“You can expect a raised eyebrow. A snarl of the lip. Maybe even a few hateful words”. (ROPC #5: link)
You know that by now.
(A pause, please, to allow those who haven’t yet read any RoPC to catch up. Look at them run class. Look at them. Look at their fat-little calves turning red with the effort. Ridiculous, aren’t they? Beneath us, aren’t they?)
(Another, longer, pause PLEASE… to placate those dismayed at a so-called music writer so self-involved AND so self-conscious that said writer will opt for a long, pretentious intro AND still refer to themselves as “said writer” rather than “I”. As if the reader cared about the introduction of the first person more than the fact that there’s been no mention of music until the second par… or perhaps, even, the third.)
(A third, final pause to defy the second lot. “There’ll always be haters, that’s the way it is.”)
Kanye West. If we’re talking about pop music and self-indulgence (and catch up, fat calves, we are) we’re talking about Kanye West. Gifted producer, flawed rapper, “jackass“, “genius“, whipping boy. An insecure, arrogant swine with a “generational need to be liked” whose celebrity – arguably greater than that of “the best rapper alive” – can drag two consecutive US presidents into surreal, tactless debate.
I don’t have enough words for Kanye. No one does. You sense that we will only stop talking about Kanye West when Kanye West stops talking about Kanye West. If Kanye West can stop talking about Kanye West.
Consider this: imagine that Kanye West – through infinite rounds of crazy tweets and confessional interviews is attempting to create God in his own image. Imagine Kanye West lifting our restraints on vanity, taste and decency. Imagine Kanye West decreeing self-indulgence no longer sinful or embarrassing or distasteful, but liberating.
Then Kanye West frees us and lets us indulge. Lets us create art that’s mean (“fat little calves”), pretentious (“said writer”) and stubborn (that third pause) and, like our man’s own output, sometimes spectacularly beautiful.
By the way, Kanye West has a new album out soon. Some of it’s good, but that’s probably besides the point.