However, as Kanye West (Ye) chooses social self-destruction as his path, many on the political right are choosing to defend the verbal noose he placed around his career’s neck. Others have chosen to take the route of classifying him as a mentally disturbed man which removes his accountability for his rhetoric.
Kanye, throughout his career, has been defined by his bombastic nature, defiance to conform, and contrarian attitude. When people doubt him, he doubles down on his efforts and typically wins in the end. When detractors tell him he shouldn’t do something, he does it again with an audacious attitude as he resents attempts to restrict him.
During his appearance on Alex Jones’ show, you saw the performative version of Kanye, who masks his emotions with theatrics to distract the viewers from what I believe is the root of Kanye’s behavior: a need for acceptance.
One of the moments I remember from Kanye’s recent media tour was when he was interviewed by Tucker Carlson, and he described how it hurt him to not grow up with his father and later found out how his mother purposely prevented him from a father-son bond throughout his childhood.
We all want to feel accepted, and the first people who are supposed to accept us are our parents. But for young men, being disconnected from your most important male figure lends itself to potentially seeking approval from non-familial flawed men.
Fathers are not only teachers of masculine behavior and reassurers of esteem for their children, but they also instruct their children on the importance of boundaries. For example, rough-and-tumble play is a fun method for fathers to show their children that there are physical limits and that when they are crossed, there are repercussions.
When I see Kanye behaving in an outlandish manner, I can’t help but see a boy who was never taught there are boundaries to his behavior and consequences for crossing those social borders. When he interrupted Taylor Swift during the MTV Video Music Awards to say that Beyonce was the greatest artist of all time, that was Kanye not realizing this was a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed.
Even more so, that was his way of gaining male approval from Beyonce’s husband and founder of the label he was signed to, Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z.
Kanye’s political awakening as a Trump supporter was amplified not because of his strong conservative principles at the time but his intense dissatisfaction with being told what he shouldn’t do. If Kanye was to put on the MAGA hat and people clapped for him, he likely would have taken it off and moved on. His lack of receiving acceptance for his political position only amplified his behavior.
You don’t want him to wear the hat? Not only will he wear Trump’s hat but he’s going to the white house to meet Trump, what are you going to do about it now?
Kanye’s current position of leaning into antisemitic tropes is his way of doubling down on his “defcon 3” tweet. When people reacted negatively to it, he wasn’t going to apologize but he was going to do what he’s always done, amplify his rhetoric into an arena that I truly believe he knows very little about.
Kanye sounds as if he just discovered 4chan weeks prior as he pals around with Nick Fuentes on a private jet. If you’re going to call him antisemitic, he’s going to lean into it, no matter how irresponsible or destructive it is to his brand. For every snarky comment and sideshow joke he makes on a podcast, he gets male approval from Nick Fuentes with a smirk and a giggle.
Now, some on the political right feel the need to defend his positions and Kanye-whisper with translations of his meanings without understanding that much of his behavior stems from what he really believes and is amplified for the benefit of a public troll.
Every time he crosses a line, there is male validation nearby. Every time he crosses a line, he blames the line for being there.