I have a confession to make. I had not really paid attention to Kanye West until I saw him on NBC this past September, speaking at the live televised fundraiser for victims of hurricane Katrina.
Apparently he is a successful rap star, though I wouldn’t know because I try to avoid songs with lyrics that use expletives that make me cringe and bring about strange stares from people passing by in the streets. If you are a fan of his rap music, I think you should be concerned. It seems that Mr. West is embarking on another career, and it doesn’t involve making music videos or writing angry and violent songs. Kanye is now looking to become a politician and leave behind the gold diggers. That’s right, if you heard his live comments bashing the care of black Katrina victims, you can easily see how he is moving in that direction.
Kanye begins his monologue by saying “I hate the way they portray the US in the media.” (This, of course, from the man who repeatedly uses racial epitaphs in his music.) While it is unclear who ‘they’ and ‘us’ are referring to, I think it is safe to say that he is trying to make himself one with the population of people hurt by Katrina who happen to be black. I’m not sure how many black victims of Katrina there were wearing designer rugby shirts and cashing six figure checks, but maybe he saw a few that I didn’t.
A good politician takes advantage of every opportunity, and Kanye certainly tried to take advantage of his. A live TV feed was all he needed to make his personal views known to the world. Interesting, that the same political sentiments appear on his rap albums. Nothing like free publicity! It may have seemed that he had difficulty speaking, or had not planned his words very carefully but don’t be misled. The stammering and declining articulation resulted from him not being able to swear and curse as frequently as he is accustomed to in his rap music. I’m sure Kayne was aware that any expletive would risk ending the live broadcast, so he had to be careful not to swear.
Speaking without profanity is now a challenge for Kanye, and we need to be understanding of that as he hones his new career choice. As with any novice, there are some things that Kanye will need to do to improve his chances of becoming a successful politician.
The first is easy: know what in God’s name you are talking about. There is a fine line between being a politician and the local village idiot, a line easily crossed when you just don’t have a grasp of what is at hand. Second, if you’re going to speak at a fundraiser for one of the biggest catastrophes to hit our country, be sure to actually contribute to the fund raising yourself. There is almost no way to look more arrogant or self- centered than to neglect to contribute, or to babble about how you’re going to speak to your business manager about contributing at a later time. Yeah. Right. Third, try to remember that when people are starving or without food or shelter and their lives are endangered, they truly couldn’t care less about how one picture is captioned as to another. They want help, not an unsolicited political monologue.
So, good luck to Kanye and his political aspirations. Better yet, Kanye, don’t give up your day job.