Why is Kanye West so angry? That was a rhetorical question. It just seems that every time we see an image of Kanye West or watch him in interview, he looks like he wants to kill somebody. Does he now not have all he has dreamed of and more? Number one rock star on the planet (his words), big-time producer, a woman who not only makes all her own money but also gives him further publicity (that he doesn’t really need) on her family reality show, plus a beautiful kid who truly compliments his name on the weather vane? So this begs the question: What’s eating Kanye West?
In an interview with BBC Radio One’s DJ Zane Lowe, Kanye West sat in the interview hot seat in the studio and broadcast to the world that rap was the new rock and roll, followed by his claim that he was the number one rock star. Correct me if I am wrong, but is that not something for the public to decide? Hyping oneself up is hardly necessary and is not exactly ingratiating, especially when done with such arrogance that comes with a self-inflated ego.
Watching Zane Lowe with West in the studio, I could not help but wonder what exactly was going through Lowe’s head the entire time. Perhaps it was imagined, but to me it seemed like Lowe felt that he had bitten off more than he really wanted to. His face registered that feeling that comes with that mouthful of food your great aunt makes you try, and not wanting to appear rude, you oblige. But then you realize that there’s nowhere available to orally evacuate the inedible morsel of food without your great aunt seeing, so all that is left for you to do is to sit there and chew it all up while she watches.
But on the other hand, Lowe also looked like he was desperately trying to find something in West with which to identify, nodding at all the right moments and interjecting only at a time when West had taken a breath.
For the most part of the interview, I could barely understand what West was actually talking about. His choice of analogies was lost on me, it seems. But where he does appear be caught up in his apparent delusions of grandeur is with his claim to be a genius and that the only other entertainer on his level is Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson, in my opinion, nobody can touch, especially when it comes to talent, musicality, performance, vision and sensitivity. Michael Jackson is right up there with Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones, to name but a very few. Jackson had the innate ability to translate his vision into actuality, which is no easy feat, particularly when one begins to analyze the preliminary steps that he made in the preparation stages alone. Yes, he was a perfectionist, the traits of which West appears to also demonstrate in his duplicity of character, but Michael Jackson in that sense was actually taken seriously.
Forgive me for not lengthening the list of ‘who are our greatest artists,’ but if I did, I would never finish this article, instead it would lead me to go off on a tangent in lengthy explanations as to why. If I have left out other very real and talented musicians of our time (in fact, I know I have), I do apologize now. Perhaps you could leave a comment on your favorite artist of all time at the bottom of this page, in the comments section.
I digress. Kanye West may indeed be talented; he might have designed a line or two, or even worked with a rap star and a vocal legend or two. However, working with several artists in this way does not a genius make – not in my books – not by a long shot, particularly when you look at Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder or Quincy Jones’ historical and professional track records. The fact remains that West would do himself a great favor if he learned to turn on his filtering system from time to time (vis-à-vis his leaping on stage at Taylor Swift’s award acceptance speech, grabbing her microphone and proclaiming that the award should have gone to Beyonce), develop a sense of humor and even a thick skin, because goodness knows it is needed in this industry.
Instead of reacting to Jimmy Kimmel via Twitter in a less than mature manner than his actual 36 years of age should have allowed, perhaps he could show his maturity and not react at all. The antics of Jimmy Kimmel, who parodied West on his show, by hiring two kids to play the roles of West and Lowe in the BBC Radio Studios could just as soon have been brushed aside. West could even laugh at himself on occasion, the way we do when we trip up in front of a waiting crowd outside the club, fall between two chairs for no apparent reason, or tumble off a huge step on stage, in front of hundreds of people. Or am I just speaking from personal experience? Seriously, the best thing that Kanye West could do is simply not respond. Silence is golden. But then again, don’t give anyone any tabloid fodder by making such grand claims of your genius status and then wonder why you are not taken seriously. Don’t give them a reason to ask, What’s eating Kanye West?
Written by: Brucella Newman