This is a passion piece. No links. No sources. No pics. Just you, me, and what I believe.
I believe in speaking truth to power. I believe in freedom of expression. I believe in the innate goodness of the universe and human beings. I believe that everyone alive is pro-life for that very fact and that life itself is sacred. I believe that whatever the question, more freedom is the answer.
I believe that the greatest men and women in history have bled and died in service to these principles and that rescuing our future from its dark trajectory now rests on our ability to follow suit.
I believe that Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) is both a mirror and a looking glass, reflecting and projecting our darkest tendencies and greatest potential as a single race of living beings.
Historically, such visionaries have been crucified by the masses at the behest of the ruling classes in service to the status quo – Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King. And, although 3000 years of recorded tradition is yet to teach us this lesson, beauty, truth, and love cannot be killed by murdering the messenger.
But enough abstractions, let’s get specific.
Despite what you choose to believe, Ye is not a racist. He is not trying to start a second Holocaust. He is not crazy, off his meds, or dumb.
Ye is a 45-year-old black man born in Atlanta, raised by a single mom on the south side of Chicago who rose to the top of the creative world in several industries. Under Ye’s belt lies 22 Grammys, 10 consecutive #1 albums, a presidential run, Yeezy brand apparel which has rescued two companies from financial and cultural obscurity, the accomplishments of becoming the wealthiest black man-wealthiest recording artist-wealthiest designer-in history, his own academy with sports teams, and on and on. All this without selling out or compromising his vision. Not once.
No one in the music industry believed in his vision to be the best-dressed rapper in the game, that his beats and lyrical ability could wrestle the culture from the death grip of gangsta rap. Ye did that.
No one believed that he could survive putting on the red hat, that his vision of freeing African Americans from the democratic plantation of block-voting which has delivered decade after decade of diminishing returns would alienate him from his base. It didn’t. Rather he gained a new one, empowering the likes of Candace Owens and others to elevate their voices in the fight for family. Ye did that.
No one believed that a prominent rapper could sell a gospel album. Jesus is King hit #1 on the Billboard top 200, and in over 100 countries worldwide, creating an entire Sunday Service church choir in the process. Ye did that.
No one believes that his current commentary on the evil embedded within the entertainment industry will lift a finger in the direction of freedom. We would rather nitpick his language, his approach, his tone, and his timing in order to cheer on the ruling class as they collude to crucify him and everyone he loves. We say he deserves it. He says he can take it. Ye does that.
We are witnessing a Dark Knight moment in history where we get the hero we need, not the one we deserve. The hero we need, of course, is the one willing to address the pain of the present, rather than hide behind the pain of the past.
Even if we choose to believe that Ye is an anti-semite, that his comments were inspired by hate and not love, and that he should be punished for saying them in order to protect the collective from another Holocaust, even from this perspective, we still have to ask ourselves, what cultural conditions caused the Holocaust? Slavery?
For if, in order to preserve the present, we have to employ the worst tactics of the past, what future do we deserve?