A Discussion on Kanye West as a Role Model

Society stereotypes hip-hop music, declaring it as lacking substance and appealing only to low-cultured individuals. However, there is an underground formation of rap collectives who consistently disprove this stereotype, yet are overlooked because of their minimal popularity, even more so when we see popular rap artists portrayed negatively in the media. Kanye West is one of the most popular and successful rappers of our time. Most of America knows him for his childish antics, arrogant speeches, and, last but not least, his music.

Despite his many mistakes, Kanye West is a positive role model because of his representation of modern-day issues and ability to inspire. He speaks on issues affecting his community, whether it be through music or words. Tackling subjects from slavery to religion, Kanye regularly expresses his candid opinions through his lyrics.

On his most recent creation, Yeezus, two songs named New Slaves and Blood On The Leaves appear, both relating to slavery and the history of black oppression in America.

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In New Slaves, West writes the lyrics: “My momma was raised in an era when / Clean water was only served to the fairer skin.” He uses his mother’s history of growing up during times of immense racism, and even segregation, to compare to the type of racism he finds today. Growing up relatively poor in Chicago, West claims experience to, as he calls it in the song, “broke nigga racism”. This type of racism, West asserts, stems from the stereotype that blacks are not rich, therefore owners tell them “Don’t touch anything in the store.

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” However, as West has elevated his monetary status, he now experiences what he calls “rich nigga racism,” or the stereotype that rich blacks want “a Bentley, fur coat and diamond chain.” In addition, New Slaves not only deals with the idea of slavery still being present in our time, but argues that blacks are slaves to consumerism. He believes that by blacks investing their money in expensive brands such as Alexander Wang, they contribute to the stereotypes and assumptions made about them by society.

Furthermore, apart from informing youth of modern day oppression, he also creates inspiring music. However sound can be interpreted as an opinion, I believe the lyrics he writes can be inspiring for all people, despite their taste in music. His song “I Wonder” off his album Graduation is one of these songs. Detailing his struggle to find himself, “I Wonder” tells a story any person can relate to. Its chorus goes: “And I wonder if you know / What it means / What it means to find your dreams” For me, I always felt that this was a song meant to ask listeners to question themselves, to ask ‘What are my dreams? And how can I achieve them?’ Kanye has always put incredible emphasis upon the mind and preserving ones creativity, which is something I relate to. When listening to “I Wonder” I hear Kanye telling me to wonder, to reach and establish these dreams hidden within my mind. We often find solace in art. We read books to escape our reality.

We study paintings to envision a different picture. We listen to music to whisk us away from the present. Within this art we also find what inspires us, what motivates us, and what we wish to emulate. Listening to different types of music, I personally find myself constantly enthralled by what rappers create. Typically stereotyped as low-cultured music because of what we hear on the radio, hip-hop has acquired a negative reputation. Artists such as Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Lupe Fiasco are apart of a class of rappers pushing the envelope, bring hip-hop back to conscious ideas and themes. I strongly believe Kanye West is a positive role model for all people because of his commitment to discussing modern day issues, to inspiring fans through his lyrics, and to holding on to his individuality in a business that demands conformity.

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A Discussion on Kanye West as a Role Model. (2022, Sep 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-discussion-on-kanye-west-as-a-role-model-essay

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