The initial answer to this question is a fast NO! No it is not okay to laugh at Kayne West…also known as Ye and Yezzy.
When we stop for a second and think about what we are witnessing as Kayne seems to be having a public meltdown in front of our eyes, it feels a little voyeuristic and a little icky. If you’ve been too busy to keep up with Kayne’s latest efforts and you don’t want to listen to the numerous podcasts that have discussed him, here are a few recaps.
- He split up with his wife, global celebrity Kim Kardashian. He then bought a house on her street to “be close to his kids”.
- He has started a social media fight with Kim’s new boyfriend, SNL cast member Pete Davidson.
- He took to social media to offer money to one of Pete’s co-workers/friend to stop working with Pete
- Kayne released a list of people “he’s beefing with” currently…the list included Harriet Tubman
- Kayne was also caught on camera dressing like a tree to spy on his ex….
That’s just a few things, but that is still a busy few months
The popular narrative on many of these podcasts is that we are watching a mental defect at work.
Maybe, but we are also watching someone who has a pretty impressive track record of creativity. He is considered a musical genius. He is considered a fashion icon. He is considered by many to be a very gifted rapper. He is also a masterful marketer.
Kayne’s first released solo project, from a now legendary hip-hop album, was a song called “Through the Fire” a song that he recorded while his jaw was wired shut after a near fatal car crash. The buzz was instant. His career was launched, and he has been grabbing the public’s attention ever since.
Let’s recap just a few.
- “George Bush doesn’t care about Black People”. That was Kayne’s public scene stealing in response to Hurricane Katrina and Kayne successfully got people talking about his thoughts and his words.
- Kayne’s public interruption of fellow artist, Taylor Swift’s award acceptance speech to proclaim that he believed that Swift didn’t deserve the award and that the award should have gone to his friend Beyonce. Again, West was able to get people talking about whether (or not) his thoughts had weight and/or merit.
- Prior to Kayne’s release of his “Sunday Service” project, it appeared that Kanye was getting in touch with his spiritual side by showing up to different places with very little notice and a full choir and performing. The album was released, and Kayne won the Grammy for “Contemporary Christian Music Album”
- Kayne was guest on the Joe Rogan Experience and announced his intention to run for President
These are just a few of his antics or maybe they were his part of a fantastic marketing plan or he’s dealing with mental health issues. Without a true medical diagnosis, we don’t know.
Here is what we do know. Kayne is getting a lot of attention right now. We also know that Kayne has a project or two that have just dropped, and he still knows how to get people talking about what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with. We also know that Kayne is making money with every project that is released and is still relevant after nearly two decades in the public eye and does not seem to be slowing down.
The thought that comes to mind is artists over the centuries that we know the folklore around them as much as we know their work, sometimes more. Whether it’s Beethoven being deaf or Van Gogh cutting off his ear or Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat, the story behind the art can become the story. Is Kayne the latest artist that will live forever in infamy? We, the public, would like to believe that we are not being duped, but we might be. We might want to believe that “He needs help “because that gives us feelings of being normal and that he is abnormal.
So, can we laugh at Kayne? If you buy his projects…laugh away because he is marketing to you. If you choose not to support his actions because his antics make you uncomfortable, then don’t laugh. However, if I could bet on one outcome, I would bet that we will get an answer to whether this is all for publicity in his auto-biography that will be on-sale at a store that he owns.