What kind of crazy fucked-up world do we live in where a black musician takes the white viewpoint and gets traction?
One in which there’s no white musician of stature to stand up to him.
Except, of course, maybe a country musician. Then again, Eric Church stood up for gun control and got excoriated. As for pop singers… Gaga hasn’t had a hit in eons and Timberlake is too old and welcome to the Spotify generation, where the only acts with mindshare are rappers and most of their messages don’t reach everybody, but Kanye’s do.
Because he’s been playing the Trump card for years. Being so outrageous, being such a train-wreck, that you can’t help but pay attention, even if you don’t like his music. Actually, it used to be this way in the rock world, can you say David Lee Roth and M&M’s? But that was before rock was killed by the double-whammy of pop on MTV and the internet and now there’s a national vacuum when it comes to musicians standing up against the shenanigans of Trump and gaining traction.
And of course all whites aren’t pro-Trump.
But it’s hard to see how any African-American other than someone rich could be supporting the man.
Then again, Kanye is rich. And he wants less taxes. And more business freedom. The exact issues facing the rank and file.
Then again, this is the same rank and file that votes against its interests on a regular basis. We’ve got an uninformed populace, then again, we’ve got Kavanaugh and the blowhard-in-chief uttering falsehoods on a regular basis. Why should you have character and toe the line?
Then again, Kanye is a cartoon character!
There are lessons here. Having to do with stardom and attention. Both of which Kanye has captured. First and foremost, he’s in the public eye constantly, he cannot be stage-managed. And he reveals the intricacies of his life, his losses, his hopes and dreams. And he is alternately narcissistic and vulnerable. He seems real, however crazy. Whereas old school stars do not.
Sure, his fame started with his music. But he’s leveraged that into fashion and now politics. And he attacks first and people blanch.
How much of this has to do with music?
Well, it’s harder to get noticed than ever before. What are you willing to do to get noticed?
And Kanye, like Trump, plays the press like a fiddle. The press wants eyeballs, ratings, sales, whatever garners attention they’ll glom on to.
Not that he’s only playing to the gatekeepers, he’s tweeting on a regular basis. Everybody else micromanages their messages and releases, if his fail he just puts out new ones, utilizing the streaming platform to innovate, with EPs, with constant releases, changing release dates…
This is not a hidden formula, but the rockers and popsters seem to have no access to it. Or no vision. Like being a musician is enough. Hasn’t Kanye proven it’s about being more than a musician, a whole person? And if you criticize him, Obama even called him a “jackass,” he strikes back.
And today’s youth is more impressed by Kanye than any politician. His messages have impact. So he is making it legitimate to like Trump, even if you’re African-American.
Meanwhile the bleeding heart liberals are standing around going “Oh shoot.”
If identity politics make it so you have no message you lose.
Kanye is winning.