Hypocrisy, Sexism, Racism…Kanye, Did I Miss Anything?

kanye-west-amber-rose-relationship

Amber Rose, Kanye West

If you keep up with celebrity news, to any extent, by now you’ve heard of the back and forth interview-Twitter wars between socialite Amber Rose, her former boyfriend and my former favorite rapper Kanye West, and the Kardashian family. Tensions have always run high between Amber Rose and the Kardashians as Amber’s relationship with Kanye West ended in part due to Kanye’s involvement with the eldest sibling, Kim Kardashian.

Most recently the situation came to a boiling point when, in a mid-February interview with NY radio station Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, Amber Rose made some comments about a few family members when probed by interviewers. Khloe Kardashian took to Twitter in response, asking Amber Rose to stop talking about her family in interviews, but not before mentioning Amber Rose’s past as a stripper, adding, “don’t worry about my sister who has a career.”

However, the most interesting and headlining portion of this tit-for-tat was Kanye West’s response. He appeared on the same radio show several days later, with a few choice words about Amber.

Hypocrisy

Kanye calls out Amber Rose on her alleged promiscuity, saying that because of his relationship with Amber he had to take “30 showers” before being with Kim.

The first thing that comes to mind when one hears such a statement is simply “?”

Hypocrisy is when you attempt to slut-shame a woman for her sexual activities when your wife’s wouldn’t be known to you or the world if she had not taped her sexual activities with a random famous man and been in relationships with countless others. Since, apparently, his wife is free to have been with a million men in her past, he can not make it a crime for another woman to have the same history.

Sexism

Kanye says, “It’s hard for a woman to want to be with someone that’s with Amber Rose”.

Sexism is pinning a woman’s value on how many sexual partners she has had. Has anyone asked Kanye West how many women (and/or men) he has been with? Does anyone care?

Probably not.

His sexual past is irrelevant, as is hers.

Racism

We can not forget the difference in response when black (or black-identified) women display their sexuality versus non-black women.

Kanye, a serious as can be, considers Amber simply dirty for her sexual past. Why is her past such an issue, yet he pursued a woman with a similar background, making her his wife and the mother of his child? What is the difference?

Oh right, their racial backgrounds. Because when black women are open about their sexuality, they are relegated to the pile of unworthiness, to have fun with but not take too seriously. When white women display their sexuality they are made into idols by some, worthy of imitation.

Anything Else?

Kanye sees no issues with making a spectacle of a woman he once loved. This is one of my pet peeves: ex-bashing. Why throw your former partner under the bus because the relationship ended or because you believe you’ve found someone “better”? Those who bash their exes show the world how untrustworthy they are: lover and friend one minute, crucifier the next. We can only hope that the statements he makes about Kim if their relationship ends will be much less demeaning.

Yes, this post is a little (purposely) late. And yes, who cares about what a few over-inflated celebrities spew about each other on Twitter and radio? Well, I do, when it is the perfect chance to illustrate the way sexism and racism are perpetuated in American society, while everyone has a good laugh.

To say I’m disgusted by this display would be an understatement.

See also:

Open Letter to Kanye West: It’s Over

kanye-west-early-years

Dear Kanye,

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she must admit that her dreams will never be realized. That time has come in my life with my hopes for you.

Since before most people had ever even heard of a name like “Kanye”,  I supported you. I just knew you were going to be a huge star and had talent beyond measure. I delved into the world of Kanye, learning all about this unique, charmingly irresistible individual. For years, I lived and breathed Kanye West.

Despite some bumps along the road, I never once doubted that you were a sincere and kind person. When others accused you of arrogance, I was assured that you were simply confident, yet not overly so. When others were annoyed by your temper tantrums and outbursts, I thought “how passionate and human.”

So when tragedy struck  — your mother passed, I knew it would be hard for you. You were so close to your mother; she was your best friend and greatest supporter. So when you began to act out of character, quite unlike the Kanye I’d known and loved, I excused it. Everyone deals with grief in their own way.  I hoped and wished you’d get better in time.

But you didn’t.

And it seems you never will — You are solidly the new Kanye. The new Kanye that is all about money, image, clothes, and women. The new Kanye who sells $6,000 shoes and is associated with a new woman every week. The new Kanye who thinks it’s perfectly okay to trash talk ex-girlfriends and bring them to tears.

And if that’s who you have decided you want to be, I have to accept that. I can no longer wish, dream, and hope that some day you will come to your senses and start making music that matters, start doing things that matter.  So, I’ll just have to give up my “Kanye’s #1 Fan” cap. There is no longer the Kanye I adored. It’s like you passed away.

I’ll always remember you though — the old you. I’ll still listen to your old music and reminisce, remembering the times when Kanye West was more than just another made for TV rapper.  It may take some time for my knee jerk reaction to defend you to subside to defend you. But it will in time, because all I have now are memories… It’s over.

Solemnly signed,

alee

See also:

Article Response: Kanye Isn’t Coming Back

kanye-west-styleAnd even if he were, you don’t need him to.

Journalist and blogger Janelle Harris at The Stir recently posted a letter to rapper and producer Kanye West entitled Kanye West and I Will Never Get Married. Like myself, Janelle is a devoted and longtime fan of Kanye West. And like myself, Janelle decided to write an open letter to Kanye to express her disappointment in his massive backslide.

However, Janelle’s issue with Kanye stems not from his changing musical style or erratic behavior. Janelle calls Kanye to the table for his changing choice of women. As she muses, Janelle touches upon an often-discussed topic in some circles: colorism and the apparent exodus of black men via interracial dating and marriage:

My Dearest Kanye,

Eight years, six albums and several public fiascoes ago, I was introduced to you via “Through the Wire” and I was smitten — with your flow, your word choice, your honesty, your expressiveness…As you turned verses into albums, I really connected with not just your music but with you as a person, like kindred spirits…

So it’s been hard to watch you spiral into a stereotype that bulldogs so many Black men when they ascertain a high level of success: they dump us for the once-forbidden, still-taboo allure of the world of white girls and, if they aren’t quite bold enough to do that, they brandish the good ol’ fashioned colorism card that makes trophies out of light-skinned women. The more racially ambiguous, the better.

The bigger your name — and, can we be honest, your ego — got, the more you started interjecting little quips about race and complexion into your songs… I’m gonna need you not to be sucked into the played out patterns that too many big pimpin’ black men have perpetuated.

I understand that love can come shrouded in any color. Sure as I’m sitting here writing this, some sour commenter blinded by the overarching topic of interracial relationships is going to insist that it’s your right to date whomever you darn well please. And that it is, my dear. You certainly wouldn’t be the last brother to cross that color line and never come back… But the hem of your inner self-conflict is showing, and I think you can be saved.

The other day, my friends and I debated whether you would ever link up with another black woman…I’m wondering if a regular black girl or a chocolatey “Kelly Rowland” could ever be that masterpiece of perfection you like to praise…Look at a picture of your mama and tell me that you don’t find beauty in black women anymore…

I’ll always be a fan, Kanye. But I will be disappointed if you don’t put all that mouth to use to say something that the world needs to hear expressly said about black women: we’re desirable and sexy and art-inspiring, too.

Love, Janelle

While Janelle’s letter was well-written and honest, her concerns are not new and don’t look to be resolvable anywhere in the near future. As such, I’ve written my own letter in response to Janelle:

Continue reading

Open Letter to Kanye West: Please Stop Singing

kanye-west-autotuneDear Kanye (or should I say Mr. West),

I’ve noted you have taken to singing in your latest recordings, in addition to, and in priority of, your usual rapping. This would be fine, if you could actually sing. But as much as it pains me to admit, you can not.

Your use of auto-tune was grating to my ears, and surely to others; enough for them to make a petition for your quitting the use of it. But this is something far worse. You’ve attempted to become a singer without any clear vocal training. You’ve fallen into the realm of pop singers such as Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna — a mockery.

When I received your album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, I wasn’t all that excited. I was already aware of your explicit, racially charged album cover. But more urgently, I’d heard your first single, “Runaway” and was less than impressed. In fact, I never listened to the song the whole way through because I couldn’t stand your singing.  Now that I have, I’m still convinced the song could be better, and the only thing that saved it was the rapping — not by you, but by Pusha T. I’m hesitant to listen to the entire album in fear of the singing that may be in store for me. This is coming from one of your earliest fans.

So please Kanye, stop singing. You are talented in many areas, but singing is simply not for you. Don’t be offended by this letter: I’m only trying to help. Your latest antics have isolated your fans, do you want your singing to drive away even more? We want the old Kanye back.

Truly yours,

alee

See also:

Kanye – How Could You Be So Heartless?

kanye-west-cigarAnyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Kanye West fan. I might just be the biggest Kanye West fan to have ever been born — certainly one of the most dedicated (says Kanye himself, more on that later). Or I was. Until Kanye began to change.

I first heard of Kanye West in the summer of 2003. I was listening to my favorite radio station and the DJ introduced his first single, “Through the Wire”. I was floored. I thought the song was pure genius. I had to find out all I could about this new artist, this “Kanye West”. As I learned about him, I came to love him more and more. His style of music, dress, speech, and physical appearance (especially his smile), appealed to me more than anything I’ve ever known. I’d ask people “Do you know Kanye West?” If they said they did not (most people at the time, of course, did not), I would reply “Well, you will soon. He is going to be one of the biggest stars in the world.” I was star-struck, for the first time in my life.

kanye-west-grammys
I joined KanyeWest.com, one of the first subscribers, and began helping to organize concerts at venues across the U.S. and spread the message about my favorite artist. The interesting thing about this is that I’ve never been to a Kanye West concert myself. I used to be afraid of what would happen; I would probably make a fool of myself in the presence of the man I’d put my life on hold to marry in a heartbeart, so I did not take any chances. But I did get to speak to Kanye, one on one, online. He was as personable, kind, and down-to-earth as I’d imagined him (He even used lots of smilies). He thanked me for being one of the first to support him on his website and expressed excitement about his career and being able to live his dream. I began to connect to him on a personal level, he was more than a “producer turned rapper” to me.

Continue reading