Kanye West is the genius this age needs. Though he declares himself ‘postmodern’ he is a nuclear fist, a thriving sun, in the face of the relentless existential despair of relativism that has seized art and the liberal arts generation. His entire persona, essentially, boils down to having balls and delivering on creative majesty, thus justifying his own balls and his own existence. All creative people must strive to become worthy of the world – the ultimate test of any work of art is how it compares to the sky. Is it worthy of existing in a world so beautiful? Must it exist? True art is not based on whims, wants or even love of the craft. It is born of slavery, slavery to a dream that through human hands MUST be made real. If it is not real then the creative individual is fundamentally incomplete. To die with the album, or the manuscript, or the painting unfinished is to experience the ultimate failure. Life is not nearly enough. Simply living is not even close to enough. It is only in creating great art that the true artist can even remotely begin to justify their own birth. In the final call, life is subservient to art. As it should be.
Kanye demands that we believe in ourselves, that we become truly great, that we call ourselves Gods and go white in the face delivering on the promise. Young people absolutely need this message. The call to action, the call to create, is worth more than ten million MFAs and a billion worthless PhDs. We have been trained to sit and absorb and only create by the time we have nothing original to say – to hell with that model. More is more, great is great, God is God and we are all Gods until we tell ourselves we are nothing and must sit and remain nothing.
Why detest a genius with an ego? If Kanye West were a hack it would be understandable, but to my eyes his ego is merely a plea for others to rise to the heights of the sun, a call to surpass him, a call to become greater than the greatest. This is also the theme of all the big greatest-selling anime and manga. Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, it’s all about a hero who announces boldly from the very start that he WILL become the best, number one, regardless of who is already number one or who stands in his way.
Everyone wants to be the next X or the next Y, modelling their style off of [name-drop] and [name-drop]. Don’t be the ‘next’ anybody. Be the first you. The reason why art has become so disposable is because everyone has been taught (mainly through the curse that is art school) to imitate, to copy, to develop based on what came before. This is the model of mediocrity. Unconsciously, obviously everything is influenced by what came before. You don’t need to study it. You don’t need to read one-thousand novels to write one. I am true believer in vision, in inspiration, in genius. Once a certain level of technical skill has been achieved in any craft it is all completely about the vision. What are you saying? Don’t stutter. Say the biggest, most epic most beautiful thing you can. That is what Kanye did in “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. Relentlessly he soared into the sun and what emerged in his hands? An all-time masterpiece.
We need Kanye West. The marginalized mediocre individual must rise to the throne of God and announce boldly “I will be the greatest.” What other hope is there? To let others create everything for you? Stop trusting them. Stop trusting the ‘experts’ and the ‘greats’ and the certified ‘masters’. Bring in unique and disparate inspirations. If you’re a writer, don’t just read. Let hip-hop and anime openings be your main inspiration. If you make music, let novels inspire your structure and your message. Cross everything and be everything. Be “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the crazed masterpiece that fits nowhere, not the well-crafted-but-ambitionless song of the week.
Novelty is what all the world strives toward. It is the novel and the new above all else. Let no one tell you what it must be, let no one demand a rewrite. Be honest with yourself and fix every hole in your being through the holes in your art. When it holds up to your eyes and makes you glow with tears or pride, it is ready. It is. But only when you’re honest.
Do not fear art or failure. Throw away everything but the creation and then burst out of the void with a bone to grind. You can’t do it? YOU CAN’T DO IT? Then who will? Someone without your vision, that’s who. Do not die unfulfilled. Do not let your soul fade without a compendium of its brightest light to be remembered by.
Fake it until you no longer have to. Fake it until you can look at every “Ten MUSTS for every X” list and tell it to go fuck itself. You don’t need the infinite input of the relative world. You have your own heart and as long as you listen to it and create in Truth, what more is there? The piddling of others who have a vision you don’t understand, trying to tickle your vision that they don’t understand? Realize it to the fullest and always be able to explain, through the internal logic of your work, why they’re wrong. Then you win. It is an impossible standard but it is the one we must all be held to, as slaves. Slaves who love their craft but above all are fated and doomed to fulfill it.
Kanye West is a God. As he explains the track in a brilliant interview with Zane Lowe, it is above all most controversial to consider yourself a God. But a ‘nigga’? A ‘pimp’? A ‘gangster’? No one would bat an eye. It is only when one says “I am a God” that people get angry. Why? Because they fear true genius and they want to destroy it. They want you to be a mortal sack of flesh that can be crushed whenever the real God says so. But that’s a trivial fact of life. We’re all nobodies, so let’s become everybody. Let’s be God.
Kanye demands ‘dopeness’, exceptionalism, innate vision and relentless commitment to the craft. Kanye wants to create Gods. And you what? He’s right. He’s damn right. The way to evolve humanity, to do justice to Creation, is to make a whole world full of Gods.