Let’s not throw the first stone at Kanye … Yet

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

When I first listened to Kanye’s “The College Dropout” album, I felt like I was rekindling my love story with hip-hop. It was during the era of Ja Rule, DMX and Nelly. I wasn’t feeling the love anymore and had not been discovering new artists.

And then, Mr. West came into my life in an epiphany kind of way.

With his sophomore album, I was still in Kanye’s land. Until this day, listening to both his albums, I had the feeling he was one of my big brother’s childhood friends and I was listening to their conversations discussing   the greatest NBA players to who shot Mr. Burns in The Simpson’s (we all know it was Maggie Simpson).

On those two albums, Kanye was saying some pretty hard cold truths about life in a very clever way. I have to applaud his song writing during that period.

But, as the years passed and the social media empire took control of so many things, including the option of thinking before writing or saying something that could end up being the stupidest thing you read, not of the day but of the minute! Kanye seemed to have been more lost and less focused.

He married a woman whose entire empire and fan base was in big part due to social media creations (and that is okay) but I always expected Kanye to be with a woman of substance. Someone with more going on in the brain department, more an academic girl (hmm hmm like me) or an intellectual. But, it wasn’t the case.

And then, he goes from someone that was not afraid to tackle the subject of slavery in a very smart and clever way, like in his song “We Major” featuring Nas The Great and Really Doe to supporting the current president of the so called free world (I really don’t see what the free world stands for anymore).

In my mind, something seems odd. Last week, Kanye brought up the subject of slavery again. It was as well put, just as he sang in his first two albums. This is what I thought at first, since I didn’t see the video but read the headline on a website that I won’t name because I’m ashamed. I was just numb.

But then, (and of course my brother tried to make see his comment in a different light), I realized the problem with Kanye is that he takes himself way too seriously. When you are really listening to what he said, it’s not almost crazy. The way it came out was damn crazy! As the very black girl that I am, I know that this subject always brought us into discussions.

Actually, in a funny kind a way, Kanye is making us think about this delicate subject. My problem is why do you go to TMZ (of all organisations) instead of having a very intelligent conversation with Christiane Armanpour at CNN or Gayle King at CBS. Those journalists would have pushed the envelope and asked him to be more clear.

No, he went to TMZ.

For him to be a supporter of the man that is the so called Commander-In-Chief of the Free World is so weird. Especially for someone that had blasted George W. Bush. But, can we assume that maybe he is supporting this person for a very selfish reason?

Maybe, because he is going to be less rich, he needs this person?

It’s only a question I’m asking.

Please, don’t throw the first stone at me. I am innocent.

The weeks to come will be something!

We will listen to the upcoming albums and maybe after one song, we will be so mad at ourselves for even listening to it, or maybe, it will be another masterpiece. For the masterpiece part, I wrote it because one of his collaborations will be (if it’s still happening) with Nas. So, it could really be good.

In the meantime, let’s hold our breath for the next Kanye moment.

And let’s not throw the first stone at Kanye… Yet.

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The number 4

The self-proclaim king of hip-hop has dropped a brand new album this week. 4:44 is here but actually only on Tidal.

Some may think I have a love-hate relationship regarding Sir Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay Z.  And maybe you are right. For me, he has always been rapping about his so-called gangster envies and his bling-bling lifestyle. I have never been attracted to that. I did enjoy a few of his songs like every teens that saw the great Tupac and Biggie leaving this world in the late 90’s. I was hoping that maybe some knowledge and words of wisdom will come eventually…

I’m still waiting.

I’m a girl that grew up analyzing and loving the lyrics and musicology of the songs of Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, Guru, A Tribe Called Quest, the French legendary group IAM and Nas. Those guys never proclaim they were the best there is but we all know they were. Some of them did talk about the gangster life but they never quite glorified it as some artists did. But they manage to write some poetic lyrics with some mystical beats.

At first, Jay Z was the promising one. But I think he got lost in this corporate world and his self proclaimed throne with his queen.

The Beatles, The Stones, James Brown, Tina Turner didn’t have to sing that they were the best there is. We all know before they knew.

An artist doing an album that will be only streaming on his platform but you better be register before his baby album was drop, I find it a little bit snobbish.

And if you want to apologize to your wife about “Becky woman” or whatever, please don’t put it in a song that seems to be a marketing strategy like everything regarding this relationship.

BJ's

Authenticy is a word that I wrote a lot about on The Chronicle. I’m inspired by authentic artists. Rappers “like the ones I mention earlier” are one of the most authentic ones because they are not afraid to talk about the struggle and the little victories.

Now, everything is about branding and profiling.

Talking about your beefs has been in the hip-hop community since ever. But I was thinking in 2017 maybe we had passed this stupid way of dealing with it. Guess what, Jay did dissed Kanye. I taught he was a little bit more mature for that. It was his chance to be the bigger man of the situation. Oh well, here we go again.

There is some hope.

I really do appreciate the song “Smile”. It’s a hymn about a son that he is proud that his mother is finally and in love regarding what society may think. I find it to be sweet and beautiful.

I enjoy the first 3 albums of Mr. West. For some of us, he was relatable. This guy that went to college, rap about his everyday life with an originality with perfectly well written lyrics.

Kanye West College Dropout

Like you know the guy is a smart ass by his writing. Jay Z and him were the perfect combinaison. And the world of fame and hashtag destroyed it.

A guy like Jay Z could have help more the up and comers artists in a bigger way. He is a smart business man but I won’t say one of the best artists of all time but clearly an artist that put his footprint on the 20th and 21th century.

To be a good business man, you don’t have to be authentic but instead you have to be smart, sharp as a knife and opportunist. You got to grab every opportunity to make money.

And this album seem to be the goal but we did had some glimpse of real germs. Maybe the next one album will shine in his fullness like a diamond.

Jay Z