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A sceptic’s guide to Kanye West

Kanye West shutter shades

Kanye West is an idiot.

This is the most common response if I bring up the subject of Kanye West with friends. It was also my opinion of Kanye West a few years ago when all I knew him for was for producing sampled music and interrupting Taylor Swift at the Grammys, which I thought was fairly terrible. (I somehow overlooked the fact that in doing so, Kanye West gave Taylor Swift millions of dollars of free publicity, which is still paying off today, as well as giving publicity to Beyoncé, the Grammys, and their sponsors, creating value all round.)

I wasn’t the only one who thought Kanye West was an idiot, of course. Barack Obama called him a jackass. Jimmy Carter said that Kanye West’s behaviour at the 2009 Video Music Awards was completely uncalled for. George Bush wrote that Kanye West saying George Bush doesn’t care about black people was an all-time low in his presidency.

Wait a minute, Kanye West has been dissed by three US presidents? He must be doing something right.

My own Kanye West conversion occured when I accidentally listened to the lyrics of American Boy, a track I aways loved due to John Legend’s harmonies. At one point West raps:

Dressed smart like a London bloke,
Before he speak his suit be spoke.

Wha – wha – what? That’s a clever pun. Of course, Kanye West has many others, which I’ve since discovered:

Couldn’t afford a car so she called daughter Alexis.

If you fall on concrete that’s your ass fault.

And it’s not a pun, but I love:

There are leaders and there are followers,
But I’d rather be a dick than swallower.

And if you want evidence of his producing skills, listen to We Don’t Dare from The College Dropout or POWER from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Of course, Kanye West is still an idiot, as he admits on American Boy:

I always act the fool

But he’s a very interesting, talented, hard-working idiot.