Kanye Omari West, he of The College Dropout, Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy fame, is definitely wrapped up in the celebrity culture of Hollywood. I don’t think much of what he raps about necessarily relatable to the average British citizen. However, when we turn on the radio or the television, we don’t always want to see normal. This is partly why this guy is at the top. In the song titled I’m In It on his album Yeezus, he raps “I’m in it/and can’t get out”. To me, this could mean so many different things. It could mean he’s in pole position in Hollywood and American culture, and once he has gone that far, he can’t just disappear. He has proclaimed himself a prophet and called one of his songs I Am a God. How do you go back from that? This guy can’t just drop it and go work in Walmart now, can he? What is he supposed to do? He has built this chaotic chapter of his life in the public eye. What is actually his next step? It’s a scary thought for someone in show business and yet thoroughly engaging because it is so unpredictable. That’s one way of looking at it.

Looking at writer Antonio Infantino’s review of his seventh and latest album, The Life of Pablo, he states that “chaos creates chaos”. If you ask me, that is what Kanye West is now; a self-spiraling case of it. Which, unquestionably, people are interested in. That is what defines celebrity culture.

He is aware of what exists around him in the wider world, and what the perception of him is publicly. When all these rappers are boasting of their wealth, and their assets, and their material achievements, Kanye comes out and says he “just copped a jet/to fly over personal debt”. A debt to the tune of $58,000,000, apparently. I’d bet a chunk of that money that every popular rapper screwed up their face, gave a pained sight and wondered how this guy can just completely turn the game on its head. For them, they are in competition, trying to outdo one another with the money, the woman, the drugs and the lifestyle. Kanye simply orders everyone to look at him because he is so different. This confession of debt, in the lead-up to the release of The Life of Pablo, reinforced West’s social power. Ultimately, I think this all manifested itself in a revolutionary way to approach a Hip- Hop album.

Take a look at his Twitter feed. As Pablo neared release, West underwent a social-media-meltdown. He mentioned his debts, his plans, his dreams to make clothes for everyone, his feuds with Wiz Khalifa over his wife Kim Kardashian and just plain old controversy. And because he is Kanye West, everybody sits up and takes notice. In a modern world of five-second attention spans and clickbait, the constant unravelling of one of the planet’s greatest stars catches the eye. Yet it’s all very clever, all carefully orchestrated, into a showstopper of a performance delivered in one-hundred-and-forty character quotes,

Kanye directs where the spotlight goes.

I don’t vouch for the lyrical content in his songs, although I’ll listen to them. I don’t think he’s the best rapper alive. However, I do think it’s possible that he is the best entertainer alive in the post-millennial era. In the role of mercurial, dangerous showman, over the past three years, does anyone compare? He talks about being an artist. What even is art? To quote the prophet of our time Karl Pilkington, when faced with a pile of bricks and a spade as an example of modern art, “I know what I’ll take from that! A load of blocks, a load of bolocks, a load of bollocks!” That, simply put, could explain the differing opinions on art. You could say that KP is an artist. To me, he is one. He is a representative for the bloke at the bottom of the street, who addresses the everyday things we see in a completely alternate perspective, cynical, yet hysterically different. And that’s what keeps people interested – difference.

I think Kanye West does create art. But not in the sense of it just being rap. He rolls all of the chaos and surrounding press, which goes with his album and creates his own unique exhibit. If you listen to his song, I Love Kanye on The Life of Pablo, he is very much aware of what people think of him and just shows resilience to the fact that this is where he is at now. People have to change with the times and the pink polo and smiles probably wasn’t cutting it for him anymore. You also don’t know what the underbelly of that universe is like. Like all things hidden from the world, it is most probably sicker than it seems.

Honestly, I don’t listen to his songs and think “Yeah, I’m gonna walk in to this club and be the one which your girlfriend likes” (I write this in the Queen’s English and writing-friendly terms). But listen to the song Waves on The Life of Pablo and you will get what I mean. The whole idea of him being different and noticing that he has to “keep it loopy” to stay in pole position, very much fits with his credibility and ethos of individuality. People are constantly taught to stay in line and live in a regimented fashion, something reinforced by all the social norms that surrounds us. Ever since school, that’s been a priority. Kanye supports the idea that being different isn’t all that bad. Let’s face it, the class idiot was popular because he was different! They say if you don’t have enemies, you’ve never stood up for anything, and Mr. West has plenty. Going by that, it’s a job well done.

Just listen to Saint Pablo. Look at the lyrics. He alludes to his own unconventional thoughts. He asks why people must judge him for thinking differently. Like Kendrick Lamar, he addresses the idea of black entertainers being pimped by America’s Hollywood entertainment industry. He constantly references the similarities for what slaves went through from the beginning of the 15th century. “400 years later, we buying our own chains”. It’s bizarre to think that a symbol of oppression and slavery, is being bought collectively by black rappers. I think it could show another form of restraint. The idea of caring what everyone thinks. It could support the idea of “crowd sourcing self- esteem” on social media. Buying a chain could be a symbolic gesture for buying restraints and considering how you will look to other people. That is a lack of freedom… If Kanye has to spend ridiculous amounts of money on a chain just to keep with people’s perceived idea of him- then in a sense, he’s not free. He’s doing what everyone else wants him to do.

It’s interesting to see where he will next swim in the goldfish bowl of LA. I don’t think we really do know what goes on out there. We can get insights through films and music. Then we can also keep a grasp of reality and then jump in the car and put on The Life of Pablo, travelling to work or whichever destination and wonder, what is it really all about? Kanye provides a completely berserk viewpoint on life, which gives us a holiday from our everyday struggles. Remember, he could be in the middle his own struggle and he could be further ‘rapping’ himself up in blinding spotlight. He could actually find that he “can’t get out”.

The guy might implode. If you’re a fan of celebrity culture, that is probably the most interesting thing to see. The Kanye West balloon can only fill up so much. I think everyone is intrigued to see if it will pop. And with that, he controls the audience once again. Mission accomplished, Mr. West.

All eyes on him.

[Intro: Kanye West]

Yeah, 9:08 L.A. time 
Back in the lab and shit

[Verse 1: Kanye West]

My wife said, I can’t say no to nobody
And at this rate we gon’ both die broke

Got friends that ask me for money knowin’ I’m in debt
And like my wife said, I still didn’t say no

People tryna say I’m goin’ crazy on Twitter

My friends’ best advice was to stay low

I guess it’s hard to decipher all of the bills
Especially when you got family members on payroll

The media said it was outlandish spendin’

The media said he’s way out of control

I just feel like I’m the only one not pretendin’

I’m not out of control, I’m just not in they control

I know I’m the most influential

That TIME cover was just confirmation

This generation’s closest thing to Einstein

So don’t worry about me, I’m fine
I can see a thousand years from now in real life
Skate on the paradigm and shift it when I feel like

Troll conventional thought, don’t need to question
I know it’s antiquated so sometimes I get aggressive

Thank God For Jay Electra, he down with the mission
Did it with with no permission, on our own conditions

Most Blacks with money have been beaten to submission

Yeezy with the big house, did it way different
Never listen to Hollywood producers

Don’t stare at money too long, it’s Medusa

The ultimate Gemini has survived
I wasn’t supposed to make it past 25

[Hook: Sampha]

And you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

Wonderin’ whether God’s gonna say hi

Oh, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

And you wonder where is God in your nightlife

Yeah, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

(Father, father, father…)

Wonderin’ whether God’s gonna say hi

The night sky, yeah, I feel like I’m home, yeah

[Verse 2: Kanye West]

I’ve been wakin’ the spirits of millions more to come

A million illegally downloaded my truth over the drums

I believe in the children, listen to the kids, bro

If the phone ringin’, go and get your kids ho

Brother Don Muhammad told the minister about the presentation

He sat back and smiled

Black on black lies is worse than black on black crime

The Jews share their truth on how to make a dime

Most black men couldn’t balance a checkbook

But buy a new car, talkin’ ’bout “how my neck look?”

Well… it all looks great

Four hundred years later, we buyin’ our own chains

The light is before us brothers, so the devil workin’ hard

Real family stick together and see through the mirage

The smokescreens, perceptions of false reality

Who the real owner if your boss gets a salary?

I am one with the people

I am one with the people (real)

I’ve been woken from enlightened man’s dream

Checkin’ Instagram comments to crowdsource my self esteem

Let me not say too much or do too much

Cause if I’m up way too much, I’m out of touch

I’m prayin’ a out-of-body experience will happen

So the people can see my light, now it’s not just rappin’

God, I have humbled myself before the court

Drop my ego and confidence was my last resort

I know, I know he got a plan, I know I’m on your beams

One set of footsteps, you was carryin’ me

When I turned on the news and they was buryin’ me

One set of footsteps, you was carryin’ me

When I was negotiatin’ with Apple, it was Larry and me

Told Tim Cook to call me, I was scary to see

I would’ve took a hundred million and gave 20 to Hov

I heard it’s the way they did it when we only had a stove

But it’s better that I stayed at home with my folks

Cause if Jay a billionaire then I’ma never go broke

Only thing I ask is next time I’m on stage we all go

We all go

Not just by myself, lookin’ for niggas like where’s Waldo

She got the same shoes as my wife but she copped ’em at Aldo

Modern day MJ with a off the wall flow

[Bridge: Sampha]

My life, walk all over me

Walk all over me

I’m deliverin’ everything I’ve ever sent to you, bring

Fly, fly, fly overseas

Fly overseas

Oh, anywhere, everything but in between

[Hook: Sampha]

Yeah, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

Wonderin’ whether God’s gonna say hi

Oh, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

And you wonder where is God in your nightlife

Yeah, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

Wonderin’ whether God’s gonna say hi

Oh, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

And you wonder where is God in your nightlife

[Verse 3: Sampha]

Please face me when I speak

Please say to me somethin’ before you leave

You’ve been treatin’ me like I’m invisible

Now I’m visible to you

Oh the invisible truths they sold

I can’t quite understand the games you play

Understand, understand

Understand I’m standin’ under oath

And I promised I, I wouldn’t fall anymore

But I’m cryin’ at the bar

I’m wishin’ that you saw my scars, man

I’m wishin’ that you came down here

And stood by me

And look at me like you knew me

But I feel so alone

Like I don’t know anyone except the night sky above

[Hook: Sampha]

Yeah, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

Wonderin’ whether God’s gonna say hi

Oh, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

And you wonder where is God in your nightlife

Yeah, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

(Father, father, father…)

Wonderin’ whether God’s gonna say hi

Oh, you’re lookin’ at the church in the night sky

And you wonder where is God in your nightlife

(Father, father, father…)