Kanye West’s next phase 

Kathleen Posted by Kathleen at April 20, 2018 15:45:47 April 20, 2018 15:45:47

When it was announced that Kanye West was writing a book of philosophy right around the time he re-emerged on Twitter, I predicted that this was the first step in the rollout of Kanye’s next phase. Yesterday, Kanye announced on Twitter, of course, that he’s releasing two albums in June. The first will be a solo effort consisting of seven tracks released on June 1st. The second will be a joint album with Kid Cudi on June 8th. 

So, the next phase of Kanye West is almost here. I’m excited, nervous and curious all at the same time. I’m excited because Kanye West is still a musical genius. That’s not up for debate. But I do hope that Kanye is ready. The last time I wrote about Kanye, I shared that I consider his past support of Donald Trump a symptom of his mental health issues in 2016. I forgot that around the same time, Kanye had also tweeted disjointed statements that were interpreted as support for Bill Cosby. The Daily Beast reminded me of that. That’s really f-cking bad. If Kanye West is going to come back into this musical climate, where artists are using their platforms to advocate for social justice and comment on politics, he’s going to need to address these past transgressions. If he doesn’t, does that make him any better than Taylor Swift? 

There they are, included in each other’s narratives again. I hate making the comparison but we are no longer at the point where an artist can tap out of certain conversations without getting called out. Taylor Swift has tried and that has left her with many detractors (including me) who wonder if she really is a white supremacist since she refuses to publicly denounce them. Before you yell at me, I may not actually think Taylor Swift is a white supremacist but I also don’t understand why she hasn’t emphatically come out to dissuade people from jumping to that conclusion. If Kanye doesn’t publicly denounce Trump and now even Cosby, it’s hard not to draw the same conclusion that his views are in line with theirs. If that’s true, I’m going to have to seriously reconsider my almost 20-year allegiance to Kanye West. 

For now, I can hope that his new music with Kid Cudi will be great. They’ve both dealt with public mental health issues so this record could be a powerful way to address a conversation rarely had in the black community, especially with black men. 

Kanye’s label is G.O.O.D Music. Cudi was signed to it before he left the label in 2013 but current artists include Teyana Taylor and Pusha T. Kanye also announced on Twitter that both of their albums will be out in the weeks surrounding his new releases.  All of their drops are coming out on a Friday. In 2010, leading up to the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye would drop a new song every Friday. He called the drops GOOD Fridays. I LOVED GOOD Fridays. He brought them back again leading up to the release of The Life of Pablo in 2016. The next phase of Kanye looks like it’s going to include some GOOD Fridays but maybe a few bad days too. 

If you were waiting for an update on Kanye’s philosophy book, he is now writing it in real time on Twitter because he doesn’t like being confined to pedestrian things like page counts, deadlines and grammar. 

 

Oh, Kanye. Try not to embarrass me.  
 

Photos:
Rindoff/ Dufour/ Getty Images

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