Why I Wish Kanye West and His Entourage Were Obsolete

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 at 10:14 PM
Why I Wish Kanye West and His Entourage Were Obsolete by Emma Giering
Kanye West has put out eight albums since 2004.

“BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!” read the grammatically incorrect, all caps and unapologetic, four exclamation marks tweet. That was the moment I realized I finally needed to stop guiltily jamming to “Gold Digger” and accept reality: Kanye West is a disgusting human being, and by listening to his music, we’re all just fueling the fire, the ego, of someone who doesn’t deserve to have a recording contract.

In talking about Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and the colossal train wreck that is the trajectory of their existence, I’m breaking a few of my own rules. The first rule I’m breaking? Wasting print media’s precious ink on two people who are arguably the world’s most disinteresting phonies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been online to see trending photos of Kim Kardashian’s only asset, her silicon body, taken from a variation of angles. People actually click on this garbage? There are children dying, a political system in shambles and school systems that are consistently being underfunded, but somehow the glossy Vanity Fair cover spreads of Kim Kardashian fully unclothed take precedent? And then there are the people who actually subscribe to the Wests’ brand of materialistic filth, people who follow them on Twitter or watch “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

Can you imagine how utterly empty their lives must be to care about Kim crying over what size her new pool is? Hours and hours of people in the back seat of a Rolls Royce, staring at their phones, contemplating Jean Royére armchairs or apologizing to someone. People having pretend-arguments about being disrespected, sipping iced coffees. It’s mind-boggling to me that this show has high enough ratings to function.

And yet, this article isn’t really about Kim. It’s more about Kanye in reflection on his new album, an album that I’m thoroughly convinced the public should ignore. I think people, especially Americans, have a hard time separating the art from the artist. “He’s a terrible person,” some of my acquaintances will acquiesce, “but his music is dope.” The thing these people I run into fail to remember is that buying a Kanye song is contributing a dollar to the lifestyle, rhetoric, and agenda he floats into the social ether. I think the only way you can accept the message Kanye ruthlessly projects is to numb your senses to the weight of reality — to the actuality of your Yeezy trainers being stitched by children in third world countries and being sold at five times their production value; to the ignorant and ill-informed controversial hate he spews to rake in public interest and more listeners; to the financial lie he lives that tells every mediocre suburban youth that happiness is two steps removed from marble counter tops and the best car money can buy. And it’s not like Kanye has been irregularly loathsome, his god-complex has regular flare ups.

Apparently, last week was Kanye’s Worst Week and nobody told me, which was okay, because I didn’t want to or need to know. I don’t think anyone told Kanye either; he just forced himself into the public consciousness whether we wanted it or not. The whole West/Kardashian entourage seems to enjoy doing that. I don’t usually do much investigative digging into the lives of celebrities, mostly because they’re chocked full of irrelevant basketball games or fashion shows. But, to encourage you not to listen to or generate hype over the new Kanye album, I, for you dear reader, plunged into the unsavory world of the inconceivably ultrafamous to bring to you the engorged and repulsive underbelly of misattributed fame.

Let’s review the last week in the life of Kanye West.

Feb. 10: At an album release party/fashion show in NYC, he announced he’s creating a video game about his late mother “traveling through the gates of heaven.” Cue collective eye-roll at mediocre people who have enough capital to make their “avantgarde” video games.

Feb. 11: He rented out Madison Square Garden and stocked it with 700 models to promote his clothing line and release his new album at the same time. A line from one of his songs says, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that [explicative] famous.” I assume he’s talking about Taylor Swift, an equally untalented woman who has ridden the innocent-country-girl bandwagon, with whom he has an ongoing public feud. Never the less, the misogyny is not lost.

Feb.13: Kanye Worst was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, of whom he once said in a song in 2010, “[Explicative] SNL and the whole cast / tell ‘em Yeezy said they can kiss my whole [explicative].” At least it rhymed.

Feb. 13: Tweeted that he’s $53 million in debt. Not normal human debt, mind you. Most of the world's sophisticated investors separate their personal assets and savings from their venture funds. This, in some ways, explains how Donald Trump could file for bankruptcy multiple times and remain a billionaire. Instead of relying on his own capital, roughly 72 million dollars in album sales and concert tours, West is presumably seeking funding through bank loans or venture partners.

Feb. 14: Used Twitter to ask Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to invest a billion dollars in him. “I need access to more money to bring more beautiful ideas to the world.” Never did a musician make a more capitalistic comment.

Feb. 14: At the Grammy Awards, where Taylor Swift won one and Kanye West did not, again, Taylor Swift took a shot at Kanye by saying, “There are going to be people along the way who are going to try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”

Okay, I’m only four days into the last week of Kanye West’s life and I’m tired of him already. You’re getting the gist though, right? It’s just an endless stream of unadulterated, petty occurrences that somehow manage to draw the dregs of society into a realm of shared interest.

But that was a week, what has Kanye been up to over the years?

2004: Stormed out of the American Music Awards after another artist won the Best New Artist award.

2005: During a live televised fundraising concert for Hurricane Katrina, Kanye Worst took the stage with comedian/actor Mike Myers and went completely off script on a one minute rant about the media’s portrayal of African-American survivors of the tragedy and concluded by saying, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It was just another moment where Kanye forgot that tact is a thing.

2006: At the MTV Europe Music Awards, he crashed the stage and launched into a profanity-laced rant after someone else won the Best Hip Hop Artist Award.

2009: Interrupted Taylor Swift on stage, who was accepting her MTV Music Award for best video, to rant that Beyonce deserved the award.

2013: Named his daughter North West. Poor kid.

You’ve got to give the man credit for consistency though. He’s dedicated. That’s over a decade of being an infamous public marauder. I can’t really say he’s the worst human being ever, because there’s still Bill Cosby and serial killers, but Kanye is definitely climbing that list.

Vice News reporter John Saward had one of the most profound insights into the West/Kardashian entourage when he wrote:

“To make a 448-page meditation on eyebrows, a show about closets and ignoring people, an Instagram populated with pictures of people taking a picture of you taking a picture of yourself, is to admit that you are fragile, desperate and ready to be consumed this way.”

The great news is that hip-hop is still a thriving genre regardless of West’s contributions. President Obama recently commented on Kendrick Lamar’s song “How Much a Dollar Cost,” saying it was his favorite song of 2015. There is an entire genre of rap dedicated to dealing with political disenfranchisement, the struggle for survival and the reality of an often times overly sensationalized America.

Here are three good songs to substitute for Kanye’s new album: “Reagan” by Killer Mike, “Uncle Same God Damn” by Bother Ali and “The Poverty of Philosophy” by Immortal Technique.

Listen, you might just hear something worthwhile.

Emma Giering is the Voices Editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at voices.spectator@gmail.com.

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