“I don’t like Kanye West, he’s such an asshole.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but that’s a sentiment that I’ve heard on several occasions, to which my internal (and sometime external) response is “Have you even listened to Kanye West before?”
Here’s the thing: I’m not saying that there’s a right or wrong opinion to have about Kanye West, or any artist for that matter—but it seems like Kanye is one of the most maligned artists for not having the kind of personality that others would like him to have. That being said, whatever personality he has does not have any bearing on his work.
Let’s look at another celebrity: Tom Hanks. I love Tom Hanks. Love his work. He’s rumored to be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood and I believe it—I don’t think that he’d be any better or worse of an actor if he were an asshole.
As for Kanye—if you’ve listened to his work and it just doesn’t do it for you, I get it. To each his or her own. But, there seems to be an awful lot of naysayers who haven’t even really listened to the work.
This goes for a lot of things beyond Kanye. There are a lot of television shows, movies, other musical artists that don’t particularly appeal to me, and I try not to pass judgment on these things. I haven’t educated myself on the subject to form an opinion about it. I’ll have some sort of impression about these things, but I won’t have a well-formed opinion.
As for Yeezus, it’s a pretty good album. I don’t think it tops my personal favorite Late Registration, but I think it’s a very appropriate step in the evolution of Kanye West. For those who’ve followed the journey from album-to-album, you might even get the feeling that he’s trolling everyone who just things he’s an egomaniac.
That being said, Kanye West does not seem like the kind of person who really ever wants to explain himself while everyone wants to express opinions about anything that he does. I imagine that it’s a stressful position to be in.
If the entertainment industry were a congeniality contest, maybe Kanye would win. Maybe he wouldn’t. Who knows? I can’t say because the entertainment industry isn’t about niceness or rudeness, at the end of the day, it’s about being entertained, and if we’re lucky, we might find something artistic in that entertainment—something that can be discussed.
Kanye has certainly given us all something to discuss.