In the past few weeks, the same sentiment has been bandied about time and again in the populous conversation, i.e. my Facebook feed: Kanye West should shut up, his music isn’t even as good as it used to be.
Whether it was the “what was that?” reactions to his triumphant performance of “All Day” at the BRIT Awards, or the continuing discussion over his post-Grammys outburst, the conversation about Kanye West always seems to take a vitriolic turn that is usually saved for conversations about people like Margaret Thatcher or Islamic State.
“He should be put down like the dog that he is” is an actual sentence that was said to me last week after an incorrect report about Kanye refusing to speak to Jonathan Ross on the comedian’s talk show. Before even dealing with the awful and all too common racism of comparing a black man to an animal, an animal that should be put down, no less, the question needs to be asked: why does everything controversial involving Kanye West inspire such hatred?
Contrast can be drawn between the reactions of people to what West has to say and their reactions to what other controversial acts, like the Gallagher brothers Noel and Liam, have to say.
After Kanye’s BRITs performance, Liam tweeted that his performance was “utter shite”, something far more disrespectful and dismissive than anything Kanye West said about Taylor Swift or Beck. Yet the reaction to Gallagher’s tweet seems to be some varying form of “hahaha yessss Liam Gallagher is a legend”. Why?
Is it because his target is Kanye West? In part, definitely. Nobody liked what Kanye did to Taylor Swift, mainly because Swift was just a young girl at the time, left looking very lonely in front of the world. Kanye West is a grown, arrogant man, who people think could stand to be taken down a few pegs.
When you move onto Liam’s brother Noel, support for the Gallaghers’ opinions becomes a little sickening. Speaking to the NME, he insulted various musicians, something people seemingly cannot handle when Kanye West does it, while also saying some truly awful things about the working class. The man said he sends his children to private schools because he doesn’t want them to speak like Ali G, but it’s all brushed under the rug as classic provocative Noel Gallagher.
People with a greater understanding of how racism works could articulate the difference in the reception of things said by working-class arrogant white Mancunians and an arrogant black man from the Chicago ghettos, but another factor that might play into these seeming prejudices is the musical output of the parties.
When people think of the Gallagher brothers, they seemingly forget the terribleness of Beady Eye and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and immediately jump to major Oasis sing-alongs like “Wonderwall”. Perhaps the awful truth is this: the criticism of what Kanye has to say stems from wanting less “All Day” and moar “Gold Digger”?
Odrán de Bhaldraithe
Image credit: wikimedia.org