Cassie’s Corner: Kanye Kontroversy
For those of you that don’t know me that well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am a little obsessed with celebrity culture. I know who’s dating who, who’s getting divorced, who’s feuding, and who is adopting a baby from a third world country. I can’t really explain my fascination, I just know that it is very real. I know that celebrities are people just like us and that they typically don’t appreciate their every move being published online. But even with this knowledge and the nagging voice in my head that tells me I’m stupid for caring so much, I can’t help but indulge in a little E! News when my schedule allows.
And because of my fascination with celeb culture, of course I know about the recent Kanye Kontroversy that stemmed from his “Yeezy Season 3” event at Madison Square Garden, to which he invited plenty of A-listers (including models like the Hadid sisters and Karlie Kloss, fashion powerhouse Anna Wintour, 50 Cent and Tyga, and of course, the Kardashians) and 18,000 of his fans. Hundreds of models displayed West’s new fashion collection during the hour and a half event, which also served as a listening party for his much-anticipated album, “The Life of Pablo”.
And, of course, as is the case for so many of Kanye’s major moments, there was controversy, or should I say, Kontroversy. And not just a sprinkle or a Dash (Kardashian pun for fellow celeb followers), but a bucketload. One of the lyrics in a new song off the album, “Famous,” reads: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous,” which is referring to the infamous interruption by West during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech during the 2009 MTV Music Awards. And just when they supposedly buried the hatchet.
But of course, Kanye is no stranger to rocking the boat, especially as of late. He’s been in celebrity news constantly the past few weeks, for changing the name of his album multiple times, proclaiming the innocence of Bill Cosby (who has been accused of rape by dozens of women), and getting into social media spats with other big-name celebrities. Now, all publicity is supposedly good publicity… or so they say. But not for this fan.
Yes, I will definitely admit that I am a fan of some of West’s music (although not all). I respect his business savvy and the empire he has built. His hard work has paid off (and he’s not going to let anyone forget it). But where do we draw the line? We can’t just keep saying “Kanye just being Kanye,” like “boys will be boys.” There has to be a point where we realize that “being an artist” is not a valid excuse for every bit of behavior. Freedom of expression should be respected, but shouldn’t fellow human beings as well?
As a woman, and a human being, I don’t agree with West’s decision to demean Swift like this. Her camp has even come out and said that she was not aware of the lyric prior to its release. She also addressed the lyric in her Grammy acceptance speech last Sunday night, where she said, “As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”
This was clearly a pointed remark directed toward West. She went on to say that these young women will realize that the young women and their loved ones were how they got there.
West crossed a line, and even though that may be why he has some of that fans that he does, I’m not one of them. “Famous” may just be a drop in West’s bucket, but I’m not going to call myself a fan of this song or this tactic.
I may not stop listening to West completely, but I’m also going to write this article and say that I believe treatment of women in songs like this one (and there are many more out there, by other artists besides Kanye), is not OK.
It’s sending the wrong message, and even if it’s the prerogative of the artist to make these comments, I’m going to speak up. I believe that those in the public eye may not ask for the constant coverage of their every move, but they do have a certain responsibility to at least think about the impact they are making on the world. They have to realize that what they’re doing may seem innocent enough to them, but it could really affect the lives of thousands. Even though I’m in love with celebrities, I’m breaking up with this song for that very reason.