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Are we witnessing the downfall of Kanye West, also know as Ye? Has the “creative genius” turned into a creative moron? The star who once said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” can now wear a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat and hangout with Donald Trump, leaving a lot of his fans confused and disappointed.
Throughout his career, Kanye has made sure to label himself before anyone else does. During a two-hour interview with SHOWstudio in 2015, he said he needed to declare himself a “creative genius” because, “Otherwise I’m called a celebrity. I’m called a nigger. I’m called a rapper. And when they use the word celebrity, nigger, and rapper, it’s not in a positive way… so, I have to define who I am.”
During a famous interview with Sway in the Morning in 2013, he ranted:
“I am Warhol. I am the number one impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh.”
And it seems he has always had a high opinion of his potential. During a DICE interview back in 2007 he said, “Any type of success that you saw me have is way under what I was expecting.”
In this same interview, he said, “I’m not into politics, I don’t know who is in the White House. I couldn’t tell you anything.” Whereas Kanye certainly knows who is in the White House now, and has been spending a lot of time with him. Kanye told a live audience in California that had he voted during the 2016 election, he would have voted for Trump. The statement left a lot of his fans in shock. How could the same man who called out former president George Bush for racism support Trump—given the accusations of racism that have been directed at Trump?
Personally, I think that Kanye means it when he keeps repeating that love is the answer to everything; and that he is supportive of Trump because he does not believe in fighting hate with hate.
But most of Kanye’s fans think Trump is the worst president the United States has ever had, and were outraged by Kanye wearing a MAGA hat, because—for ethnic minorities at least—America was never that great anyway, so how can it be great again?
These fans might also accuse Trump of racist policies, such as support for the right to bear weapons, which many blame for the number of people of colour who get shot and killed every year.
In an interview with celebrity news website TMZ in May, Kanye made one of his most controversial statements. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sound like a choice.” But later in the interview he also said, “It is a choice, just like when I said slavery is a choice. This reality… we can make our own reality.”
To me, it’s clear that the choice he was talking about is whether to be mentally enslaved, by the past. The fact that we have seen so many faces of Kanye over the years shows that he is not a slave either to the past or to what people think of him.
So rather than witnessing Kanye West’s downfall, we may be about to witness a new awakening.