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Stop Asking For My Thoughts On Kanye West. But If You Really Must Know...



Between sunrise and sunset yesterday, at least two dozen people probed me about my thoughts regarding Kanye West. There were emails, texts, instant messages, and straight up phone calls; my father - with whom I have never discussed hip-hop - even hit me up for an opinion. Apparently few folks have paid attention to my rants for the past half-decade; I once called for terrorists to smear anthrax on Kanye CDs in order to euthanize planet hip-hop’s dumbest citizens.

Here’s what I told my mom, almost verbatim, causing her to hang the phone up: “You really want to know what I think, ma? I think Taylor Swift’s popularity aggravates me more than college kids who like Kenny Chesney. Neither her, nor Kanye, nor Beyonce deserve awards for the vapid junk they push on dummies who are too lazy to seek out authentic music. But that’s the hell I live in; I spend my career guiding readers toward real shit, and then they watch the Video Music Awards. What the fuck mom?”

Some of you are saying, “I understand if he doesn’t like Kanye as a person, but his music is pretty good.” No it isn’t. Rap pedestrians enjoy his hits for the same reason that rock amateurs like Vampire Weekend: they’re blinded by superficial pop aesthetics, completely unaware of how utterly unimaginative his generic samples and trite lyrics truly are. As for so-called hip-hop heads who support this hack-tacular megalomaniac: it’s funny how you criticize commercial rappers but step in line with every trend they dictate. Nice fucking neon sweatshirt.

There are also those of you who are posting status updates the likes of: “I’ve hated Kanye all along.” You’re full of shit. You were singing “Through the Wire,” Jesus-walking, and either not knowing or not caring that he ruined a good and decent Daft Punk song. I bet you think he was the first MC to rock Ralph Lauren. And guess what - in a few weeks your blinders will be back on. So please don’t waste my time; asking a legitimate hip-hop writer what he or she thinks about Kanye West is like asking Roger Angell for some musings on PlayStation baseball.

That’s all. I’ve always tried to treat Kanye West like 7-Up: I never have, and I never will. But from now on I’m going one step further; I will never write his name again. If he rapes Bob DeNiro on stage at the Oscars, I still won’t weigh in. So unless you want to talk about the new M.O.P., Raekwon, or Esoteric albums, don’t ask for my opinion. There’s too much phenomenal hip-hop out there for me to waste another breath on fraudulent practitioners.


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