Respect Kanye West for his artistic achievments

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


Nick Booth, JagWire copy editor

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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