Kanye West confuses the masses with performance, tweet about 13th Amendment
A few weeks ago, I took to social media to passionately defend Kanye West. After Saturday’s performance on the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live," I’m second-guessing that.
I mean, what was that? Did you see that? Dressed as a giant, green bottle of Perrier — alongside Lil’ Pump, who was dressed as a bottle of Fiji water — Kanye put on a lackluster performance of “I Love It.”
“He’s an absolute GENIUS,” I said. “And, based on every interaction I’ve had with him personally, an all-around good guy.”
And I believed that at the time. Now, I’m not so sure. I mean, I still think he’s a good guy — though largely misunderstood. I met him several years ago, during my career as a radio programmer, and he was absolutely gracious and kind. He gave me the cell phone number of his road manager, and told me if I ever needed anything, just to let him know.
I once interviewed Lisa Robinson, the legendary rock 'n' roll journalist, who has spent time in the studio with Ye. I asked her about him, because I wanted to get a sense if my read was accurate.
“I get the sense that he’s very shy, creative and incredibly intelligent,” I told her. “I think that lots of the ‘misbehavior’ we see in public is just a coping mechanism — an attempt to keep people at a distance.”
Kanye is alternately vulnerable and narcissistic. But lately, I’m having a harder time defending him. I didn’t think there's anything particularly profound about the SNL performance. In fact, the past couple of albums have been sub-par, in my opinion — or at least not my cup of tea.
But then, on Saturday, he may have totally jumped the shark. And he was wearing a red Make America Great Again hat rather than a big green Perrier bottle. West tweeted, “this represents good and America becoming whole again. We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment. Message sent with love.”
Yeah, you read that right. Abolish the 13th Amendment — which ended slavery.
It’s absolutely unclear what West meant by that, but a few months ago he stirred up controversy by seeming to assert that the enslavement of African Americans had been “a choice.” Some have speculated that West was referring to the portion of the 13th Amendment which permits prisoners to be used as slave labor or indentured servants, but that isn’t at all clear.
And at this point, there’s really no way to know.
Add to this the fact that West is toying with the idea of running for president in 2020, and it reaches a whole new level of surreal. Sure, he’d never win. I mean, he surely would never win, right?
— Originally Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News, 10/04/18