The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday November 27th

Viewpoints: Kanye West is being honest with his audience

THE ISSUE: During an editorial board meeting, the issue of artistic expression arose. Is it all right to enjoy an artist if his or her lyrics disagree with your morals? The board did not reach a consensus. These viewpoints hope to answer the question, using rapper Kanye West as a case study for the larger issue. You can read the counterpoint here.

Kanye West is, like any artist should be, expressing himself.

West displays something that many artists fail to achieve in a lifetime: complete honesty.

West lays it all out there on the plate for fans — his ego, his anger, his darkness and his imperfections.

He is able to perfectly mesh his personality into his music in a way that makes them nearly indistinguishable. Just listen to “I Love Kanye” from his most recent album.

In a way, this liberates the fans: it allows them to view West’s life through the lens of music instead of monotonous interviews and (ironically) scripted reality TV shows.

The multiple times West has been outspoken, whether towards former president George W. Bush or fellow artist Taylor Swift, he has been painted as the angry black man.

This “angry black man” persona isn’t new — it’s been ingrained into the minds of Americans for hundreds of years. West himself raps he’s “too black”, “too vocal”, and “too flagrant,” which can turn people off.

In the same way, fellow artist John Mayer has also said distressing and misogynistic things towards women, yet he apologizes and is somehow able to carry on with his career successfully.

There is no doubt that West says things that are misogynistic and insulting, and for that, West should know the kind of message it sends to his fans.

At the same time, how furious can fans be at an artist for laying out his or her flaws and even acknowledging them?

One could make the argument that some of the things West says can be emotionally damaging, which is absolutely true.

At the end of the day, no matter what criticism he faces, Kanye is going to be Kanye, and not even the biggest fan can love him more than he loves himself.

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