Illustration by Celine Huang
The music of Kanye West has been a cornerstone of our friendship. We argue over his best albums, force song references into every sentence we can, sing/scream/rap in the car together and cry every time we listen to “Hey Mama.” Kanye’s music is a seemingly trivial but utterly vital reason that we are the realest of friends.
When we enjoy Kanye’s music together, we know we’re being ignorant of his numerous public antics. While we are willing to overlook his many publicity stunts and even his bizarre support of President Trump, it has been hard to support West throughout the last six months.
Before his busy 2018 summer, in which he released two albums and produced three more, Kanye made headlines by wearing a Make America Great Again hat, endorsing Donald Trump, hinting at his own candidacy for the presidency and releasing a few bizarre tracks (“poop diddy scoop” still haunts us). While we tried to overlook Kanye’s statements, his infamous declaration on May 4 that 400 years of slavery “sounds like a choice” was, to use his own song title, yikes.
We appreciate, in theory, a celebrity who always speaks their mind and is unafraid of negative feedback. This free speech, however, must be supported by facts and backed by evidence, especially for those with large fan followings and public personas.
Kanye is a self-proclaimed champion of free thought and speech, which sits side-by-side next to freedom of the press in the first amendment. We would kindly suggest to all citizens, celebrities or otherwise, to do some basic research before ranting to the public. Informed opinions prevent the spread of dangerous falsehoods, solidifies one’s argument and helps contribute to a healthy, open society.
Despite our shared love of Kanye’s music, we are both so appalled by his uninformed, widely publicized tirades; sometimes it feels as though he is too famous for his own good. He simply has too large an influence on music and American culture to spread lies that uninformed citizens or hardcore right-wingers will eat up.
Fortunately, while Kanye has seemingly never cared what people say, he did somewhat apologize for his recent mistakes. In a tweet on Oct. 30, Kanye announced that he has “been used to spread messages [he doesn’t] believe in,” and that he would distance himself from politics to focus on music. The world will have to wait and see if that promise is kept.
Make no mistake, we’ll still be bumping his tracks and nervously awaiting his next album… whenever it comes out. At the same time, we sincerely hope Kanye continues to exercise his right to free speech by founding his claims in truth and hard facts. This hope extends to all people in 2018; after all, if you can’t be bothered to back up your opinions with legitimate evidence, then you can’t tell us nothing.
This is the list of songs we referenced in the article; see if you can spot them all! Warning: songs are NSFW.
This story was originally published on The Review on November 14, 2018.