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Has Kanye West gone too far?

February 25, 2016

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Kanye West’s music doesn’t make up for his attitude

Despite the fact that he's talented, West is too rude and egotistical to ignore

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I’ve never been a fan of Kanye West. As a Taylor Swift fan of 10 years, it shouldn’t be surprising that in 2009, after West infamously interrupted Swift during her best female video acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, I became vocal in my dislike toward West. But, while this dislike began as a product of my love for Swift, it has since grown into a judgement of West’s overall character, and not just from one incident.  

Here’s my biggest issue with Kanye West: His ego consumes him. Literally, it cooked him on the skillet and had him for dinner. I know there are a lot of people who would say that this is actually the case with Swift, but I politely disagree. While I do agree that her ego has grown slightly since she began in the music industry, it is nowhere near the size of West’s, and it is far from being out of hand. Why? Swift is modest with her words, unlike West, who takes every chance he can to proclaim his own greatness to the world.

I’m not going to deny that West is talented. Even as someone who is not typically a rap fan, I’ve found myself listening to his music from time to time and enjoying it. For this reason, I do respect him (most of the time) from a musical standpoint.

His ego is what often gets in the way. Egos drive me insane. Even when I’m listening to his music, I have to ignore who it is I’m actually listening to. West has continually called himself the “greatest artist of all time,” comparing himself to artists like Pablo Picasso and Michelangelo, and even God. (He actually wrote a song called “I Am a God.”)

What’s more is, this ego leaves him feeling entitled to every award he can find. When he doesn’t win said awards, he goes off on rants and whines about how confused he is that someone recognized someone else over his greatness (you know, because he’s the “greatest artist of all time.”) Just days before this year’s Grammy awards, in fact, he tweeted that he wasn’t going to attend unless they promised him Album of the Year, which he wasn’t even nominated for.  

Not only does he feel entitled to awards, though, but he has also started feeling like, because he is so incredible, every person of power will surely come rushing to help him with whatever he needs at the push of a button. He even took to Twitter recently, calling out Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion into his ideas because he needs money.

So no, I’m not going to appreciate West just because he’s talented. I appreciate some of his music, yes, but being a good artist doesn’t make up for continually treating people badly, thinking you’re a god and whining every time you don’t get an award you thought you deserved. Not in my book, anyway.

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Respect Kanye West for his artistic achievments

West's behavior is no worse than that of other musicians

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As I begin to write this, I’m listening to the song “We Don’t Care” from Kanye West’s first studio album, “The College Dropout.” It’s certainly an interesting track; the beat and the production behind it make it sound like an optimistic summer song, while West raps about social inequality and little kids’ voices cheerfully sing the hook.

Back when it first hit store shelves in 2004, this album garnered universal acclaim and earned West his first Grammy. Even before then, West was well-known as a prolific producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, using his unique production style to help create hip-hop classics such as Jay-Z’s legendary 2001 album “The Blueprint.” After working as a producer for years, he finally released that first album, which, along with subsequent projects, propelled him to musical stardom.

So what happened since then? Nowadays, it seems like hating West is a new national pastime, and it’s been due in large part to controversial behavior over the past few years: Since 2004, he’s publicly proclaimed that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” interrupted Taylor Swift’s Video Music Award acceptance speech, been called a “jackass” by  President Obama, called himself a god and written lyrics about Swift that claim he made her famous. Needless to say, he’s certainly had his questionable moments.

The sheer amount of hatred West seems to receive for his comments, though, is disproportionate to what he’s said and done. It seems like everyone I know can’t wait to jump on the bandwagon, constantly bemoaning his incredibly large ego and rude behavior. But, if we’re being perfectly honest, West’s behavior hasn’t really been all that bad. Does he think he’s much more influential and powerful than he actually is? Yeah. Does he often act in a way that warrants the name Obama called him? Absolutely. However, he seems to get more hate than anyone else in the music industry — an industry that’s riddled with people whose behaviors are far worse than his.

At the end of the day, West’s antics may be obnoxious, but they’re pretty harmless. His aforementioned lyrics about Swift may have caused some controversy, but in the greater scheme of hip-hop, it’s pretty weak sauce — it pales in comparison to some of the lyrical disses performed by artists such as N.W.A, Eminem and Nas.

At his very worst, all West has really done is broadcast to the world his massive ego. People’s outrage would be much better directed toward artists such as Chris Brown, who was convicted for domestic abuse toward singer and former girlfriend Rihanna.

So don’t get so outraged over West’s actions. Instead, recognize him for his excellent music and the profound influence he’s had on hip-hop, despite his flaws.

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