Kanye West’s ‘me against the world’ moment

“Your conscience should allow a physical manifestation of your subconscious but right now most people’s conscious is too affected by other people’s thoughts and it creates a disconnect from you doing what you actually feel now.” – Ye

Is it pure marketing genius, therapy or borderline insanity? Nearly two weeks ago and after a long hiatus, Kanye West reunited with the world of social media, which provides him a platform to engage his 27.9M follower on Twitter. He’s tweeted what many would dub controversial thoughts, touching on topics ranging from his family to, quizzically, his love for President Donald Trump. I don’t think anyone knew how impactful an expansion from 140 to 280 characters on Twitter could truly be until now.

West, 40, a Gemini, a husband, dad, a producer, rapper, and fashion designer who has a net worth of $160M, is among the most acclaimed rappers of the 21st century. And, he’s one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 100M digital downloads and 21M albums worldwide. It comes as no surprise that this infamous public figure has been referred to countless times as a king of hip-hop and the voice of the new millennium. So, why is one of the most prominent influencers of our culture being attacked at an all-time high? In his words, “We live in a time where people don’t respect people for being themselves, people respect people for following the general trend and consensus.” Love him or hate him, West has never been afraid of freedom of speech, freedom of thought and his ultimate favorite, freedom of expression.

From Jesus Christ to Tupac Shakur (who would rip into West for supporting the oppressor-in-chief ), many leaders who leave the biggest impact are misunderstood, even by those closest to them. John Legend, who spends time with West and his family, decided to personally let him know how he was feeling via text, which West decided to share on Twitter. Legend pointed out how stating his political views publicly and siding with the 45th President of the United States, whose policies have been unfavorable to those of color, can be viewed as betrayal to the ones who truly love and support him. Others like Azealia Banks and Snoop Dogg have choice words for the rapper.

Thank u @bosslady_ent Love u for being my rock and keeping me straight

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on

Of course, it was expected that his wife, Kim Kardashian West, would come to his defense. She tweeted, “Kanye is years ahead of his time.” This eventually sent followers and fans into a frenzy. In his absence, a fairly large amount of people have assumed that West had fallen into “The Sunken Place” of no return, a concept portrayed in Jordan Peele’s hit movie Get Out. Peele actually stated that West inspired him to do a sequel.

There’s a belief among social theorists that in order to create change, one must first experience the emotion of feeling very uncomfortable. It seems this is exactly what West is intentionally doing.

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on

Grammy Award-winning singer Frank Ocean shared this week a throwback moment on Tumblr referencing West saying, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” It was a pivotal moment for West’s career. It’s also why a multitude of people are confused about West’s bromance with Trump and the Chicago native showcasing an autographed “Make America Great Again” red trucker cap. Should one’s personal beliefs be  sufficient reason to be condemned? Or, are we allowed to agree to disagree like Chance The Rapper did by stating he still respects West even though he articulated his not-so-positive opinion of former President Barack Obama, whom Chance The Rapper greatly idolizes. C’mon now, if Chance The Rapper can still be so optimistic through it all, doesn’t that mean there is still some hope for the rest of us?

Somewhere, there is a young boy with a pair of headphones rocking out to that chunky cheek, backpack wearing “College Dropout” Yeezy that we all fell in love with. I am praying for him and millions of others just like him, that Yeezy is growing for the best and that his future actions make magical sense of what the world is seeing now and somehow we remember just why he’s just so damn matchless. —shaenna taylor

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