Yeezy Taught Me

Impact’s Barclay Bram-Shoemaker tells us why he loves all things Yeezy.

I love Kanye West.

Hands down, in my opinion there isn’t an artist as creative, brash or show stopping out there today. He really is a once in a generation perf…..

…“Now Barclay, I know you started, and I’m gonna let you finish, but I just wanted to say that…”

…Fair enough, the majority of people of whom I confess my deep-seated love for all things Yeezy tend to either turn away and pretend they didn’t hear me, or the more out-spoken tend to go off on a massive deluge about how much of a douchebag he is: a conceited and arrogant rapper so far up his own arse it’s a miracle he hasn’t suffocated.

Now, I will concede that the self-proclaimed “Loius Vuitton Don” has some gaping personality flaws; in fact, I will happily admit that he has more flaws than most apartment buildings, an ego so big that it arguably deserves a seat in the UN, and some of the most outrageous clothes this side of Lady Gaga. I’m also not condoning walking on stage at an award show, stealing the mic from the winner and crucifying them on stage. Sadly I’m not even referring to the Taylor Swift incident, I’m talking about the EMA’s in ’06 when he stormed on stage to tell Justice, the winners for best video, that not only does “the award show lose credibility when I don’t win”, but also that his video “cost a million dollars fam, it had Pam Anderson, and I jumped a canyon and shit”.

So yeah, I can understand where people are coming from when they tell me my love for Kanye is unfounded. However, what they are missing is that Kanye West the person, and Kanye West the artist, are two very distinct people, and I am in love with the latter. Kanye West the person is deeply troubled. Kanye West the artist is deeply talented.

From the first time I heard “All Falls Down”, I knew I had found an artist that I could really connect with; a rapper not just obsessed with the holy trinity of any standard thug artist; bitches, bling, and beating people down. Instead, in “Jesus Walks” he proclaims that, “I could rap about anything except for Jesus/that means sex, guns, lies, video tapes/but if I talk about God my record won’t get played?!”. Kanye West the artist is nothing if not candid, and raps about subjects as diverse as his mother, heartbreak, and dealing with his newfound fame. He is an artist of such incredible vision and pull that he managed to reunite the feuding Nas and Jay-z on “Late Registration”, long before they gave up their “hating”. He is also brave enough to bear his soul, broken and lost, in “808s and Heartbreaks”, which will surely go down in history as one of the quintessential break-up albums. A synthesised and ethereal departure from the sample happy, rap friendly Kanye of before, “808s” is an album of breath-taking honesty and emotion. His most recent release, “My Dark Twisted Fantasy” is easily my favourite album of 2010, and a return to the Kanye of old, a true showpiece, complete with a 30minute video montage.

When people tell me they hate Kanye West, I tend to tell them to go and see him live. If you really want to see Kanye the artist, then there is no better place to try and understand him.. Anyone who saw him at Coachella would have left astounded, having just seen the most visually arresting and engaging performances of the weekend. I have seen him three times, each has been completely different, and all of them have been so much more than listening to his greatest hits. In Hyde Park for example, he brought out 10 naked girls, all painted in gold, and at the start of “Good Life” illuminated the stage gold while thousands of golden streamers dropped on the crowd. It was golden, yeah.

I could go on for hours. But at the end of the day, the choice is yours. You can continue being a hater, or you can actually listen to his music and understand that sadly the ego is just a by-product. To quote the big man himself, “it’s hard to be humble when you’re stunting on a jumbotron”, and maybe he really does just use “my arrogance as esteem to power my dreams”.

Regardless, I still love you Yeezy.

Barclay Bram-Shoemaker


One Comment
  • rosiekynman
    23 April 2011 at 08:39
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    Kanye storming the stage. Enjoy.

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