The Ethos of Kanye West: You Can't Tell Me Nothing

He’s earned the right to be feeling himself, and he’s no crazier than before, but now it’s as if the only facts that matter are his feelings.

  /  05.03.2018

“The thing that I respect about him is he is the same person. Like, he interrupted our studio session and stood on the table and started rapping. We were like, ‘Could you please get down?’ And he was like, ‘No, I am the savior of Chicago.’”JAY-Z

Long heralded as one of the saviors of hip-hop, Kanye West is acting as if he’s carrying out God’s Plan. Assuming the role of a sacrificial lamb, he’s argued that his recent actions, no matter how controversial or nonsensical, are needed for the greater good of man, or the free-thinker, or his bro Donald Trump.

Nowadays, his co-signs are blessed upon “thought-leaders” like Trump and Candace Owens (who supports No. 45 for his political incorrectness but sees the Black Lives Matter movement as “a bunch of spoiled toddlers, who seek nothing but attention”). He posts pictures wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat while standing next to Lyor Cohen (the guy who Dame Dash—’Ye’s big homie and recent collaborator—has flat-out called a “culture vulture” and “slave master”). And The Louie Vuitton Don comfortably tweets that under the watch of former President and Senator Barack Obama “nothing in Chicago changed,” and shares the belief that 400 years of well-documented slavery sounds like a “choice.” This, during a period of time when mass incarceration is highlighted as a major issue plaguing communities similar to those found on the Southside of the Chi. Yet, ‘Ye speaks of prison as if it’s a club for bringing people together. All in the name of love, he insists.

Has Kanye finally gone mad? Is this what a sunken place looks like? Is the Kardashian curse real? Did he not accept his Illuminati contract extension? Although he may absolutely be trolling, Kanye ain’t cursed and he ain’t crazy. At least not in the way many of us want to believe that he is. He’s no crazier than he’s ever been. But where today’s Kanye differs from the ‘Ye of yesteryear is that his God complex has peaked at new levels… God levels.

Delusions of grandeur aside, Kanye has earned the right to be feeling himself. His God-level faith in all-things-Kanye is only justified due to the fact that he’s done the impossible, and then did it a few more times. His superpowers resurrected the careers of Common and Talib Kweli, birthed the current generation of heroes (Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Big Sean, A$AP Rocky, Chance the Rapper, Travi$ Scott, and the list legit goes on), and redefined the image of a rap star and what could be considered hip-hop. At the forefront of ushering the ghetto fabolous-flavored genre into the luxury rap era, Yeezy set the trends and the tone. He conquered music, infiltrated the hard-to-crack fashion world (even though he’ll still argue they won’t let him in), and shifted pop culture.

Iconic and super-rich, Mr. New God Flow has achieved mad success by believing in himself as a driving force. In the face of non-believers, his willingness to risk it all has often yielded game-changing results. Now, with his mind right, money right and ego fully in tact, the outside world can’t tell him much of anything anymore. As the scenario plays out, it makes one wonder: Did we ever actually listen to the lyrics of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing?” In retrospect, Graduation’s inescapable hood anthem feels like a warning shot.

The self-proclaimed voice of a generation, ‘Ye became the spokesperson for the underdogs, the dreamers, the outsiders, the free-thinkers and so many others. Known to wear his emotions on his Yeezy-branded sleeves, the 808s & Heartbreak artist has had his fair share of outbursts of historic proportions. Up until a certain point, no matter how notorious or erratic his rants and overactive Twitter fingers may have seemed, the outspoken rapper (who’s also no longer a fan of that term) almost always supported his free and controversial thoughts with valid reasoning or context. Like, how could one of the greatest videos of all time win MTV’s coveted Video of the Year award, but not win in the Best Female category? And when Americans affected by a natural disaster were referred to as refugees and looters after being left out in cold, deadly conditions by the federal government, how could the country’s leadership not be questioned?

In an interesting (or maybe alarming) turn of events, the “I Am A God” creative seems to no longer feel the need to explain himself, which has made it tough for even some Day One fans to rally behind many of his recent antics. Even though the passion of ‘Ye still feels believable, his stream-of-consciousness theories have started to become much less convincing. His newfound PDA for brother Trump, for example, is rationalized by tweets like “Blacks don’t have to be democrats,” and bars like “Make America Great Again had a negative perception / I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction / Added empathy, care and love and affection / And y’all simply questionin’ my methods?” Those still-entertaining rants, which once had a healthy share of gems, are now bombarded with “alternative” and poorly-explained “facts” that often feel like they are being used to highlight the pedestal he occupies, stir up the viewing public, and portray him as forever being crucified. It’s as if his feelings are the only facts that matter.

“Superman, that’s me,” said Kanye during his recent sit-down with Charlamagne tha God. (He also likens himself to Batman and Black Panther in the unnecessarily long interview.) But the trajectory of his time in the flashing lights is sort of, kind of reminiscent to the story of X-Men character Jean Grey. Not unlike Grae—who goes on to become Phoenix, one of the most powerful and dangerous mutants—’Ye’s style is more like a finger roll and less like a slam dunk.

And as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. Once an undisputed man of the people, the “I Am God” creator, with his hard-to-understand breakthroughs and confusing messaging, has forced many to question not only where his head is at, but where he stands on issues that matter to the followers he (supposedly) so vehemently fights for. Conservative outlets like Fox News, which may have once viewed the “Black Skinhead” as a threat to their establishment, now use him and his disciple Chance the Rapper as shining examples of how we’re heading towards litty relations between Lincoln’s Republican Party and the historically underserved Black community.

“Coulda let the dreamkillers kill my self esteem / Or use the arrogance as a steam that power my dreams,” rapped a confident Kanye on the remix to Beyonce’s hit from a decade ago, “Ego.” As a result of that faithful crutch of his (hello, ego), as well as his undeniable talents, Mr. West is truly believing the hype, and how could he not? Prophetic in his proclamations, ‘Ye has essentially done just about everything he’s set out to do, all while sticking to his guns. He successfully lifted off, and brought his clique along for the ride, and changed the landscape of pop culture in the process. So why should Yeezus stop following the voice in his head now? As a wise man once said, “No one man should have all that power.”

Wake up Mr. West.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

Trending

Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicks off at Central State University

On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.

  /  11.14.2023

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour visited Mississippi Valley State University

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.

  /  11.22.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

Walmart continues HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour during lively Virginia State University stop

After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.

  /  11.14.2023

Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicked off at Central State University

In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.

  /  11.28.2023

Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'

Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.

  /  11.15.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

Dig In & Drink Up | 'Bet on Black'

In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!

  /  11.15.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023

The Auditions | 'Shoot Your Shot'

The competition begins at REVOLT WORLD as rising rappers, singers, and musicians line up to audition for their spot on the main stage. Brought to you by McDonald’s.

  /  11.28.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

From city lots to lush gardens: The power of urban farming with Karen Washington

This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.

  /  11.17.2023

Best chef's kiss | 'Bet on Black'

“Bet on Black” is back with an all-new season! Watch as judges Pinky Cole, Bun B, Van Lathan, and Target’s Melanie Gatewood-Hall meet new contestants and hear pitches from entrepreneurs Saucy D and Chef Diva Dawg.

  /  10.24.2023

Good taste test | 'Bet on Black'

With the help of host Dustin Ross and correspondent Danielle Young, entrepreneurs Diva Dawg, Brooklyn Tea, and The Sable Collective pitch their ideas to the judges. Watch the all-new episode of “Bet on Black” now!

  /  10.31.2023

Lauren London sparks conversation on how Black parents unintentionally give kids negative outlook on money

At the live taping of “Assets Over Liabilities” at REVOLT WORLD, Lauren London opened up about how witnessing the financial decisions adults made during her childhood fueled her outlook on money. 

  /  10.26.2023

Madam DA Fani Willis proclaims, “A lie has been told on African American men”

“Every time I’m in trouble, it’s been Black men that have come to my aid,” Madam DA Fani Willis said at REVOLT WORLD while speaking on the stereotype that they are not dependable or worth dating.

  /  10.11.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes