I Miss the Old Kanye
By Antonio Quintana
Being a Kanye fan has never been easy. There have been many times in the past where Kanye has said or done things that are not necessarily deemed acceptable. Many fans have chosen to move on past those points and continue supporting the artist. Even though this may have been the deal in the past, the same case has not quite been applied as of recently.
I’m sure anybody with access to social media has heard of the notorious interview between Alex Jones and Kanye West. This situation has sparked more controversy than anything ever has before with Kanye. Many people believe that the things that were said by Kanye during this interview have put the final nail in the coffin for his career.
Nothing Kanye has said in the past even comes close to the situation that’s being dealt with now. Some things were said that would completely knock most other people off the face of the media. The fact that people are still giving Kanye a chance just goes to show how hardcore fans can get. Many fans focus on the music Kanye has given us instead of focusing on what he’s said. Others, meanwhile, have gone the route of completely avoiding and cutting off all support for the artist. The remainder of the fans are in the situation I’m in: we still love the art we have been given the chance to enjoy and we don’t want to stop listening and interacting with it. However, we don't want to support or empower someone with heinous views.
As much as we may not want to stop supporting the music we all love, we also take Kanye’s recent actions into consideration. People like us believe that no exception should be made for Kanye’s actions. Some people think that enjoying his music necessitates defending Kanye (the person, not just the musician) with their life. They will put in hours of their time arguing with random people on the internet just to get their point across.
In short, they will defend the indefensible. Many of them bring up Kanye’s history of struggling with mental illness. Now, people struggling with mental health deserve all the support we can provide. However, Kanye's mental-health struggles absolutely do not excuse some of the things that he has said, and the way to help him is not to enable his worst impulses.
It would be wrong not to address the most recent remark made by Kanye regarding Jonah Hill in "21 Jump Street". That absolutely ridiculous statement made by him went as follows: “Watching Jonah Hill in ‘21 Jump Street’ made me like Jewish people again.” While the statement is fairly straightforward and seemingly made with vaguely goodhearted intent (remember: it's Kanye, and adjust your expectations accordingly), it still just seems trivializing to me and many others compared to how strongly worded his anti-Semitic statements were.
Many are wondering if this is Kanye’s start to redeeming his career and reputation, but as of right now the safest thing to do is to not let your expectations rise. As we all know, it's not unlike Kanye to disappoint and shock us with what he decides to do at any given point. Best we can do as fans of Kanye's music is to keep an optimistic outlook on the situation and more seriously push him to seek redemption for the harm his words have caused.