When Our Heroes Fail Us: Yeezy and Nasir
Kelis’ interview with Hollywood Unlocked mixed with Kanye’s political meltdown on twitter is bringing us to the precipice our rap heroes self-destruction before our eyes. In the age of social media, we have been privy to our rapper’s idiosyncrasies and demons. As we open that door, it’s a scary sight. These are things that were hidden and revealed long after an artists relevance or even lifetime. We’ve always been obsessed with celebrity, and now our ugly obsession is becoming a mirror to our equally ugly inner voyeur. How did we get to this point where two of our conscious personalities are an alleged domestic abuser and an avid supporter of white supremacy?
Kanye has garnered the most attention because of his ‘fire’ tweets in support of MAGA and #45. There is some granular level of truth to what he’s saying. We need more free thinkers. We need more people to challenge the status quo of what we think is right or even real. I interpret that as what’s he’s trying to illustrate. Because Kanye loves to be cryptic and loves the news cycle to be about him – he won’t clarify and gives us any type of explanation. He’ll speak in news bytes and think it makes perfect sense. Aligning himself with any of Donald Trump policies is idiotic – for anyone that is not white and/or rich. Yeezy being a Republican makes sense. He’s rich; he wants lower taxes. That’s often where the Republicans plant their flag.
This seems to be apart of a larger vision for him. He views Trump as a disrupter and through that lens he is correct For all intents and purposes 45 has disrupted our normal politics and brought a sense of chaos and negativity that hasn’t been seen in generations. While past presidents have worn their racism on their collars behind closed doors, Trump and his acolytes prefer to wear them out in the open. In an interview with Charlamagne the God, he said he views himself as a Trump and Bernie Sanders hybrid. He views both through that prism. In a most simplistic and nascent ideal – he’s partly right. Just getting a slightly macro view the difference between these people are night and day, and even that is being too generous. This is the problem with Kanye. He extrapolates the smallest of similarities into these grandiose ideas which have no concrete meaning behind them. He slaps a label of “free thinking” onto it. I can think 2+2=5 but the reality is it equals 4 and no amount of ‘free thinking’ can get me around that principle.
The Nas thing is one of the most disheartening discoveries. It brings me to the hypocrisy of my thoughts.
Harvey Weinstein. Bill Cosby. Russell Simmons. Louis CK.
No questions asked.
But Nas. Not Nasir. Not Mr. Black Girl Lost. How Sway? How can someone so invested in the upliftment of not just the black community but black women be an abuser? You have to ask yourself, how could he not be? He comes from a broken home in an underserved community from education to mental health. He became famous and wealthy at the age of 19 and was anointed the Savior of rap since.
How can we expect him to have any real awareness of anything? It’s not an excuse, its a statement of fact. At the same time — it’s up to him to emotionally grow from his upbringing. The fact that we are now just really hearing about this is more remarkable than anything. Kelis is such a credible witness I have a hard time suspending reality and saying she’s making this up. There is the custody battle that is brewing in the background which sets this interview up. She not only called him a domestic abuser she added the cherry on top of being a deadbeat dad. How can I reconcile the fact that the man who made “Illmatic,” the most important musical event in my life, is at the same time the type of person I detest.
It’s painful. It’s like that moment you find out Santa isn’t real.
The music is still timeless and important, but the man is flawed. While some will go as far as to say he is irredeemable, I don’t believe that. Mistakes can be made, but there needs to be an effort of correction, empathy, an apology. He doesn’t owe that to me. He owes that to his ex-wife and his son if these rumors are true. I don’t need him to go on an apology tour; I just want the man to get better so in turn, the music will continue to evolve.
Our heroes continue to fail us. Here’s to hoping their failures inspire true dialogue and betterment of mankind.
“They would rep but our heroes got their hands full” – Nas