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Basslines and Protest Signs

Basslines and Protest Signs Part 48: WTF is Kanye West Jabbering About Now

Kanye West (photo credit: Rodrigo Ferrari)

We’re going down a political rabbit hole, stay with me. Even by Trump’s increasingly deranged standards, this has been a particularly insane week for the sitting president. In the midst of a national crisis Trump seems hell bent on causing chaos rather than calming it. He’s doing all he can to boost his ego by airing terrifying propaganda videos during press briefings, and he continues to antagonize both the press and governors of states such as Michigan and California in an attempt to score political points. Only this week he called for the people to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” as well as Virginia and Minnesota. It’s been three days since Trump posted those tweets but it’s still barely sunk in that a sitting president called for civil violence in such an overt manner.

By any measure, Trump is doing a terrible job and his incompetence is costing lives. His spiteful dismantling of Obama’s Pandemic-Response team has proven devastating. His inability to do the basic things — to speak to the entire nation on both sides of the political aisle and make us feel like we have a unified hope despite the long road ahead — is worrying. And the fact that the people out protesting for their “freedom and liberty” this past weekend were seen carrying pro Trump/Pence signs, not to mention swastikas and other anti-semetic images, is telling. Despite the objections from the right, Trump not only tapped into the white supremacist ideology when he ran for president but he continues to exploit their utter ideocracy during this pandemic.

During all of this Joe Biden has emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, a man who is far from perfect. There have been, in fact, sexual assault allegations made against Biden and those need to be investigated fully. Somehow, only four years after the first black president left office and the first woman presidential nominee from a major party was on either card, we’re faced with two old white men squaring off in the debates. 

Kanye West (photo credit: Jason Persse)

But still, surely, Biden is the only choice regardless of his flaws. The alternative is four more years of an utter sociopath, during what could be some of the most important years in the country’s history. How we respond to COVID-19 and its path of destruction, both in terms of the impact on our health and on the economy, could shape the United States for decades to come. Does anybody really want Trump at the wheel for that?

Kanye West does.

By now, pretty much everybody knows that West is a total Trumpet. His appearance on Saturday Night Live wearing a MAGA hat and spouting nonsense about being bullied backstage confirmed his allegiances. The SNL cast were left chuckling and half apologizing the following week but nothing that happened was any sort of a surprise. Not after the rumors that were flying. West is all about the Trump.

But still, after the month we’ve just had, surely there was hope for an artist with such obvious talent to see the light. Nope. In fact, “Ye” has doubled down with a recent cover feature for GQ.

“Both my parents were freedom fighters, and they used to drink from fountains they were told they couldn’t drink from, and they used to sit in restaurants where they were told they couldn’t eat from. They didn’t fight for me to be told by white
people which white person I can vote on,” he said, when asked about the forthcoming election. 

When asked how the man who told us that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” could wear a Trump hat, he said:

“Black people are controlled by emotions through the media. The media puts musicians, artists, celebrities, actors in a position to be the face of the race, that really don’t have any power and really are just working for white people. When it’s said like that, it’s kind of obvious, right? We emotionally connect to someone of our color on TV and feel that this person is speaking for us. So let me say this: I am the founder of a $4 billion organization, one of the most Google-searched brands on the planet, and I will not be told who I’m gonna vote on because of my color. Now, if that speaks to you, cool. But I’m speaking for myself.”

Kanye West (photo credit: David Shankbone)

That seems to be a straight admission that he’s voting based only on his own financial interests. He goes on to confirm that very thing.

“I buy real estate. It’s better now than when Obama was in office. They don’t teach you in school about buying property. They teach you how to become somebody’s property.”

And then the kicker, when West confirms that he absolutely will be voting this year:

“No, I’m definitely voting this time. And we know who I’m voting on. And I’m not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over. Because guess what: I’m still here! Jesus Is King was No. 1! I was told my career would end if I wasn’t with her. What kind of campaign is that, anyway? That’s like if Obama’s campaign was “I’m with black.” What’s the point of being a celebrity if you can’t have an opinion? Everybody make [sic] their own opinion! You know?”

The thing is, in some ways he’s right. He is a free adult with the ability to decide for himself who he’s going to vote for. But equally, you as the music buying public
have a right to choose what you purchase. It’s important that we all know who
we’re supporting.

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