My ode to Kanye West.

2016 - The endangered time for human life form; experiencing and engaging in activities that shape our lives for the future and disband us from the past. Small victories become revelations, big feats become viral sensations. Nevertheless we still sponge our way to our goals soaking up the environment day to day. What gets me is, through all of these people--these epiphany's- these excuses to procrastinate and the underlying ability to blame others for our own misfortune--we forget about what inspires us to do better and grow. Those overwhelming yet under-spoken aspirations fueled by our successors and innovators. The reason you love to read is because of the people who give you interesting content to fill your small pupils with-- the reason you love ANTI GMO rallies and have become vegan and only eat air particles to stay 'hydrated' are the farmers that work a life duty better described as the Earth's cleansers. One of my biggest fancied conspirators is none other than Kanye West. The biggest reason 2016 was never a dull year for me, always bolied down to 'how could i potentially fuck this person's mind about some shit?'

I don’t miss Kanye West, because he hasn’t gone anywhere.
— b

How many times (that you could on your hands and toes) was Kanye West the headline on your favorite publication or blog? I've given up because I have better things to count, like the times I was easily swayed by Kanye's frantic expression of everyday life. Ever wonder what it's like to real-life live out the 'Dark Twisted Fantasies' in your head and be criticized for it? (Yeah, I didn't think so) Yet, we take this man's opinion to the darkest realm of our self psyche and say, 'this is too close to how I feel, it must be WORSE'. I don't miss Kanye West, because he hasn't gone anywhere. The old Kanye did in fact wear polo and Louis Vuitton backpacks filled with God knows what, but I wore fake Bape jackets from 'Bosswear'. I mean, people change and it's more likely the healthiest option thereafter. Kanye West wrote about the gift of life, his up-streams and his down-falls. What's different now? He has a beautiful wife, unknowingly #blessed children -- and a very supportive family. 'All Falls Down' was a clear adaptation of his feelings about his self-confidence and what this new found feeling of success and endearment was like. This new dawning of someone expressing their feelings through artistic pioneering, rash commentary all while holding an against the grain attitude are all traits of being human.

Never do I discredit the commentators or abusive judgemental assholes who have 99%/100% never met West in person. They see this being brawling against his own disbelief that he, who is Kanye, can influence an extreme mass amount of people- positive or negative. On the outside looking in I could see if someone lesser of the latter felt compelled to comment or criticize, which sadly our world is so fond of these days. I digress, let's keep it Kanye.

For the record, I've never been one of those music mavens to call themselves a 'Day ONE' fan. I've known plenty of artists from their first single, or first interview- Kanye is a rare scenario. I grew up noticing how colorful he dressed at award shows, rebelling against the 'more is less' stigma. You could blatantly tell his work meant a great deal to him when his late mother Donda would graciously oppress her assumed discomfort in heels trailing her talented and successful son down every red carpet. Can I say Kanye has affected every part of my life with every song he's ever produced or written himself? No. Could I reference every-time Kanye West incorporated the same creative angst in almost every engagement with larger media outlets that could possibly have changed the world's outlook on things that affect you entirely? ...maybe.

I have conflicting conversations with friends and family all the time. Is Kanye West a good person? Is he at all morally intact with his reasoning? Has the Kardashian curse troubled the controversial emcee from Chicago? Comments and questions that don't pertain at all to Kanye's lyrical abilities to make you learn his words and clever musical arithmetic. Mind you, I believe finding a familiar love in Kim Kardashian was the serenity he had been looking for. Not to mention I also conclude Amber Rose was a huge part of his creative awakening, however these women do not define Kanye West. I believe in Kanye for a number a of reasons. He is almost always eager to reach for the new balance. He wants you to ask questions about him to find a deeper meaning in his actions. Hell, it may not even be that deep. He creates a doubt within your own way of thinking and makes you go, 'Damn, would this be possible for me to do? Can i bust out of my true-to-fit lifestyle and make people go crazy? Or is that bad?' He's consistently shown his true colors especially after having a family to rely on again. I don't care. Kanye is one of the most influential people of my life growing up in music, fashion and family. He has taken care of his business amidst the world's constant push-back. I am thankful through everything you've been through- love, loss, tribulation, speculation, underestimation, exhaustion, constant power struggle on top of being one of the most successful African American males in my generation. You have painted a truly vivid and colorful picture resembling the power of respect, love and inspiration. Your family is beautiful, your message is tangibly accounted for and I couldn't really ask for a more retrospective role model. Thanks.

Blake Matthews