Rumor has it that Columbia College in Chicago was the last school Kanye West briefly attended before he released his debut album The College Dropout. Though I didn’t drop out, I went there, too. A lot of interesting people did, including rapper Common and comedian Jimmy Dore. Columbia was the art school for outsiders. You could attend a lecture by Joyce Carol Oates while the hip-hop majors danced outside the window. You could study just about any kind of art you could dream up. It was kind of like the posh Art Institute’s scrappy cousin, but it encouraged free thinking. Kanye has an honorary PhD from the Art Institute now, but he’s still got that old spark, if you ask me. I can’t imagine anyone from the Art Institute ever wearing a MAGA hat. But for Kanye, that cap is his Superman cape.
He thinks of it as his way of bucking the system. “They tried to scare me to not wear this hat — my own friends,” he said. Though you might not agree with his politics or even like his music, the man has the right to wear whatever hat he wants. And what does it say about the USA, “land of the free,” where people have conniption fits over hats? It’s like some people are on their knees begging for censorship. They are getting it but not liking it very much. However, that’s another story.
Here’s singer Lana Del Ray threatening to beat up rapper Azealia Banks over, of all things, Kanye West’s MAGA hat. Yes, really.
The sad thing is that I see this type of behavior on a daily basis now. And to be completely honest, most of it is coming from self-proclaimed liberals. Maybe that’s because Team Red is in power at the moment. Whatever the reason, I’ve never seen such division in my life. My mom told me it was worse during the Vietnam War, but I’ll just have to take her word for it. Now people on social media are calling for assassinations like it ain’t no thing. I’m flabbergasted. They’re acting like hysterical helicopter parents hovering over their precious Team Blue kids.
Kanye refers to it as being like red and blue gangs, and, to a certain extent, I agree with him. Things are getting out of hand, and that’s just the way the oligarchy likes it. It makes us so much easier to control.
If you think this phenomenon is just on social media or doesn’t affect children, think again. Here’s a document I obtained from a middle school child (redacted to protect identities):
The text reads:
September 28, 2018, Approximately 12:00 to 1:00 PM. It was hat day for drama class, and one student named [Student 1] wore a hat with the text, “Make America Great Again” written on it. While I was sitting next to him in my science class, the teacher, Mrs. — , told him to turn the hat around because she did not want to see the text. She then threatened to take points off of his grade for the test on Monday, September 31st for wearing the hat. [Student 2] later threw a soap bottle at [Student 1]….”
At this time, October 12, no action has been taken on the student who pelted a classmate with a soap bottle or the teacher who threatened a student’s test grade, all over a cap. TDS has invaded our schools, folks. It’s not pretty.
I see this whole Team Red vs Team Blue thing as being like a kids’ ball game. So I guess in this scenario it’s normal to threaten and harass adults and children over ball caps. And I’m shaking my head as I type this.
Speaking of balls, Kanye said it took a lot of them to wear his MAGA hat. On October 11, former football player Jim Brown, Kanye, and Trump met for lunch. Before their meal, they had a discussion with questions from the press. One of the first things they talked about was Larry Hoover’s case. He was sentenced the first time for drug dealing and homicide in 1973 Chicago, then again behind bars in 1997 for conspiracy and other charges. Kanye was advocating for a pardon because, he said, in another life he could have been Larry.
Earlier this year, Kanye’s wife Kim successfully pushed for clemency for Alice Marie Johnson. I never thought the Kan-dashians would turn into prison reform activists, but I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m saying we must unite with people we don’t like or don’t normally agree with in order to make changes that don’t require bullets. To quote Kanye, “We need to release the love throughout the entire country.” It’s corny, but it’s true.
Kanye actually brought up an important point in the pre-lunch press conference. In his bid for prison reform, he suggested getting rid of the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. That’s the one where they abolished slavery, but they added in a sneaky thing. They said slavery was not legal except “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” You read that right. Prison slavery is constitutional.
Kanye thinks it makes sense to abolish the amendment. After all, buildings don’t have 13th floors, he explained to our real estate president, who nodded and smiled.
It turns out Kanye is moving back home to Chicago and wants to make a difference. He met with city leaders and citizens who told him their biggest problem is stop and frisk policies. President Trump said he was willing to hear Kanye’s argument about stop and frisk and consider it.
Throughout this odd but vital dialogue about prison slavery and police policy reform, the press asked thoughtful questions about these issues. Just kidding!
No, they asked Kanye if the president is a racist and if Kanye supported abolishing the Second Amendment. At one point, he got worked up and bellowed, “You think racism can control me?!” I kind of wanted to stand up and clap at the screen at that point — I won’t lie.
Because as ridiculous as parts of that conversation were between Kanye, Jim, and Donald, overall the meeting was successful. Both Kanye and the president agreed that the energy in the room was very good.
On October 2, singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen’s posthumous poetry book, The Flame, was released. And though he wrote a poem called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso,” interpreted by the press as a diss to the rapper, Cohen had made a comment to the Wall Street Journal in 2014 that shows his feelings toward Kanye might not have been all that negative.
Cohen said of Kanye:
It’s the energy, it’s the resonance of truth, of person, of real experience. When we are exposed to someone’s real experience, it resonates and it invigorates.”
Kanye definitely has a lot of energy, but he says he’s not bipolar, just sleep deprived. The reaction right after the press conference on social media from many people was unsurprising and a bit depressing. This was one day after World Mental Health Day, and people were calling Kanye all kinds of crazy. I guess it’s rude to mental health shame somebody unless you don’t like them.
Perhaps Kanye is crazy like a fox. All that hugging and complimenting Trump might have worked. In a phone call to Fox and Friends, Trump said we do need prison reform, and he even elaborated on it.
I think that’s great, but it’s not like I’m holding my breath or anything. I do give credit where credit is due. At least Kanye West got the president to talk about prison reform, and that’s more than the vast majority of his critics can claim.