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.
Oh Yeezus, where to start with you?
When I was younger, I was your fan. Your songs were culturally relevant and they discussed ideas that I could relate to as a young, black female.
Not to mention, your first three albums are classics. The type that make me sometimes admit, “Old Kanye was ok.”
You had a message, and I listened.
I can’t tell you how many times I watched your music videos and thought about how one day I’d like to have a platform for my voice. You fearlessly spoke out against the government’s inadequacy in the face of Katrina.
Somewhere in the course of everything, you became more outspoken. You became, in your words, “a god.”
As your rants became more newsworthy, your music didn’t touch me as much.
While I have been perturbed by the offensive comments you’ve made about women, I recognize that much of the hate you receive is riddled with racist notions of the threatening black male.
Truthfully, the fact that you potentially receive more hate on your outbursts because of your identity is not fair. But that does not excuse your misogynistic, egotistical actions.
Some argue that you are a genius, maybe a tortured one at that. But I question how, for example, belittling your ex-girlfriend about her past as a sex worker enhances your creative process.
The excuse that you are an artist who needs to express himself does not justify the hateful comments you make, especially those against women. I don’t buy the common solution to the “problematic fave” — to separate the art from the artist.
With your platform, and the way popular culture is constantly thrown into our faces, the statements you make have consequences. There is no way I can comprehend what goes on in your head. Still, I fear that this idea of you as a “problematic fave” is dangerous.
I expected better from you, Yeezus.
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