Kanye West is perfect. Every time I think he can’t go up in my estimation, he does something more magical. Last night, having established himself as the most important political figure in the free world, he decided the time had come to find new worlds to conquer. ‘I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!’ he tweeted, out of the blue.
My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!
— ye (@kanyewest) October 30, 2018
And this not three weeks from the Oval Office audience he gave President Donald Trump, an occasion at which he, brilliantly, chose to communicate only through free association – oscillating at a frequency barely within the realms of human comprehension.
He told Trump: ‘There’s a lot of things affecting our mental health that makes us do crazy things, that puts us back into that trap door that’s called the 13th Amendment. I did say, “abolish,” with the hat on, because why would you keep something around that’s a trap door. If you building a floor, the constitution is the base of our industry, of our country, of our company. Would you build a trap door that if you mess up and accidentally something happens, you fall and you end up next to the Unabomber, you gotta remove all that trapdoor out of the relationship’.
What elevates West’s decision to the very highest levels of human achievement is that it was not occasioned by anything as base as actual politics. It was unsullied, for example, by concerns over universal healthcare or foreign aid spending. West, I think, quit politics because of creative differences regarding the design of a t-shirt. This, surely, is what we want from megastars. We don’t want to see them moored like the rest of us to the shores of public opinion and human consensus. Instead, we want to see them thrashing about like the creative Goliaths we know they are, messing with our tiny minds.
West spent the summer telling the world that black people in America had become slaves to their past – that they were too keen to wallow in the history of an oppression that ended 400 years ago. He said the Democrats encouraged black people to remain chained to their past rather than to let it go in order to move forward and to evolve. By saying these things, often while wearing a MAGA cap, West made a good deal of normally placid people incandescent with rage. He praised Candace Owens, the controversial and telegenic black woman who is right now organising the ‘BLEXIT’ movement, which encourages black people to stop supporting the Democrats. Part of this movement involves the handing of very bright t-shirts bearing the BLEXIT logo to anyone who’ll wear one. This, it turns out, was the grit in West’s shoe.
‘I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn’t want their name on it so she used mine. I never wanted any association with BLEXIT. I have nothing to do with it,’ he tweeted.
I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn’t want their name on it so she used mine. I never wanted any association with Blexit. I have nothing to do with it.
— ye (@kanyewest) October 30, 2018
We know West is a vociferous supporter of the aims of the BLEXIT movement. For example, in his now seminal Poopy-Di Scoop song, released earlier this year, he rapped: ‘that’s the problem with this damn nation/All blacks gotta be Democrats/We ain’t made it off the plantation’. Could it be, then, that it was the neon colours of the t-shirts that offended him? It seems the only plausible explanation. Spectator readers familiar with West’s Yeezy clothes line will know he prefers more muted, classier tones. It’s unlikely, having worked to turn Yeezy (as he only the other day told Trump) into a multi-billion dollar concern, that he would now be OK with putting his name to garments sufficiently lurid to pass off as the designs of very small children. What the hell was Owens thinking?
Unsurprisingly, she’s been quick to try to explain: ‘I said on stage that my friend and fellow superhero helped me to design the “X” for BLEXIT. This may shock the world, but Ye [as West is known] is a world renowned designer. Everyone who knows him asks him for advice on design. Ye supports various people in different regards, because at the end of the day – his [is] a message about love and unity.’
Like you, dear reader, I’ve given up attempting to discern what West is up to. I used to think he was trying to kill the existential threat Trump posed to liberal America with kindness, embracing it to co-opt it, exactly the way Elton John did when he sang a duet with the then seemingly homophobic Eminem at the Grammys in 2001. But now I’ve realised that trying to divine the workings of West’s mind – a higher being – is pointless. The whole thing might be performance art, or it might be deadly serious. Perhaps he’s just holding a mirror up to our society. Whatever he’s doing, it’s magnificent. He is the gift that keeps giving.
My advice: sit back and enjoy the show.