This is a true test for the artist. Any fool can articulate pain and ugliness, but only an artistic genius who is conscious of his or her role and responsibility to the world, can transform it into something beautiful, inspirational, and ecstatic. – An Editorial by Dawoud Kringle
I never liked Kanye West, or “Ye,” as he calls himself these days. His music, while occasionally clever, never intrigued or interested me. His music seems to radiate a dark, narcissistic, joyless, and soulless ambience.
“Now if I f**k this model
And she just bleached her a**hole
And I get bleach on my T-shirt
I’mma feel like an a**hole.”
(excerpt from “Father Stretch My Hand,” from the album The Life of Pablo)
This and many other examples of his lyrics display nothing that can be charitably described as poetic genius. Yet he has the uncanny ability to articulate volumes detailing his belief in his own genius. And he insists upon doing so.
Owing to his ability to draw attention to himself, the analysis of Ye’s importance and influence saturates the media. His career and fame are based entirely upon an orthodoxy of shock. He’s more famous for his personal and marital problems and controversial public statements that indiscriminately blend astute observations with total left-field psychobabble than he is for his music. After embracing Donald Trump and the MAGA movement, he produced a massive project wherein he attempted to equate himself with Jesus Christ. Then Ye shocked everyone yet again (at least those who hadn’t long ago denounced him as being batshit crazy, and would put no insane thing past him). During an interview on Infowars, he revealed himself to be a Nazi and an admirer of Adolph Hitler. While strangely fitting, it’s hard to tell if it’s a calculated strategy in publicity, a symptom of a mental breakdown, or both.
During this recent interview with fellow lunatic Alex Jones (who was later quoted as being disgusted by his statements – imagine how far gone one needs to be to out-crazy Alex Jones), Ye wore a black mask entirely covering his head which speaks of a descent into the abyss, a disintegration of the mind and spirit, and a complete loss of identity. This is symbolically analogous to the Nazi’s corruption of the ancient swastika. Consider if you will the spectacle of a wealthy American black man, widely revered as a pop genius, publicly calling for violent retribution against Jews (“Deathcon3”) and praising Hitler for his accomplishments. Few things can be more bizarre than a man embracing an ideology designed to exterminate him and his people.
It’s important to put this in the relevant context. Excessively famous celebrities, knowingly or not, invoke and channel archetypal forces from the collective unconscious. And all too often they are enslaved and destroyed by it.
Let that sink in a moment.
It speaks volumes how such a broken soul can command the attention and admiration of millions. Ye’s real social function is to articulate a dark zeitgeist that permeates and contaminates our civilization, and how we have reached a low point in our history. There is really no other explanation for his enormous popularity. We can’t deny or ignore the archetypal significance to it, nor the foreshadowing of consequences in the real world.
This is especially important because so many people don’t even know that they have a choice between the paths of Darkness and Light. The lies have become so subtle that many people cannot distinguish one from the other.
Darkness can only be counteracted by Light. It is important for artists to produce music that calls the way back from the Abyss. This is a true test for the artist. Any fool can articulate pain and ugliness, but only an artistic genius who is conscious of his or her role and responsibility to the world, can transform it into something beautiful, inspirational, and ecstatic.
And this is something Ye cannot do. His mind is broken. Worse, his soul has been hacked by something monstrous which would take volumes to explain. There may very well be little vocabulary to describe which will not almost inevitably be misinterpreted.
I don’t know if there’s any hope for Ye. He might be too far gone. But there is still hope for the rest of us.