I’m not a big fan of hip hop and some of the artist buy I was always a little partial to Kanye West. He was introduced from a completely different background than most rappers. I liked that about him and I liked his parents too. Kanye won my heart as I watched him during a celebrity telethon for New Orleans who was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. For a few second he was quiet and said what we were all thinking, “President Bush doesn’t like Black people.” His co-host was shocked and my heart leaped. YES, YES!! It needed to be said. They left Black folks behind to die in the streets and my heart ached. And, I felt soooo bad for Kanye when he lost his mom. I can’t imagine losing my mother as a young adult especially with the success that Kanye was having. But, when he grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift was a sign that he was still in a bad place. As a mother and grandmother I just wanted to hug and hold him because you know he was hurting!
The years after the Taylor Swift incident, I lost my zest for listening to Kanye West music even-though I considered him something special. Here we are at the MTV 2013 Video Music Awards and Kanye West performs a song that reminded you of Billie Holiday’s, Strange Fruit, Blood on the Leaves. That’s the genius of this young man. He is singing and jumping around and I see in the background a forest or woodsy area and a tree that stands out as strong and very old. I have seen this picture before it’s the site outside of New Orleans where lynchings took place. And, the ground beneath the tree is where some of Blacks that were lynched are buried. WTF!!! I’m impressed that he knows the photographic work of the British Black artist and filmmaker, Steve McQueen.
I ran into McQueen’s work surfing the internet and was impressed with his education and latest project. McQueen is considered an artist, producer, writer and director and has produced a film called “12 Years a Slave” as his latest project. The film is the true story of Solomon Northup who was a free Black man but was sold into slavery and remained a slave for 12 years.
I’m excited to see that Kanye’s genius is kicking ass and I am impressed with educating those who don’t know. I am going to have to rethink Kanye and take him more seriously.