By Joel Hess –
Well once again the god residing in Kanye West’s small and flat universe could not hold his righteous rage at the Grammys. Although last time he lambasted Taylor Swift (which I applauded), this time he was outraged to see the award for best album go to Beck. Thus proving Mr. Yeezus’ musical palette predictably pedestrian. Beck was doing Kanye West before Kanye West. To be fair Kanye didn’t actually interrupt Beck because, as he said, “I got my wife, my clothing line, and my daughter.” In that order? Like many in these little Hollywood worlds, he needs to stop eating his own vomit.
Later Kanye brilliantly extolled to the E channel, “I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé.”
Artistry? Real artists? Grammys? That’s like someone in Walmart upset that the Michelob is gone and they are stuck buying Bud. What sort of Parabola are you traveling on?
But Kanye, I get you. I remember being your mental age back in 1984. I was a Prince fanatic. Right before I went off the grid musically and discovered good stuff! As Don Draper said after smoking pot for the first time, “I felt like Dorothy, everything just turned to color.” But at the time I didn’t know any better. So I was excited. Prince was up for a number of awards and he was going to perform. Thankfully he had yet to enter into his butt cheek pant phase. Soon the award was announced for album of the year: Lionel Richie! What!!!! I went full Kanye West all over the place! What is going on in the universe? Lionel Richie!? Is Joseph Goebbels the president of the academy? My parents made me turn off the T.V. Needless to say I had temper issue in my teens and I must confess it was closely associated to my love of music.
Fortunately I evolved. I went on to much better music: music that surprisingly wasn’t played on the radio. I soon learned that far greater musical acts than Prince never even receive a Grammy invitation! So, I learned to not care.
Mr. Kanye, you are not an artist. What you are making is fun and silly and makes neat sounds and provides cute beats. But it isn’t art. Maybe a craft, ok, but still I am confident you put less time into making a song with your machines than my quilters at church. But that’s ok, dude! I like your sounds. Just relax, “I know, it’s only Rock and Roll, but I like it!” Remember, Lionel Richie! Yes, Lionel Richie won a best album Grammy so… what are you expecting?
Kanye meet John. “Christianity will go,” John Lennon once said. ”It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.”
This is what happens when mediocre poets like Lennon and West believe what 16 year old girls (or pimply 15 year old boys) think of them. Like Kim Jong Un, they actually begin to believe their own propaganda! Meanwhile Van Gogh died penniless. I truly believe in starving artists and spotifying music sales, thus taking away album sales. If you believe in what you are making you will do it whether someone is looking or not. You will be happy the song is being sung on someone else’s lips whether you get credit or not.
But you see Kanye needs approval from you. He needs validation.
We can all be like that. Believing our own propaganda. Believing what others think of us, whether good or bad. Usually we listen to the good when we shouldn’t and we listen to the bad when we shouldn’t!
We can all be little spinning tornadoes revolving around ourselves and spreading destruction everywhere we go, only to expect everyone to approve us and clean our messes up. Yeah, we are a bunch of Kanye Wests, a bunch of Yeezuses.
But you see Jesus is the original Kanye West! While we are all giving ourselves awards for best this and that, drinking our own koolaid, believing our own press, Jesus storms our stage, grabs our award and smashes it on the ground! That’s rock n roll!
He is the only one to deserve the award! We should be wearing sack cloth and ashes like Nineveh. Sitting around watching fat cats pat themselves on their backs in their excessive clothing earned from the pennies collected by poor mindless kids, kids who have followed their heroes advice and now are stranded, separated, lonely, confused, sick and broken. Who are we to go into a rage about a meaningless award, while our neighbors are dealing with real problems?
Jesus rushes our stage! He tears down our idols! He does! Yet in a most peculiar way. On the cross! All of our righteousness, all of our pride, all of our applause for ourselves is crushed against the cross in Him. In Him they are killed. In Him they are buried.
And as we sit empty handed far away from any extravagant illusion of grandeur, He gives us a prize, free of charge, not earned or deserved, but a gift of complete love. He gives us forgiveness and eternal life!
And who cares if Lionel Richie wins album of the year!