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September 05, 2005

On Kanye West

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get any bootlegs off the net to find out what is so brilliant about this hiphop artist. I've only seen the 'Golddigger' video, which is typical low-rent nonsense whose only redeeming quality is the unscripted clip at the end, where the video ho shows some aggravation about where her butt is supposed to be placed.

So just about all I have to go on are the rave reviews for his first album of which I've probably heard nothing. Still, I'm sure I've seen him on Chappelle's Show, or perhaps that was Wayne Brady. Now I'm looking at his now infamous video clip. As soon as I saw the set I started laughing.

What an embarrassment. Now I understand why people were saying they felt sorry for Mike Meyers. Sorry, I have to laugh again.

This was clearly an impromptu rambling rant. I get the distinct impression, counter to my earlier guess, that he had absolutely no idea what he was going to say from one second to the next. But that gives his critics a more biting indictment. He was speaking from his heart and that's what he really believes. This is right up there with Trent Lott, sorta.

My initial take was that he was coming off [faux]-militant and posturing, which led me to believe that he figured he was talking to his crew, his demographic, his fans. But that's not entirely true. He's just another political Hollywood wack-job. And to think I gave him as much credit as Susan Sarandon. Sorry Susan, at least your mendacious hypocrisy and Bush bashing is well thought out.

So is a racist idiot or a idiot racist? I think he'd crap his pants if he thought what he said would alienate whitefolks, but that he actually believes what he said about Bush. That puts him right with Trent Lott. Except that Trent Lott matters and Kanye West does not.

Posted by mbowen at September 5, 2005 11:02 AM

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Kanye spoke the truth and challenged a lying president and doing so with class and calmness, he spoke what is in his heart, to stop and injustice….many of us including myself have called out bush by swearing, yelling and being rowdy, "bush a bastard and a liar", but not KW, called BUSH out on the TRUTH!!!, Bush doesn’t care about all American, especially black people. Hallelujah there’re is hope for the world.

Yes realize the white privilege structure and all the inequality in the world, esp. in America, then demand change by ADVOCATING for the change you want to see in the world [a play on a quote by Gandhi jii) be JUST & FAIR ---- we can build a better world community, if we work for it and believe it and of course spread the hope and determination to others.

There is both classism and racism, don’t kid yourself if you think racism is over, it is as prevalent as classicism, that is how the lower class just took it up the A** with all of the conservative BUSH policies that have been passed over the last 4 years and some of the more recent bills like the energy bill and the bankruptcy bill.

If only congress would smarten up and demand a 10 percent fuel efficiency hike for next year’s car fleet and progressive increases for the foreseeable future like 2-5 whatever is attainable,. That would reduce fuel costs and save the environment too. Let’s look for proactive solutions instead of more drilling and other supply side arguments, conservative don’t have good ideas that are sound in their mechanisms. So let’s not blindly follow them.

- check out Immortal Technique


check this link out:

Posted by: a_jinni at September 5, 2005 01:29 PM

Yeah whatever. You're an ass for supporting a two bit rapper over the people on the ground responsible for fixing this mess. West's version of the truth doesnt count. I'm behind General Honore. There's a real man.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 01:55 PM

I don't get it. Where is the previous poster choosing Kanye over the workers in NO? You haven't had much sleep lately huh?

Posted by: Lester Spence [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:01 PM

There's more.

My estimation of Kanye has increased, enough to buy his cd...and enough to defend him. Probably not much more than that though.

Here's the deal, and I have no idea why you're blind to this.

What he says is empirically falsifiable.

Two statements:

1. Bush does not care about black people.

2. The dispossessed get help slower than "the possessed."

Instead of carping, prove him wrong. Can't do it? Move on.

Posted by: Lester Spence [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:04 PM

My whole gripe is with the fact that West is getting more coverage than Honore who is black too. West is dismissible except in the context that he's somebody who everybody has latched onto vis a vis the racial angle. Me, I've been defending Nagin and pumping up Honore. So I'm saying it ain't about and shouldn't be about West. What he says is empirically falsifyable, but that hasn't stopped his credibility as a political proxy.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:17 PM


check this link out: ">http://www.snopes.com/photos/katrina/looters.asp

I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, and in fact predicted as much when the Snopes entry came out. Most Snopes readers just skim the top for that red, yellow or green light, and ignore whatever follows. Only if you RTWT does it become clear that Snopes debunks West's goofy claim rather than corroborating it: yes, it's true that one news agency described one incident as "looting" while the other described a different incident as "finding." The reason for this, however, had nothing to do with race, racism or even "racialism" (whatever that means), and everything to do with the fact that one incident really did invove looting while the other did not.

Snopes has a long track record of this sort of thing. Check out this entry purporting to debunk the "myth" that Al Gore had claimed to have "invented" the Internet - when in fact he did make an equally absurd claim to have "created" it.

Posted by: Xrlq [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 02:41 PM

At the end of the day, all parties had a mike, attention and a platform - so they are ALL opportunists in some regard. I applaud anyone that practices their right to free speech. No persons point is any more or less significant than another. No one's platform is any more pristine or unfettered than another. Kudo's to anyone unafraid to speak - no matter their motivation. It's the silence that sickens me. Followed by ignorance.

Posted by: **RPM** at September 5, 2005 04:47 PM

West has no political cred. But critics are dang sure giving him some.

THis is a tempest in a teapot.

Posted by: DarkStar at September 5, 2005 07:06 PM

"THis is a tempest in a teapot."

Pretty much. Waste of your skilz to be whining about how the media is blowing up a major Billboard-chart-toppin, Grammy-winnin, Time-magazine-cover-makin pop star (mebbe you oughta sneak a listen to your kids' ipods every once in a while) over aging Susan Sarandon and who-dat Honore. You bloody well know that's how they do.

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 08:58 PM

p.s. man, if you can't dig West's music (don't judge by the video mayne), you stuck in Old School. F'real.

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 09:01 PM

In the hip hop era, you put a mike in someone's face, don't ever be surprised what you get back.

Kanye first album was entitled, "College Dropout." (Lost me right away, appeals to high schoolers.) At the annual Black College Expo in LA, there are usually record companies giving away things, and at the 2004 Expo, Kanye's record company was giving away goodies in a plastic bag with COLLEGE DROPOUT plastered across it in bold letters.

3,500 black high schoolers walking around the LA Convention Center at a college fair with a COLLEGE DROPOUT bag. Pissed me off. And tells you a lot about Kanye's mindset. Hopefully he will grow up and adjust his game , but you can't unring a bell, so on that subliminal message, the damage is done.

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 10:04 PM

Talk about judging a cd by its cover (and nothing else).

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 04:49 AM

I've heard his CD. It doesn't make a difference to me how many he sells, his influence is close to nil.

He spoke his mind. BFD.

Posted by: DarkStar [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 05:20 AM

I'm not judging the CD, I'm judging the wisdom of issuing a bag that has College Dropout emblazoned on it at a college fair for black students. If my kid came home from the event with one, the first thing I would think is, "What the hell is this?"

As far as the CD, Kanye is merely the latest hip hopper to learn the virtue of the music from the golden era of R&B, and he samples like mad. (His gimmick is to play a 45 at 78 to get the chipmunk sound. Whoopee!) I can't tell you how many times my son has told me this or that track is "HARD," only to have me play the album of the original artist so he can hear the full context of the sample.

I've personally never gotten the impression that Bush likes the run-of-the-mill Black person, nor anyone in California. The irony of those two comments is that he was in California last Tuesday and Wednesday at photo ops. Maybe he likes California better than the run-of-the-mill Black person.

Posted by: brotherbrown [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 06:28 AM

Posted by: W.C. Varones at September 6, 2005 07:31 AM

I am with Dr. Spence on this one. All this opinion stuff is cool, but if you have a beef, show and prove - otherwise pipe down.

All this technology and not one half-way decent counter argument to Kanye's principal claim. deafening silence is the order of the day.

hey, even the dixie chicks don't like bush's pu$$!, lyin' ass...and they caught a bit of flack as I recall...so did Sean Penn. nothin' new...heck michael moore even had bush talking to a room full of rich caucs - "Some people call you the elite, I call you my base."

quantify or calcify.

Posted by: Temple3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 08:48 AM


Do President's every really give a damn? Take it back to 1927.

Posted by: Temple3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 08:52 AM

Posted by: Anonymous at September 6, 2005 02:47 PM

Whats so special about this hip hop artist is that he is like no other hip hop artist. Susan Sarandon? Come on! He's on the cover of Time Magazine for a reason.
Kanye West is not a politician. He spoke from the heart on LIVE TV.

Posted by: NikkiBlue at September 6, 2005 05:54 PM

Mr. West just showed his complete ignorance with his stupid remarks. What a moron! President Bush wasn't personally responsible for the emergency effort. That all gets delegated down through all the various agencies. How about the BLACK mayor of New Orleans, leading the white tourists out of the hotel and onto a bus before all of the poor folks in line? How do ya answer that one, all your smarties? Hmmmm???? Is he an "Uncle Tom"? Kanye didn't challenge a lying President. That's bull. Kayne is a talentless loser who would be another crack hustler in the projects if it wasn't for his connections in the record industry. :)

Posted by: Chad at September 6, 2005 06:32 PM

Last time I read the bible, white souls were exactly equal to black souls. Considering that he's the mayor of the entire city, I don't see why he should abandon whitefolks. Perhaps you have a reason, smartie?

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 06:38 PM

In an interview a few months ago, Kanye also said that AIDS was created by the white man to kill Africans. If he truly believes that, then you can pretty much dismiss anything else he has to say.

Posted by: Kanyeh8r at September 6, 2005 11:29 PM

THAT COMMENT JUST SHOWS HOW FOOLISH SOME PEOPLE ARE! Can't you read that posting by Chad and comprehend what he is saying? Your rebuttal makes no sense! Read it again!

The POINT of the EARLIER COMMENT was that some people posting here and some people on TV and radio are commenting that the President, his admininstration and the country in general dislikes blacks, purposely was slow in getting help there because they were black, etc. The person posting was say that the BLACK Mayor of New Orleans was witnessed by newscrews escorting a group of white tourists from their hotel, cutting a bunch of black people in line and putting them on a bus ahead of all the black N.O. citizens. DO YOU GET THAT? The Mayor put them on the bus first. DO YOU SEE THE IRONY? DO you see that people are claiming the whites hate the blacks, but here we have a black mayor getting the white tourists out of town ahead of the poor black citizens. DO YOU GET THAT STATEMENT NOW? HUH?

Posted by: Jeremy Muldowney at September 7, 2005 07:20 AM

"What he says is empirically falsifiable.

Two statements:

1 Bush does not care about black people."

How is this statement falsifiable? Unless you can read minds, how can you possibly know who President Bush does or does not care about? And how can you prove it, either way? The fact that he does not act in a given situation the way you think he should proves nothing.

As a conservative, I don't especially want Pres. Bush to care about me. He's not my daddy. I don't need him to feel my pain. I need him to run the country. I can care about myself.

Posted by: Laura at September 7, 2005 07:26 PM

Cobb, i have just skimmed some of your comments (happened upon your blog by accident) i am a teacher working in the inner city and what i read is refreshingly logical, just had to tell you

Posted by: morna at September 7, 2005 08:56 PM

Thanks Morna, you might want your students to check out 'Return of the Bogard'. It's something I'm pretty proud of and is one of my more popular essays. I had inner city young black men in mind when I wrote it, but I've been told it makes sense in broader contexts.

As for the defenders of West, I guess I have to spell out that I'm a college educated individual, and quite frankly I've worked hard to know what I know. So when it comes to politics, I expect a whole lot of thought behind statements that are supposed to be important enough for the nation to take notice. There are way, way,way too many highly intelligent African Americans in this country who never get heard for any of us to put up with what Kanye West has to say, much less take it seriously. He's just another knucklehead rapper, and like Melle Mel said two decades ago, 'everybody knows what you been through'.

Let me put it another way. If you bought every CD Kanye West ever made (what two? three?) that is as much respect as he could possibly get. That's less than $50 worth of respect. On the other hand, any college course you take and work at months to pass, cost at least 10 times that. So why would anybody who took at least one college class in their life, disrepect their own education and take Kanye West over their teachers?

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 7, 2005 10:28 PM

Alright, I may not be as articulate in defending kanye west and his soulful statement or in ripping COBB for benig a fucking moron. I'm sorry, I don't give a rat's ass who the fuck you are or what you're political affiliation lies. But judging you from your foolish post, you're an asshole lying below the truth. 70 percent of New Orleans is African American. I don't know the stats, but I'm willing to bet that's more than any other city in this country, where the colored is the majority. I've been there once and despite the distractions of drunk women, packed bars, and loud music; I glimpsed the iron hot tin roof history of segregation being perpetuated in the old city. It was simple too, I simply noticed who was working where. At my hotel- the mariot in the French quarter- The receptionists, cashiers, and information clerks were all white. But the maintanence workers, all of them were black! I read in our local paper today that there are no hotel's in New Orlean's owned by African Americans and If you want proof of this fact ask me and I'll post another reply with the link. You gotta be kidding me, Kanye a racist idiot? Do you COBB represent a tribe that was left behind in another land after a hundred plus years of slavery only to struggle with white supremecy at the work place, at school, and at home? Where jobs are scarcer and harder to find because of the color of your skin. Where the common statistic placed on you is that your people live below the poverty line, make up the prison industry, and who's average life span is below than that of the majority in our great wealthy country. If you do, sorry. But if you don't, and you're a rugged individualist, than you live in an illusion of this country where everything is fine and dandy but bitch there's a hell below you struggling to survive and you absolutely know nothing about it and that's the way you'de like to keep it right? You only give a shit if it's a black politician, right? Please don't comment on shit you absolutely know nothing about for now on.

Posted by: vicious at September 7, 2005 10:52 PM

You know vicious I spent too much time trying to think what the hell you're trying to prove. What I'll say is this. I've traced my family history back to Marie Laveau and beyond. Yes I'm related. Seven generations free people of color back to France and St. Lucia. I've got Dolliol, Bonnecaze, Foucher & Roux in my blood, and you're gonna tell ME about black families in New Orleans?

I'd tell you where to stuff your common statistics about 'my people' but my mother reads this blog.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2005 12:00 AM

"he spoke what is in his heart"

"No persons point is any more or less significant than another."

"Kudo's to anyone unafraid to speak - no matter their motivation."

"All this opinion stuff is cool, but if you have a beef, show and prove"

Strength of conviction does not the truth make. Based upon the criteria above, a die-hard KKK grand-wizard should be equally lauded for getting on stage and claiming that the thugs who ran wild in the streets of NO are savages that just want to destroy the beautiful city build for them by the white man. After all, by your own criteria it is the accused that must prove the statement false, not the accuser who must prove it true.

The reliance upon emotion over logic has long been a staple of Democrat politics, but in the last dozen years it has grown to an art form all its own.

Posted by: submandave at September 8, 2005 04:45 PM

looks like vicious got OWNED

Posted by: J at September 15, 2005 07:56 AM

submandave, your analogy (and logic) is flawed. West is a) NOT a known racist and b) his one-liner was aimed at one specific person. Your selections and snippets are artful though, i'll give you that.

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 15, 2005 04:12 PM

Posted by: Anonymous at September 17, 2005 04:51 AM

"Kayne is a talentless loser who would be another crack hustler in the projects if it wasn't for his connections in the record industry"

Congratulations, Chad, you're a racist. FYI - not all black men who don't become rappers or sports figures end up hustling crack in the projects.

Kanye's actually from the suburbs and his mother is a professor.

Racist fucking trash.

Posted by: the knowledge at September 23, 2005 01:39 PM

now boys...

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2005 01:42 PM