New Slave Revolt
Like most people over the past few weeks, I couldnt escape noticing all the publicity around Kanye West’s latest controversial Tweets.
As a result, Kanye has been ‘disowned’ by some prominent members of the Hip Hop Community like Kendrick Lamar who voiced their disagreement by unfriending him on Twitter.
To top things off, a TMZ interview in which Kanye claimed Slavery was a choice turned into another tirade against Kanye as a TMZ Staffer and Podcaster Van Lathan challenged Kanye on his view that slavery was a choice, basically describing it as irresponsible and a distortion of the Black Struggle.
In the midst of it all, Kanye conducted an interview with the Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God which I personally consider to be one of the most important Hip Hop interviews since Tupac’s 1995 MTV Interview with Tabitha Soren just after he was released from Prison and before All Eyez On Me dropped.
After watching the Interview and TMZ clip as well as reading what other online commentators have to say about the situation, in my view Kanye West is going through a genuine but unique Mid-Life Crisis.
The ‘New Slave’ Mid-Life Crisis
A Mid-life crisis is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life. It is a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for change.
This encapsulates what Mr West appears to be going through, particularly if one considers his observations about Slavery in the Music industry…In the Charlamagne Interview, Kanye describes the Music Industry as being engineered not for Artists to have Freedom, but instead to buy a house, a few Cars and then be on Tour for the rest of their life.
In other words, Kanye has found himself in the exact position he described in ‘New Slaves’:
‘Want me to stay at ease
Fuck you and your corporation
Y’all niggas can’t control me
I know that we the new slaves
I know that we the new slaves’
Ultimately, it boils to down to a sense of disillusionment and cognitive dissonance brought about by realising exactly how powerless he is despite all the effort, passion and sacrifice he’s fed the Hollywood beast, yet he still finds himself a Pawn on the Hollywood Chessboard…Its a Revolt of the New Slaves.
Kanye’s response to his situation has been to lash out, and in my view who are we to Judge how a man deals with his midlife crisis as he takes stock of his life only to realize that the career he thought would liberate him has only imprisoned him.
As a Public figure its only natural that his Midlife crisis would be played out in public and I admire Kanye’s unfiltered approach to it because it reveals the true extent of what a Midlife crisis actually entails as he goes through the emotional turmoil motivated by a strong desire for change.
Its also a comfort for those suffering in silence in similar situations…He is ‘representing’ just not on a subject people are used to Hip Hop Artists representing on.
I dont think there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of dealing with a Midlife crisis but Kanye’s authenticity gets my respect in the face of manufactured Hip Hop ‘Beefs’…We’re seeing a new level of authenticity in Hip Hop from a Middle aged Artist bearing it all for the world to see as he traverses different levels in life.
I respect Kanye’s desire to break out of the New Slave Matrix he has openly acknowledged he’s in, unlike a lot of other Artists and Hollywood Actors who stay suffering in the Matrix for the sake of Celebrity and a paycheque…Kanye is risking it ALL because he does not want to be controlled anymore.
We’ll be watching to see how this eventually ends, in the meantime, you can peep the full Charlamagne Tha God Interview on the Home Page.
The TMZ Interview Clip and Podcast by Van Lathan who confronted Kanye are also below.
Well lets see how Kanye comes out in the end because after all you cant tell him nothin’!
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