black woman comedian, who is just too crude for her own good. Or maybe it’s the fact that she’s been hustling for a minute, and finally has the key to the kingdom.
We’re not impressed by the outdated concept of “working hard for your money,” because it stifles the new and improved mantra of the “overnight success” that magically happens after a couple of clicks or the necessary endorsement that comes with numbers, and red hearts from faceless wooers.
Kanye West deserves an homage to his enviable resilience as the lone star who is euphoric about his artistry in a way that pisses people off because of the unpredictability that he presents without room for flexibility.
Ye’s blueprint for survival is drawn from his transformative footsteps that permits the indulgence in the themes that direct the pathway to the unexpected and overtly theatrical.
True artists are addicted to provocation in every form that beckons, which is why the experimental phase that’s still ongoing with the makeshift ceremony of “Sunday Service,” was a genius concept that was meant to ruffle feathers.
Kanye doesn’t do what he does to fuck with us, because that would imply that he actually cares about the “cancellations,” and the advice from those who’ve diagnosed and shamed his mental state.
From his newly-staged religious opera to the recently released ninth album, “Jesus Is King,” Ye is thoroughly immersed in the privilege of his artistry in ways that have become direly extinct.
Spirited discussions about how a once-revered cultural icon, suddenly bolted from our grasp with unforgivable traitorousness, continues to thrive in the ironically dysfunctional public square,
And there are enough of us who are silently in awe, and heartedly gratified by the staying power of a renowned visionary, who is immune to the handicaps that will prevent the arrival of future replicants.
As this decade winds down with the foreboding promise of how we will have to fight for the right to exist, under the terms that aren’t applicable to the viral footprint of judgment calls, that won’t tolerate the audacity of independent thinkers — we also have to contend with the the dying breed of one-of-a-kind creators.
Kanye is far from perfect, but he’s perfectly outfitted to last.
That’s the invaluable characteristic that the 2010s distributed and callously took away.
We’ve being trained to toss away anything and anybody with the casual disdain that makes it impossible to celebrate the humanness that inspires profoundness. Those elements directed the durable gems that are typically retained for the identification as classics.
Of course there are lines that can’t be crossed, and crimes that are serious enough for permanent banishment, and those scenarios and the villains attached, clearly standout from the pack of admissible contenders.
But it’s problematic when we lose our ability to make reasonable summations that aren’t hampered by the unfair ultimatum of “all or nothing.”
If we don’t have the freedom to be creatively expressive, even when our best intentions are marred by a brief or even lasting malfunction, how can we expect generations to come to comprehend the basic life lessons, that require repeatedly rising up from the ashes.
Kanye West is a celebrated troublemaker, who has done and said things that do warrant scathing reviews, and for better or worse, we can’t discard him.
And the natural high that he gets from feeding and successfully implementing his artistic endeavors, is the infectious display of individualism against all odds, that ailing souls desperately need for nourishment.
It’s not an excuse to give him a pass or righteously downplay his real life struggles.
We just want to maintain access to the nostalgic items that secured the habits that do die hard.
We have to say stronger in these streets!