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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Watching the throne collapse


Kanye West’s fall from grace

“I miss the old Kanye, straight from the Go Kanye, chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye. I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye. The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye.”

These are lyrics from Kanye West’s song “I Love Kanye” from his 2016 album “The Life of Pablo.” With each new shenanigan, West ends up in the media, and the more I feel these lyrics.

I have been listening to Kanye since the very beginning. Easter of 2004, my older brother and I received West’s breakout album “The College Dropout” in our Easter baskets and my life was forever changed.

That album was one my parents and my siblings could all enjoy together, and that CD would get played on long car rides. “The College Dropout” includes so many classics that I’m sure my kids will hear during Saturday morning cleaning, including “Jesus Walks,” “All Falls Down,” “We Don’t Care” and “Slow Jamz.”

However, the West of “The College Dropout” is long gone. Debatably, I don’t think we have seen him since somewhere in between “Graduation” and “Watch the Throne,” his 2011 collaboration with Jay-Z.

It seems as though ever since his mother, Donda West, died after complications post-surgery in 2007, West has been on a downward slope.

Grief is an insidious thing and it manifests itself in several ways. West has admitted  that he struggled greatly after his mother’s death and was battling addictions. West has also been relatively open about his mental health in other aspects and how he lives his life with bipolar depression, which was a huge theme of his 2018 album “Ye.”

I have a bit of a soft spot for West, because I have been following him for so long and I grew up listening to him. So it makes me very frustrated and partly confused to hear him say things like “slavery was a choice” and endorse President Donald Trump when these things are in total contrast with his past beliefs.

I miss the Kanye who said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on live national television. I miss the “Heard ’Em Say,” “Murder To Excellence” and “Spaceship” Kanye. The one who said, “My persona is that I’m the regular person. Just think about whatever you’ve been through in the past week, and I have a song about that on my album.”

It’s almost as if he’s a whole new person. We went from West the regular person, to Yeezus who thinks he’s a god.

ILLUSTRATION: Kaitlyn Patterson ’20

Musically, West is a god. The production on every last one of his albums, including “Jesus is King,” is amazing. He has never missed when it comes to samples either. West really knows how to construct a sound.

Which is also why he’s influenced so many huge artists like Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, Future and Young Thug to name a few. He truly has had a huge impact on a lot of the rap we hear today.

West popped out during an era when everything was bling bling, gold on your neck and gold in your mouth. And he stepped out talking about things like materialism, racism, religion and family matters, while single handedly bringing back the usage of old school samples which we still see used frequently today.

West also helped popularize skits between songs on albums which you hear with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Vince Staples. West helped a lot of others achieve hits, like when he produced Jay Z’s famous Nas diss track “Takeover.”

And, he made popular the concept of incorporating elements of rock, electronic and alternative music into hip hop and rap which you can clearly observe in artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Kid Cudi and Travis Scott.

However, all of these musical merits cannot distract from the fact that people need to stop asking West his opinion on certain things. West’s audience reaches globally, his platform is huge and some of the things he says should not be broadcast because they are dangerous.

Considering West has a wide young white following and many of them look up to him, saying things like “slavery was a choice” is very dangerous and could poison the minds of the youth. It also confuses and hurts the young black kids that look up to him.

West is so far out of touch with his roots to the point that he’s not even relatable anymore. He is no stranger to successfully using elements of gospel in his music as we have seen with “Jesus Walks,” “Ultralight Beam” and “Father Stretch My Hands Pt.1” but his newest album “Jesus is King” is not enough to redeem him from his social sins. The production as always is immaculate, but the lyrics are just not there.

I’m staying hopeful that one day my beloved Ye says “sike” and returns back to the Yeezy I know and love, but the future is not looking too bright.

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