Where is the Culture At?

Kanye-West-on-Jimmy-Kimmel
by Dan Taverner

Kayne West will always be off the hook.

From his music, to his fashion, all of Kanye’s goals and achievements are monumental. He is not a man of small ambitions and whether you hate him or love him, the fierce positions people hold on either side of the argument should be testament enough to the scale and influence of his work.

But lately, Kanye West’s famous personalty has caused quite a buzz over his “ranting” interviews, most recently with BBC Radio’s Zane Lowe Zane Lowe and the resulting Twitter feud Jimmy Kimmel. The interview with BCC was true Kayne, all over the place, frenzied and not at all humble. On Jimmy Kimmel Live,  Kimmel mocked the interview replacing West with a child. West was not amused and sent off a barrage of tweets towards Kimmel. The two later made up, maybe, on Kimmel’s show where again Kayne let his opinions flow..

In both cases, Kanye displays his dissatisfaction with the culture surrounding rap, fashion, architecture; and his dissatisfaction with the culture surrounding our media, and how it is created to kill ambition and deter creative types, like himself. On Jimmy Kimmel, West voiced his views on the rules that society puts in place, “I refuse to follow those rules that society has set up in a way that they control people with low self-esteem…It’s about truth. It’s about information. It’s about awesomeness.”

Just as Yeezus was built out of frustration, Kanye makes it clear that he is fed up with his abilities being doubted, especially outside of the scope of music. Kanye West is so much more than only a musical artist and he is not afraid of telling you that. “I make music. I can do it. But I shouldn’t be limited to only one place of creativity,” he states to Zane Lowe. “Exactly what I did in music I want to apply to product, I want to apply to education…”

Kanye explained to Kimmel, in followup after the Twitter blowup, that his BBC interview and his new, somewhat disorganized views, are all about breaking down barriers: “I wanna make something; I wanna make the next Ralph Lauren…People don’t stand up and protect their dreams. People are too scared of getting spoofed.”

The confidence that Kanye West holds in everything that he pursues is nothing short of impressive. Many people hate him for this fact but the desire and passion that he possesses to break new grounds both sonically as well as culturally demands an outrageous sense of self-confidence.

Kanye-WestAs he explains on Kimmel, “Go listen to all my music, it’s the code to self-esteem; it’s the code to who you are. If you’re a Kanye West fan, you’re not a fan of me; you’re a fan of yourself. You will believe in yourself. I’m just the espresso. I’m just the shot in the morning to get you going, to make you believe that you can overcome that situation that you’re dealing with all the time.”

Kanye may, in fact, be a revolutionary for our times; a person to change the sound of rap; change the accessibility of fashion. Hell, based on the things said in his interviews, he may change the look of architecture. As he made clear to both interviewers: “I have reached the glass ceiling; as a creative person, as a celebrity.” This means that new, hopefully great, things are on the horizon for Kaye West.

Or, as many people have stated, this may just be a tantrum Kanye is throwing after failed relationships with Nike and other fashion labels. Is the Kanye Kardashian that we are seeing in the headlines and on the internet less interested in a revolution of culture and more interested in branding himself?

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