Kanye West: Tortured Genius


I love Kanye West.

I’ve grown up listening to his music. College Dropout changed my life. It helped me realize that not all hip-hop has to be hard-hitting and in-your-face (I was mainly listening to Young Jeezy and 50 Cent at the time). “Hey Mama” still makes me tear up every time I hear it, even though over a decade has passed since it was released. I had a chance to see the Saint Pablo tour live back in October, and it was one of the most incredible concerts I’ve ever been to. Both Kanye’s performance and the visual spectacle were on point. And obviously … I love Yeezy Boosts.

But I’ve watched Kanye go down a dark path the last few years. I’ve watched him sporadically lash out at anyone and everyone for any reason, from when he went off on Wiz Khalifa because he didn’t understand that KK was an abbreviation for Khalifa Kush and not Kim Kardashian to his recent rants against Beyonce and Jay-Z, who *apparently* are not very fond of him anymore. I’ve watched him get consumed by the Kardashian fame machine. But we’re not here to report on his recent meltdowns, his last two “rants”, or his canceling of the rest of his tour. Those stories are all over the rest of the web, and this is an opinion piece.

He’s become so famous that anything he does will make headlines, which seems to have hampered his mental state even if it’s his own doing. I can’t help but worry that his narcissism (one of the things that originally made him so lovable) won’t let him acknowledge his delusion and hubris.

But maybe, just maybe, one of the reasons that this is even an issue is lots of people who claim to be his “fans” are so quick to tear him down when he does anything that they don’t like that the only way he can keep moving is to constantly inflate his own ego to ignore outside voices. The problem with this is it brings too many yes-men into one’s circle, which isn’t a good look either. Fame is a strange beast, especially when you’ve hit the level of fame that ‘Ye possesses, and oftentimes it’s just too much to take. I’m not condoning everything he’s done, but at the same time, he’s in an extremely unique situation.

We all saw yesterday that Kanye was taken to the hospital, and is clearly mentally unstable. The internet and “news outlets” are sure to be rife with jokes over the next few days and weeks, as they loves to tear Kanye down whenever they’re given a chance (even though they love his shoes), but we’ve all got to realize: he’s not well.

Mental health is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. You can debate all day if Kanye did this to himself or not, or if it’s a publicity stunt (some think it is), but if your mind’s not in the right place, then nothing else will be either. Kanye needs to stay out of the spotlight, no matter how hard it may be for him to do, surround himself with loved ones, and get his mind right. He needs to get back on track. We need him to get back on track. He’s the most important artist of our generation, and his music and taste have shaped our current cultural landscape, like it or not.

So say a prayer for ‘Ye if you’re the praying type. Here’s hoping he can get well soon … and get back to doing what he does best. We need him.


What do you think of Kanye West’s recent issues? What do you think he needs to do to get back on track? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, and be sure to keep it locked right here on KicksOneTwo for any and all Kanye news and updates.


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