Kanye’s duality leaves fans questioning his motives


By Isaiah Reynolds, Columnist

For years, Kanye West has created controversy and started conversations, often coming in the form of his erratic tweets. In these tweets, West has announced the release dates for his and others’ upcoming projects, posted prototypes of his fashion merchandise and released thoughts from his “philosophy book,” which he has named his collection of tweets. West also claims he no longer wishes to be No. 1. His new desire is “to be water,” according to a Hollywood Reporter interview.

West’s tweets have amassed thousands of reactions across the internet.

Responses to West’s tweets reached a peak when he tweeted, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.” Owens is a black conservative political commentator and critic of Black Lives Matter. She, along with many other conservative figures, rallied in support of West, who has also vocalized support for Donald Trump within the past couple of years.

Owens has criticized Black Lives Matter protesters as “whiners” who have adopted what she calls a “victim mentality,” as opposed to her own “victor mentality.” Drawing a sanctimonious and superfluous division between black individuals is one of the last things needed to unify the community, one of Owens’ so-called objectives. This kind of respectability politics is a dangerous rhetoric that fails to accurately acknowledge the root and current evolution of past race issues.

West’s current behavior and support of Owens and Trump seems inconsistent with his past actions. Today’s Kanye doesn’t seem to be the same “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” Kanye from 2005. He’s covered topics in songs about the racism behind the crack cocaine epidemic, the corruption of the private prison system in “New Slaves” and police harassment against African-Americans. Considering his history, West’s conflicting messages border hypocrisy.

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    Even on his Twitter feed, West’s hypocrisy is evident in his anti-capitalist rants and contrasting pictures of his merchandise that will likely sell for upwards of $1,000.

    Many attribute West’s episodes of absurdity to his unresolved mental health issues that followed the unexpected death of his mother in 2007. However, it’s dangerous to assume any disagreeable or erratic behavior is related to some kind of health issue.

    The musical work of West and his persona have begun to diverge. Amanda Petrusich of The New Yorker asks, “are an artist and his work so intertwined as to become inseparable, indistinct?” The differentiation questions the authenticity of contrasting political views presented during West’s musical reign.

    Remaining an enigma and provoking the masses seems to be a strategic method when you have two albums and a new season of your clothing brand soon being released. Regardless of rationale, Kanye West’s presence continues to leave us with more questions than answers.

    Isaiah is a sophomore in Media.

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