(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Kanye West has a sweet tooth for controversy. Situated among snapshots of concepts from the most recent Yeezy collection, philosophical notes from what one can assume are excerpts from his upcoming book, and album release dates is this:
Insert: Showering support from Fox News
Personally, I do not know Kanye, but it does not take more than a simple Google search to understand his keen appreciation for shock value. If you know this about Kanye than this tweet should not surprise you in the slightest.
Candace Owens is an African-American conservative commentator. This past November she was appointed Director of Urban Engagement for Turning Point USA, a right-wing nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to educate students about “true free market values.”
She can be seen in short segmented videos speaking to African-American students while saying problematic statements such as, “you’re overly privileged Americans.” In the same speech she referred to slavery as a thing of the past and that people “like being oppressed.” People boo, heckle, and walk out-that is the point. The hyperbolic response is what fuels her career.
Post Yeezy tweet, Candace had her controversial victory lap on ‘Fox and Friends’ where she said, “police brutality is not an issue that is facing the black community whatsoever.” Boom. Shock value.
I am not here to comment on Mr. West’s political affiliation. I also want to make it clear that I do not support Ms. Owens’ opinion, but I see her value to the system. It takes a certain type of person to become the black spokes-person for conservative outlets. It is almost a self-imposed exile from the black community.
Often times we refer to these people as puppets, but I would disagree. The music and media industries are hostile environments-they both have high turnover rates. Consumers have short attention spans. Familiar sounds get old fast and we crave something new, i.e. 808s and Heartbreak or Yeezus. While Ms. Owens’ comments may seem far-fetched and incomprehensible, she really believes what she is saying. In the same way Mr. West has succeeded, she has made a career for saying exactly how she feels.
Kanye is obsessed with thinking. He values people that are passionate about their thoughts, whether or not they fall within popular opinion. In fact, the more one diverges from the norm, the more Mr. West seems to take interest. He became a polarizing figure in music and fashion by straying from traditional boundaries.
This is Kanye. He is challenging his followers to think and be bold. He does not expect you to agree with him, but he wants to insight a dialogue by shaking up the narrative. He can tweet all he wants, but come June 1st and June 8th is when you have the freedom to judge his art.