Pop Culture

An Open Letter to Kanye Omari West

Dear Kanye,

Let me start off by saying this.

I have loved you since the very first time I heard your music, when I was 21 years old and a new mom in college and you were rapping ‘Through The Wire’ through a broken jaw that had been wired shut. The first time I heard that song, I was mesmerized.

Yeah. I’ve been around since the very beginning, Ye. In fact, your music has punctuated some of the most significant moments of my adult life. Even as you evolved in your career, and everybody started writing you off for being eccentric (read: batshit crazy), I’ve been there. Through the Taylor Swift debacle, I was embarrassed… but I was there. When your mother died, I mourned with you, and I was there. When you married Kim, against my better judgment, I was happy for you (because you two are a match made in narcissist heaven)… and I was still there. You know those albums that are so significant to you that you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard them? Every single one of your albums has had that significance for me, Kanye. Every single one. There is not one single album that you’ve made OR that you’ve been featured on as a producer or as a rapper that I don’t own. Not one.

I’ve been right here, riding for you, defending you, fighting for you (ask my friends!! to the DEATH, Ye!), loving you, buying your music (but not your clothes because WHO is spending all that money for homeless chic? not me. I can look homeless for free), admiring you… In my eyes, you are one of the great musical geniuses of my generation. You’ve been committed to breaking glass ceilings, to pushing the limits with your lyrics and your production, and to promoting free thought and free speech. You’ve long marched to your own beat, Ye, and I have always loved that about you.

When people said, “I miss the old Kanye,” I defended with my whole heart your right to grow, to change, to be different than you were when you gave us College Dropout and forever changed my life. “Haven’t you changed in the last 15 years?” I asked them indignantly, every time. “So why can’t Kanye? He’s just evolving. We should all be evolving. Let him live.” When they said that you were crazy, I said that you were eclectic and original. When they criticized your hair, I reminded their raggedy asses how much they loved Sisqo and told them not to be hypocrites.

I even defended Yeezus. I am literally the only person I know who actually liked that album, Ye. You didn’t even bother to give that album a cover… and I STILL LOVED IT. Ever heard the joke that Kanye fans would buy an album with no tracks and just silence and still call it fire? I AM ONE OF THOSE FANS! And when you tweeted that your next album would drop on June 1, MY BIRTHDAY, I got butterflies in my stomach, like you were giving me that album personally as a gift for my 36th.

My face when Kanye tweets.

But then you KEPT tweeting… and everything fell apart.

With this latest round of antics, Ye, I am heartbroken to announce that our time together has come to an end… because what can I say to defend the fact that you endorse and, dare I say, LOVE a man who JUST YESTERDAY called Kim Jong Un “honorable?”  Yeah, Ye. The same Kim Jong Un that has subjected the people of North Korea to torture, starvation, rape, murder, medical experimentation, forced labor, and forced abortions… the most atrocious human rights violator since Adolph Hitler. But this is your mans tho?

This isn’t about politics for me, Kanye. I don’t care where you stand politically. It’s not about how you vote, or where you fall on complicated issues, or the political party with whom you choose to affiliate. This isn’t about your opinions, because we all have the right to those, no matter how controversial (or incredibly stupid) they are. This is also not about silencing you. This is a matter of principle. And it’s simple. If you are willing to put your time and genius and support behind a man who has disrespected women, mocked the handicapped, called black men “sons of bitches,” referred to Haiti as a “shithole country,” and is homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, culturally insensitive, and xenophobic, as much as it breaks my heart, I have to let you go. If this is indeed the person that you are choosing to stand behind, I am morally obligated to step away from you… because I can’t, no matter how hard I try, get jiggy with that shit.

If you endorse a piece of shit, I assume you’re a piece of shit yourself. Period.

I don’t expect you to be prolific or appropriate. Contrary to popular opinion, celebrities ain’t role models, so this is not about you setting a “bad example.” I do, however, expect you to care about the issues that plague your community (your black community, Ye… remember us? we’re still here). I expect you to have enough sense NOT to endorse a person who doesn’t give a fifth of a fuck about people who look like me. You are, after all, the man who accused a president of not caring about Black people on live national TV. Well. It’s so funny how the tables turn when you marry a Kardashian, dye your hair blonde, and lose your damn mind.

This ain’t a thinkpiece, Kanye. This is a goodbye.

I am legit heartbroken. For me, this is worse than finding out that Santa wasn’t real… and I believed in Santa til I was 12 so that shit was serious. Watching my favorite rapper of all time talking reckless from the sunken place is more depressing than I can describe.

I love Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye… and therein lies the problem. I’m not sweating out my edges anymore defending your antics on social media, nor will I become personally offended when someone says that your music is ass. And when people talk about trading you like we traded Dennis Rodman, Stacey Dash, and Ben Carson, I’m staying silent. You’re no longer welcome at the cookout, Ye. Go on and eat the unseasoned bullshit Trump n’nem be eating since you love him so much. Don’t come crawling back to us when you get tired of boiled chicken… because ain’t no plate for you over here. You went from “We shine because they hate us, floss ‘cause they tryna degrade us/ We tryna buy back out 40 acres” to loving Trump and I am just not with the shits. Anyone who openly endorses someone as morally bankrupt as the 45th President of the United States doesn’t deserve my loyalty… no matter how much it hurts to walk away.

*throws up deuces*

 

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