Kanye West Is 'Time' Magazine's Most Influencial Person, But He's Actually Not That Influential
In case you hadn't heard yet, Kanye West is Time's Most Influential People in 2015 — one of them, anyway. The magazine even gave West the coveted front page slot. But here's the thing: putting Kanye on the cover of Time magazine is the worst idea ever. Do we really need to give Kanye an accolade with which to further blow up his ego? (And how come he only cares that Beyoncé gets slighted when someone else wins? Why isn't he giving up his Time spot to her? She's certainly very influential, and that hasn't stopped in the year that has passed since the last time Beyoncé was Time's Most Influential Person.) Kanye doesn't deserve the Time cover because he's not that influential, especially compared to some of the other people Time could have chosen.
So, is Kanye actually that influential? As much as he sees himself as an icon in the vast worlds of music and fashion, he's just not. He couldn't even properly organize a boycott against Louis Vuitton. After the fashion company dissed him by saying, "I don't understand why we need to meet with you," he tried organizing a mass boycott against the brand. If he was as influential as so many claim, Louis Vuitton should have really felt the sting of that boycott, right? But they carried on as usual.
If we grant him influence on hip hop/pop/rap at the most, that's not really enough to warrant even a mention on the Time 100 list, let alone a cover. I think the problem here is that West is the only one who thinks he's influential. There's no denying he has an incredible amount of self-confidence. He truly thinks he's a musical fashion mogul, and, unfortunately, Time listened to his voice. Even against the opinions of their readers, 80 percent of whom voted that West did not deserve to be included on the list.
Don't get me wrong. The Times Magazine cover got people talking. Hating, yes, but still talking. I don't know if that's the same as being influential, though. If you look at some of the other people on Time's list, they're actually doing things.
In Kanye's Titans category, finance whiz Mellody Hobsen has a "deep commitment to improving financial literacy among moderate and low-income Americans." Apple CEO Tim Cook "is not only embracing equality and LGBT rights but advocating for change through his words and actions. His commitment to renewable energy is also leaving our planet a little cleaner and a little greener for generations yet unborn." And tech visionary Elizabeth Holmes is "striving for prevention and early detection, she is dedicated to transforming health care around the world."
Even the "artists" category is beating out West in terms of influence. Actress Juliana Margulies has been fighting to pass a law protecting children who've experienced sexual abuse. Singer Audra McDonald is "speaking out for humane treatment of animals, dignity for the homeless and marriage equality." And John Oliver inspired people to help put women engineers through school.
Where does Kanye West fall in that influential, world-changing category? There's a reason his bio in the magazine just includes a lot about how highly West thinks of himself, because there's not a lot of evidence that he's actually done anything with this supposed influence of his in the past year.
I think West wants to be the kind of person Time would put on this list. In his interview with the magazine he said, "Our focus needs to be less on what our legacy’s going to be or how we can control each other and more how we can give to each other.” It's clear he wants to give back and be influential — but I'm just not sure he's there yet.
Kanye West would probably deserve to be heralded as one of Time's most tenacious people. He does thrive when people are hating on him. But most influential? Not a chance.
Images: TIME (2); Getty Images (2)