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The Curious Case of Kanye West

Contributed by Brandon Miles (label co-founder and frontman for All Around the Dinner Table). His new LP, From the Mouths of Shepherds, is now available on iTunes, or get a free four-song sampler from Noistrade! Brandon also hosts our free weekly podcast.

Last week Sarah and I watched Kanye West’s performance on SNL. I have to admit, there is something about Kanye West. You have to admit that he is a fascinating individual, even if you don’t like his music. I love the sound of his earlier work, but I never thought much of his lyrics. Watching his performance of Ultralight Beam, I started to wonder if I should give a second look.

Kanye West Tweets Tidal Frustrations
Kanye West Tweets Tidal Frustrations

Reddit seemed to be full of memes questioning why everyone suddenly loved Kanye West after years of using him for parody fodder and internet ridicule. Apparently others heard Life of Pablo and had a moment similar to mine.

But then I noticed something else. Kanye West seemed to be losing his mind on Twitter. I don’t know much about Kanye personally, but I do know he was once introduced on a stage as one of the owners of Tidal, a competitor music subscription service introduced by Jay Z, and a variety of other music artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk, Jack White, Madonna, Arcade Fire, Alicia Keys, Usher, Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, deadmau5, Jason Aldean and J. Cole.

Not only was Kanye tweeting that he was now $53 Million in personal debt, but he was also asking the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for money. What was going on?

Soon, Jack Conte (CEO of Patreon and founding member of internet darling band Pomplamoose) reached out on YouTube (watch the video below) to remind Kanye that there are plenty of people who would love to support his art, even just a few dollars at a time. Some criticized this move as a desperate and cheap promotional move for Patreon, but I think Jack has proven to be not only a mover and a shaker but a pretty genuine guy if there ever was one. Others feel like the giants of the music industry don’t belong on platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter, and IndieGoGo. They would say this space is best left for the indies who have little capital otherwise.

It’s hard to know what to think of all of this. Watching Kanye West is a bit like watching David Allan Coe (warning: very graphic subject matter in the linked interview). It’s hard to tell how much of what you’re witnessing is art made by pure genius, utter and genuine insanity, or some of both. It’s also hard to tell if we’re simply being trolled for the fun of the game.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

One thought on “The Curious Case of Kanye West

  1. We’re definitely being trolled. 2016 is the year of America falling for people like Kanye and Trump playing the old school pro wrestling heel card. I hate being the old complainer, but it seems like we’re getting dumber as a society for a variety of reasons, and the dumber we get, the more celebri-trolls will come out of the woodwork to get more famous for acting like jerks/idiots in the media. So much more to say about this…I’ll have to let the hate flow through me on the podcast!

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