Why Kanye West Enjoys Being “Ye”
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has kicked SNL to the curb — or maybe I really am in the minority, either way, when it was announced that Kanye West would be the musical guest for the season premiere — I was tempted to break with tradition.
As luck would have it, there was no way I could accommodate the celebrated “Trumpfest” featuring live acts that provide the laughs to an ongoing national crisis that’s anything but hilarious. Of course it’s quite possible that I’ve gotten crankier in my advanced age — or maybe it’s hard to imagine Saturday Night Live trending with such mass appeal — if we weren’t saddled with a pompous oaf as president.
It might seem like harmless fun to produce back-to-back skits that aim to reduce our horrific existence to light-hearted fare — starring the best in the business, and vibrant musical interludes to help us catch our breath for the grand finale — but these times are abhorrently ratcheted. And from my unfiltered view — the stakes are way too high for the ease with which we can enjoy the antics of comedic fodder at the expense of a privileged White supremacist.
But this isn’t about the reality star turned real life villain, it’s all about the beloved rapper turned social pariah, who was invited to the party that would ultimately reactivate his imminent banishment.
Kanye West did some shit during his segments that gave audience and viewers reasons to be very afraid. His performances didn’t resemble the gems from the good old days and his rant at the end of it all, was further indication that the artist who rightfully proclaimed himself “a genius” back when such a thing was appreciated — might be back in the trenches of the “sunken place.”
Thing only got worse when a series of tweets showcasing the red MAGA hat, became public and initiated the continuation of “The Ye Show,” starring Kanye, and those who can’t resist fighting for starring roles that promise memorable performances.
So yeah, expectedly, everyone has something to add to the script that highlights the celebrated downfall of the main character, who has generously given so much, and just wants the freedom to be outlandishly controversial in return.
Aside from the usual suspects of eager users competing for the glory of viral tweets that contain the perfect summation of events or memes that dramatize the scandalous moments of a tormented soul — who has clearly lost his shit, A-listers also chimed in. Actor Chris Evans who used his Captain America persona to blast Ye to “smithereens,” and singer Lana Del Rey, who apparently sang at the wedding of Kimye — also felt the need to put her social skills to good use.
There have been other notables who have expressed their dismay and concern for their fallen comrade, including Swizz Beatz, T.I, and Meek Mill, and Azealia Banks, who was consistent with her refusal to abandon all thought processing for the pleasure of maintaining the status quo.
Perhaps, Banks unwillingness to allow Lana Del Rey’s input to go unchecked, stems from her personal battles with the maddening crowd, and how the verbal abuse she’s received from Black men, who have no qualms focusing their hate on her physicality — seems to be an acceptable method of publicly mocking Black women who look Black and have no business being in the game.
There’s no denying that Banks always crosses the line in the wars that she engages in, which makes her an easy target for the inhumane treatment she receives, and while her clap back at Del Rey wasn’t completely unfounded — she did manage to delve into murky territory that basically cancelled out her best intentions.
Here’s the thing, based on the ongoing circus around Kris Jenner’s son-in-law, and his penchant for unleashing the shit that makes heads spin and clicks — clicking — it’s not hard to figure out why Kanye West enjoys being “Ye.”
When it comes to my take on this whole thing, I’m admittedly selfish in my pursuits, because while I disapprove with Ye’s delivery — I can’t deny how validating it is, to watch him seamlessly expose this infuriatingly uninspiring era of performative art, that gives people the falsehood of their valiant efforts.
As I’ve observed my timeline within the past couple of months — I’ve noticed how the back-and-forth breeds the standard messaging from verified folks with the blue tick, who constantly remind me of why I wasn’t accepted into that society.
There’s the endorsed etiquette of what to say and how to say it, as it pertains to issues of great importance that blesses the very few and very popular with the badge of activism. They are awarded high profile careers and the designated seat at the table of media giants — that can’t enough of this never-ending season of “wokeness.”
There was a glitch in the system recently, when an announcement was made, and the reaction from the “wise men and women” seemed to deviate from the script, without warning — and for a moment — there was an elevation into the realm of individualism that was both refreshing and reassuring.
Ye has a unique way of presenting his thoughts, and the disregard for the arrangement that’s supposed to remain unruffled is not welcomed because of the threat to the institution of maintaining the language of order.
And when things do get out of order, the only thing to do is to cry foul and begin the ritual of entertainingly theorizing the human being who is damaged enough to be shamed and prodded, for the benefit of judges, who proceed to select the best of the best amongst the heartfelt expressions of betrayal.
The performances are staggeringly good, as the words assemble to demolish Ye’s bubbled delirium, but as profound as the speakers are, the one ingredient that’s tragically missing is the genuine humanness that used to be organically accessible, back when hugs and tears didn’t have to be staged with the coldness of emojis.
Ye may be breaking hearts with his bizarre behavior, but the real heartbreak lies in the way those who claim to care about the man they call a friend — seem to prefer the performative approach, as opposed to the more dignified route of discreetness.
If you’re really determined to rescue someone you care about from drowning in the abyss of dysfunction, I would imagine that the last thing you want to do is utilize the potency of social media as your gesture of choice, which only creates more disruption for the spotlighted heathen.
And if tweets and instagram posts are too seductive to resist, then it must be the lure of attention and how the need to maximize heightened episodes to secure your unblemished reputation and proven commitment to the “movement” — overtakes the need to surrender to the duty of being a loyal and trustworthy confidante.
When you reject phone calls and house calls in favor of using viral tweets and posts as the preferred mode of communication — you have to be willing to embrace your assholish tendencies.
And as for the White superstars who can’t resist the ceremony of speaking up for Black people who are weathering the storm that only Ye can amass — there’s the curiosity of why they remain silent when more pressing issues like the brutal slaying of a Black boy in a park — or the horrific shooting death of a Black man in his car — containing a little Black girl as witness — doesn’t drum up the same level of passionate retort and emotional investment.
One can never know for sure if Ye is buckling under the pressure of being surrounded by the First Family of Entertainment, or whether the loss of his mother has riddled his sense of being.
There’s also the possibility that Kanye West is merely pushing as many buttons as he can muster — all at once — as a way to boost the thrill of using him as a punching bag in modern times. This process generally involves crowding the space at the public square — and spewing out the rhetoric that incites immediate recognition — and the fame that can only be garnered on the heels of verbal stoning.
The attention for Ye will eventually die down depending on whether or not the audacity to be socially negligent takes another extended break — but what will always be expected is the interchangeable roles of the most pathetic show on earth — and how the rules require a feeding frenzy that devours us all — before spitting us out in indistinguishable bits.
And when you think about it that way — you have no choice but to say “Yay for Ye!”