“Lot of people agree with me but they too scared to speak up.”
Rap superstar Kanye West continues to confound his critics, both progressive and conservative, by sparking a crucial conversation about racial politics. I have previously written here and here on FrontPage Mag about Kanye’s controversial support for President Donald Trump and his defense of black conservative commentator Candace Owens, whose message that blacks need to exchange their victim mentality for a victor mentality resonated with Kanye. Despite volley after volley of media assaults suggesting that Kanye is a race traitor and even questioning his sanity, he hasn’t given an inch of ground, which is unheard of for a celebrity. Now he has triggered renewed leftist outrage by uploading a single on his website that Jerome Hudson at Breitbart News called “one of the boldest political statements in rap history.”
Titled “Ye Vs. The People,” the song features Kanye justifying his iconoclastic new stance in a rap dialogue with actor-rapper T.I., who represents the typical objections raised against Kanye for roaming off the Democrat plantation.
EXPLICIT LYRICS AHEAD
“Where you tryna go with this?” T.I. begins. Kanye replies, “You just readin’ the headlines, you don’t see the fine print / You on some choosin’-side shit, I’m on some unified shit.”
T.I. retorts that Kanye’s support of Trump, including posting a photo of himself with a MAGA hat, is selfish and short-sighted. “Bruh, I never ever stopped fightin’ for the people,” explains Kanye. “Actually wearin’ the hat’ll show people that we equal.”
Then Kanye pushes back with an astonishing message: “See that’s the problem with this damn nation / All blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.”
T.I. condemns Kanye for seeming to side with Trump against his own people, “representin’ dudes just seem crude and cold-hearted / With blatant disregard for the people who put you in position / Don’t you feel an obligation to them?”
Kanye answers, “I feel an obligation to show people new ideas / And if you wanna hear ’em, there go two right here: Make America Great Again had a negative reception / 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.”
But T.I. argues that Kanye “wore a dusty ass hat to represent the same views / As white supremacy, man, we expect better from you / All them times you sounded crazy, we defended you, homie / Not just to be let down when we depend on you, homie / That’s why it’s important to know what direction you’re goin’ now / ‘Cause everything that you built can be destroyed and torn down.”
Kanye defends himself: “I was in the sunken place and then I found the new me / Not worried about some image that I gotta keep up / Lot of people agree with me, but they’re too scared to speak up.”
Kanye goes on to explain in the song that the left has been “leadin’ with hate,” while his approach is similar to making a gang truce, “the first Blood to shake the Crip’s hand.” Then he fires back with an attack on the gangster rap clichés that have degraded black entertainment for decades: “Is it better if I rap about crack? Huh? ‘Cause it’s cultural? / Or how about I’ma shoot you, or fuck your bitch? / Or how about all this Gucci, ’cause I’m fuckin’ rich?”
As the song continues, T.I. insinuates that Trump has literally bribed Kanye for his support, and that blacks should forgo “all that free thought shit” and instead nurse the historical grievances of “genocide and slavery.” Kanye concludes by telling T.I., “We could be rappin’ about this all day, man / Why don’t we just cut the beat off and let the people talk?” Let the people talk, indeed; thanks to Kanye West, the black community is now embroiled in a conversation the Democratic Party does not want them to have. Even a small percentage of defectors would cripple the party for good.
Meanwhile, Kanye, who was raised in Chicago, is doing more than just tweeting and rapping. He had previously tweeted that “President Obama was in office for eight years and nothing in Chicago changed.” The tweet angered and alienated many of Kanye’s fans, but that didn’t force him to backtrack or apologize, and it has been “liked” nearly 300,000 times.
Now it seems that Kanye is going to bring some hope and change of his own to Chicago. The entertainment site TMZ announced Friday that he is launching an initiative called Donda Social (named after his late mother) to assist Chicago neighborhoods that are facing severe problems with housing, education, gun violence and drinking water. Rappers Common and Chance the Rapper are among his fellow celebrities helping out (like Kanye, Chance recently tweeted support for President Trump, but unlike Kanye, the social media backlash caused Chance to retract and apologize).
So far the President hasn’t reacted to Kanye’s initiative. But if Kanye can get Trump involved and blacks in the urban hellhole of Chicago get a taste of real hope and change, that could mark a dramatic change in the political landscape, and in the opportunities for black America.
Does all this suggest that Kanye West coming out as a conservative? No one, including Kanye himself, seems to know for sure. The conservative site Redstate treated his apparent right turn skeptically, calling him a “master of publicity.” Rodney Carmichael at leftist National Public Radio condemned him for his newfound “sunken-place politics” and for casting “metaphorical votes against his racial self-interest.” When Kanye tweeted last week that “I haven’t done enough research on conservatives to call myself or be called one. I’m just refusing to be enslaved by monolithic thought,” Carmichael dismissed it as “a bold-faced admittance of his own cluelessness when it comes to party politics.”
This is obviously ridiculous. Our politics have never been so volatile and unpredictable, in large part because Donald Trump as a leader is a political innovator. Kanye is proving to be one as well. His tweets, his new song, and his Chicago initiative constitute a bold declaration that he understands the President is an innovator and is thinking his way into the new situation Trump’s politics have created. Above all, Kanye West is thinking for himself and throwing off the chains that the leftwing party line has used to ensnare black America and keep it from thinking for itself – in particular, from asking how it is that progressives and Democrats have controlled America’s inner-city killing fields for fifty to a hundred years and failed to stop the carnage.
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