The rapper/aspiring presidential candidate confirmed his new album Donda last night in the midst of a crazed Twitter rant that many believe to be a manifestation of bipolar disorder. Should music fans even pay attention to any new music that West has to share?
Ten years ago, West channeled his insanity into My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, one of the decade’s most influential and masterful albums. Now, it does not appear that even West has any control over the inner ramblings of his mind.
Last night, West took to Twitter to share a series of widely disturbing tweets about topics ranging from his wife and her family, his children, getting on the presidential ballot in South Carolina, and even claiming that the plot of Jordan Peele’s thriller Get Out is based on him.
West’s Twitter outburst unfortunately wasn’t the only thing that caught the national spotlight; at his first presidential rally in South Carolina last week, West made some controversial statements about abortion and gun control, and went as far as to criticize the work of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, claiming, “[She] never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people.”
West concluded his nonsensical Twitter tirade by sharing a screenshot of the track list to Donda, as he claimed the album will drop this coming Friday. Fans of West know at this point not to take his album release announcements at his word, as West delayed the release of his most recent album, JESUS IS KING, for more than a year.
And even if the album does drop this Friday, is it even worth listening to at this point? West, a man who clearly should be seeking some form of professional help, instead chooses to enter into what has already been a ridiculous presidential race, spout utter nonsense on social media, and attempt to discredit the work of an American hero in Harriet Tubman.
Despite all of his questionable rhetoric, there is no denying that West still has an ear for music. While the messages on his most recent album didn’t resonate with all of his fans, the level of production and musicality on the album were still relatively high, even when comparing to the high standard West has set for himself.
So should fans be listening to what West has to say? That is ultimately up to each individual to decide for themselves. For those that are eagerly awaiting the arrival of West’s album on Friday, please try to take what West has to say with a grain of salt (assuming the album even comes out on time). Even if fans want to downplay the severity of his mental state, someone who openly talks down about an abolitionist while also claiming “The most racist thing that’s ever been said out loud is the idea that if Kanye West runs for president, that I’m gonna split the black votes” should not be taken at his word. For fans who have already decided to forgo listening to any new musical material West may put out, I do not blame you. I personally find it increasingly difficult listening to West’s music from early in his career, let alone the music he is making now.
I myself am undecided on whether or not I will be listening to West’s new album, if it is released this Friday. If I do listen to it, I will certainly not be paying any attention to the lyrical content on the album. If I don’t listen to it, I will undoubtedly be searching for the opinions of friends and figures in the music world while scanning social media to see what the overall consensus is behind the album.
Regardless of if I decide to listen to West’s album or not, there is one thing I am 100% sure of: the solution to an egotistical maniac holding executive office is NOT another egotistical maniac holding executive office. That, and I miss the old Kanye.
I have just completed my senior year at the University of Michigan majoring in international studies with an emphasis in political economics and development, with a minor in Chinese language and culture, and I have recently been accepted into the Berklee School of Music’s masters of music business program. Although economics, politics and history are all academic interests of mine, I consider music to be my true passion.
Music has always been my passion, and it is a driving force for the way I think, act, and conduct myself on a daily basis. I have been playing the clarinet and saxophone since the age of ten, and the ability to play music at a high level has allowed me to embrace music on a multitude of levels. I am both an avid player and listener of music, and I find myself constantly in search of new artists who bring something new and different to the art form, and writing about new music has become a new outlet for me to explore what is going on in the musical world.