artist by Joshua Eferighe June 1, 2018
Kanye’s follow-up to The Life of Pablo, a seven-track record titled Ye, exclusively produced by himself, just dropped after a wild listening party in Wyoming.
In any other circumstance, one would be ecstatic for a Kanye West project. While you never knew what you were going to get, you knew that it was going to be something you’ve never gotten before; and in hip-hop that’s rare.
This time, however, with his forthcoming work upon us, there’s an apprehension associated with its impending release. There’s a question most Kanye loyalist have never had to themselves before, and it’s: does Kanye West deserve their support?
Ye’s dramatic return from hiatus this past April started off with philosophies and introspective ideas but later progressed into full-blown support of Trump and public rants dismissive of slavery.
Every tweet went viral and, for a solid month at least, Kanye was the non-stop subject of conversation. Twitter’s conspiracy theorist believed the whole thing could be an act: an attempt at performance art to rile up an audience before he makes a masterful comeback.
Whatever it was, it worked.
Thank you Kanye, very cool! https://t.co/vRIC87M21X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018
Now that we’ve come to an inevitable crossroad in Ye’s vision for G.O.O.D. music’s 2018 summer roll-out (five projects in five weeks — new Pusha T, Kanye West, a Kanye and Kid Cudi collab, Nas, and Teyana Taylor albums, all produced in full by Kanye West, to be released in the space between the end of May and the end of June), the conflict has rushed to its head.
At least that’s what I thought at first. Then it dawned on me: I don’t have to feel guilty for wanting to listen to Kanye West’s new album. And, quite frankly, you don’t either.
It’s hard to imagine to goods, services, content, innovation, etc. that would be wasted if they were to be thrown away with the immoral people who created them.
People are going to watch the NFL, Disney is still supported by in large, and, while Air Bud may be easy not to watch ever again, Weinstein’s Good Will Hunting will get ultimate replays from me. I’m sorry.
Spotify’s new policy addressing hate speech and hateful conduct which resulted in the music-streaming service removing artists from its service or bury them without any promotion, like banning them from playlists, is one reason we’ve adopted this apprehension. In a way, it reinforces that the idea that listening to music by “bad people” is wrong.
Under the new policy, it stopped promoting the music of at least two people: R&B star R. Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion. XXXTentacaion’s ban, in particular, drew backlash from Kendrick Lamar and reportedly sparked a backlash among some of Spotify’s own employees.
Aside from the decision making of large streaming services, aside from the opinion of the general public and aside from what the artist has done or said, what matters is the art.
If there is a natural impulse to listen to Ye’s music and if you genuinely enjoy it, that is an experience you shouldn’t have to rob yourself of. And if you’ve bumped Daytona, you’ve already given in and you’re only fooling yourself if you put up a fight for his newest album.
R. Kelly’s “Bump N’ Grind” came over the old-school stereo — the one’s the still used CDs — while I was getting my locs retwisted this past weekend.
I jolted up startled from my waiting chair and looked around to see if anyone else was as appalled as I. It was beyond me that they would let someone who has been linked and associated to sexual misconduct for years play so publicly.
What I found instead were individuals peacefully nodding to the melodic vibes, in their zone, without a care in the world. “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” and “The Storm Is Over Now” followed after. This time, I slowly sunk back into my seat, let my guard down, and jammed out, too.
When it comes to Ye’s new album, don’t feel ashamed to press play. It does not mean you subscribe to his ideas or beliefs, it just means you think he’s damn good at what he does, which he is.