Right now, dozens of music nerds, people who really liked Beck in the 1990s, irate folks who like regular-flavoured chips and people who watched a video clip for 30 seconds, really don’t.
“Dear Internet,” they’re writing. “I am SHOCKED and APPALLED by Kanye’s rude behavior at the Grammys. Also he doesn’t play an instrument! He’s not even a musician!”
What’s got their FB rage burning hotter than the Great Vaccination/Anti-Vaccination Internet War of 2015, is the special moment when he interrupted Beck’s acceptance speech to announce the real prize should go to Beyoncé’s. I mean, the Queen of the World probably is doing a-okay without it, but whatever, he probably had a point. I mean, we all can appreciate the fact the Grammy voters are, um, 1000 per cent out of touch with the rest of the popular universe.
“Even though she’s one of the biggest music artists in the world, Beyoncé’s self-titled album is actually pretty uncompromising and experimental for a mainstream release,” writes Roland Pemberton on The Metraton. “One of its biggest hits, ‘***Flawless’, samples Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking about feminism. On this album, she also openly embraced the black music that is actually relevant today: trap and ratchet, two popular rap subgenres that are apparently considered too lowly or base to be appreciated by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, a group of 13,000 voters who probably think the three members of Migos are Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short.”
Anyway, for the 15 people who read this blog, including my mom – hi mom – here are the reasons I love Kanye and you should too. (Maybe that’s the name of my future autobiography.)
1. He’s a musician; a good one. Maybe you don’t like the genre – no problem. But if you take a few moments to evaluate the artistry it takes to come up with lyrics like his, I’m sure that you can remove your personal tastes from the equation and appreciate his talent on its own merit.
A sample: “I went to the malls and I balled too hard/ ‘Oh my god is that a black card?’/ I turned around and replied, ‘Why, yes/ But I prefer the term African-American Express'” - clever, pointed and perfectly captured thoughts in just a few lines.
2. It’s embarrassing, but his collaboration with Paul McCartney – Only One – made me have feelings.
3. He provides comedian Aziz Ansari with wonderful material AND is respectful of performers. When Aziz found himself doing a show for Kanye and a few of his friend at Kanye’s own house, this happened: “My favorite part was when every once in a while, somebody would be in the kitchen making a drink and they’d make a little noise, and Kanye would jump up and yell, ‘Yo! Shut the f— up! Homey’s over here trying to tell some jokes!’ Which is the best thing anybody has ever yelled at a comedy show.”
4. Have you SEEN his fashion designs? Guys, they are crazy. I mean, not, like, good crazy, but crazy. It’s entertaining.
5. The time he basically said “suck it, Seacrest” without saying “suck it, Seacrest”. The Ken Doll that is Ryan Seacrest insinuated Kanye’s many pursuits were the result of Attention Deficit Disorder and said “Attention disorder is a good thing” Kanye simply replied “It’s also just called … thinking.” I laughed and laughed and watched this Vine a thousand times.
6. When he went to the Waffle House and made this face.
7. I think the Beatles are fine and everything, but Paul McCartney’s voice makes me want to tear my ears off. However, I mind him less when Kanye is around.
8. When Kanye was young he rap battled with some kid named Chris and, despite carefully prepping and practicing, the other kid won by rapping “Yo, my name is Chris. You smell like piss.” And, as my friend Paul says, cue this scene: “Little Kanye walks out of the school cafeteria and initiates his plan for world domination.” And guess what. HE WAS SUCCESSFUL.
9. He’s not boring. Are you tired of being bored? I’m tired of being bored. He’s interesting. He’s got things to say. He’s a ridiculous peacock, which is better than being a run-of-the-mill pigeon.
10. Taylor Swift is great at marketing. Remember all those fan hugs and Christmas gifts (guys, I like Taylor, but can we just all admit that she probably did not wrap all those gifts herself despite what her little “home movie” seems to show?). Know who’s better at marketing than Taylor? Kanye. He’s diversified, extending his brand to a number of outlets, including clothing. He’s partnered with existing brands (McCartney) to reach new audiences and fan bases. He understands he needs to use digital strategies to continue building his brand. Currently, his website features his new video, linking directly to iTunes, where you can – of course – purchase Only One for $1.29. He’s also got people talking about him, a lot. Some are against his tactics, some are for – but they’re talking about him, debating his work, watching video clips and listening to his music for a refresher. He’s winning.