“Giuliani’s part of Illuminati! A million minds in one body designed to decline society!”. That’s a bar from the critically-acclaimed debut album, Doe or Die, by one of my top 10 favorite rappers, AZ. This blog only showcases about a quarter of my writing ability, and if you pay attention, you may notice that I often rhyme and use metaphors, alliterations, and other figures of speech without intending to. Of course, you would never know what my intentions are, but now that I’ve told you, you know. That AZ bar was the first time I heard of “The Illuminati”, and the man is so prolific that he taught me the word and defined it in one fell swoop. Hip Hop was such a pivotal part of my upbringing, that sometimes I think regular, everyday thoughts in rhyme format. Now, most of the time those rhymes are garbage, but it happens often. Hip Hop is not just an artform, it’s not just a music genre, it’s a culture and a way of life! Some rappers are teachers, they edify and escort us with their influences—they are progenitors of our heritage, habits, and traditions. Kanye West takes all the most popular and most controversial elements of Hip Hop culture and utilizes them to stay relevant and boundless within said culture. Some people call that “genius”, but I beg to differ! If you’re travelling down a crowded public street, and you notice someone with their hand inside their pants, scratching their ass, why are they openly scratching their ass? There are three likely scenarios—their ass itches so badly that they don’t care who sees them scratching it, they’re mentally incapable of feeling embarrassment and they lack the capacity to discern proper etiquette from disgustingly bad manners, or they want attention. Occasionally, all three scenarios are accurate simultaneously. Kanye West is smart enough to know that cause célèbre sells, and successful enough to understand that no degree of backlash could devastate his influence. I hope to keep this blog post short, and by the end of it you may think I hate Kanye West, but I don’t. I just don’t like this nigga!
The fact is, Kanye West doesn’t even write most of his own music. So, all the powerful, profound, persuasive shit that you hear him recite in his rhymes likely came from someone else’s mind. Who’s to say how much his words outside the booth are affected by external sources? Overlooked rappers such as Consequence, Rhymefest, and CyHi the Prynce admittedly helped pen some of Kanye’s most notable lyrics. Also, look at how Kanye became a billionaire. Kanye amassed his fortune by exploiting his influence and charging a premium for his branded merchandise. Kanye West speaks vehemently about his objectives to control the culture. He aspires to be the ideal impetus for which we all shadow, and from which all our ambitions originate. Pardon me for trying to sound gospely, I’m an atheist and I’ve never read the Bible, so I don’t know exactly what all that bullshit sounds like. What type of freedom fighter preaches liberation by likening himself to an overseer and equating himself to a god?! I suppose, because overseers are generally in charge and gods are customarily praised and worshipped, Kanye wants the best of those two types of oppressors? If you “serve” an “almighty” god, how is that not oppression? I digress. All the shit Kanye West said in his Drink Champs interview is not dissimilar from the lyrical content expressed by artists like KRS-One, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine), Dead Prez, Pharoah Monch, Black Thought (The Roots), Talib Kweli, MF Doom, Mos Def, Immortal Technique, Tech N9ne, Big K.R.I.T, Hopsin, Killer Mike, and many more. I excluded many mega-popular acts like Tupac, Nas, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, OutKast, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and others intentionally. Because another fact is, people don’t give a fuck about the facts, especially when the fictions are more popular and more entertaining. Kanye ain’t saying shit that has never been said, you just haven’t been listening!
How many niggas have been robbed and/or beaten, stabbed, shot, and killed for a pair of those $300+ Yeezy’s?! When I was a kid, I remember receiving the news that my cousin Cedric had gotten jumped for a Starter jacket, and it fucked me up. I couldn’t understand it! It’s one of those things that always reminds me what compassion feels like, because I don’t feel that much anymore. Ced lived with his mother and sister in Atlanta’s infamous Bankhead Courts housing projects at the time. I remember visiting them regularly, and I had no clue how crime-ridden the area was. We would run around playing outside the apartments without incident, and I even remember walking to the store by ourselves once. Those were different times! Kanye said some shit during his Drink Champs interview that reminded me why Bankhead Courts had such a bad rep, and why jacking niggas for their shit has remained so popular, and why Hip Hop culture has devolved from a quasi-positive catalyst for conveying the plight of blacks in America to a stimulus for the intramural self-destruction of blacks around the world, and why he could NEVER lead black people to deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss. Kanye said that he pretended to be a conscious rapper because he knew that gangster rappers wouldn’t accept him because he’s never killed anyone, but all his friends were gang members. Then, he said that he’s never been poor and his family always had money. This lame-ass, Uncle Tom-ass, republican-ass, fake Kardashian ass eating-ass nigga is a self-serving capitalist and an egotistical exhibitionist, and he’s fooling y’all! I thought Joe Budden was smart, and even he jizzed his pants recapping Kanye’s interview with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. I’m not too mad at anyone who praises Kanye’s individuality, because I recognize that he represents something bigger than himself. Even though Kanye is about 68% full of shit, he will most definitely inspire people to think for themselves and to fight for their freedom.
With all that being said, I’ve seen through niggas my whole life! That’s what happens when a smart kid is born into a dysfunctional family full of liars and no one to answer his questions. Luckily, everything that I’ve ever felt or believed in has always been vindicated by my favorite Hip Hop artists, and I am who I am because of that reassurance. Tupac taught me that it’s always cool to be intelligent, and to be strong in the face of adversity. DMX taught me to stay loyal to those who show me genuine love, and to live outside the fog so I can discriminate between the snakes, the rats, the cats, and the dogs. Nas and AZ taught me that being laidback and anti-social are intrinsic attributes of introspective and thoughtful people, and that chicks love deep, pensive thinkers. The Illuminati is real! Feel free to do your own research on how and why it exists, and what purpose it serves. If any rapper is part of The Illuminati, it’s fucking Kanye West! Despite Kanye disclaiming his backpacker roots, he’s a hipster. A hipster is someone who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream. Hipsters do the opposite of what everyone else does just for the fuck of it, and they believe they’re being unique, even though opposing mainstream trends and fashions has always been fashionable. Again, Kanye ain’t doing or saying nothing new! Kanye goes left, pulls everyone with him until going left is too popular to be hip, then he goes right and everyone follows. Now, are your ready to have your mind blown? There’s a song by Huey Lewis and the News titled, “It’s Hip to Be Square”. Find the song on YouTube and listen closely to the lyrics. There’s a formula to acquiring popularity in the entertainment industry, and one of the main components is to be entertaining. Kanye West is more entertaining than most people, he’s not more “genius” than anyone! If y’all paid attention to more people, you would know that… and I’m not referring to myself. But, worship me if you wish!