Kanye West pulled yet another Kanye West. The rapper went on Sway's (you know, the former MTV VJ with the sick dreads) talk show on SiriusXM and started off by comparing himself to Walt Disney, Andy Warhol, and Shakespeare only to end up in a shouting match with Sway. You know, just another day in the life of Kanye West. The rant began with West talking about his forays into fashion and specifically his recent deals with Nike. He then started to go off at Nike CEO Mark Parker, who according to West, is already planning to sell West's shoes to vendors only if they buy more Nike shoes as a package deal. And somehow, that rant against Mark Parker turned into this:
And by the way, Marc Parker, yes I will still accept an investment in DONDA. I've got some more ideas that don't involve shoes. But if you guys are investing in the arts, y'all wanna invest in a school in Brazil, y'all wanna go to Africa, I am standing up and I'm telling you, I am Warhol. I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare, in the flesh. Walt Disney. Nike. Google. Now who's gonna be the Medici Family and stand up and let me create more? Or do you wanna marginalize me until I'm out of my moment?
At this point, it's clear that West is getting really heated, so Sway tries to nudge him to calm down and suggests that maybe he can empower himself by funding his ventures into fashion. At this point, Kanye starts to scream "You don't got the answers, Sway!" over and over again, and it just sort of devolves from there. This video gets right to the most yell-y part of the interview:
This get really tense for a few minutes, and Sway says "bro" a lot to try to get West to calm down. But they eventually kiss and make up. Unfortunately, it seems like this kind of blow-up has become more and more routine for West these days, and it's a shame, because it's one of the biggest things preventing people from taking him seriously.
This has become a huge sticking point for West, especially in the past year or so. He's been having a difficult time getting a foothold in the high-fashion industry, according to a recent rant at his concert in the Barclays Center, and he feels that a lot of this is because as a black man, he's being pigeonholed as only a rap musician or someone who can only create urban fashion. And this definitely rings true — although West has revealed himself to be an incredibly savvy businessman who knows the fashion world in interviews, and he seems to have grown as a designer, many in the fashion industry still don't take him seriously.
But it seems that West still refuses to contribute any part of these problems to his attitude in interviews. It goes without saying that yelling at people in interview and being generally difficult to deal with doesn't exactly make people want to work with you. But it needs to be said that the more you go around and tell people how important you are, the less important you seem. If you want to be seen as an "creative genius" or even just an important figure in pop culture, you don't need to tell people as much as you need to show them.
Kanye West can certainly be regarded as an important figure in pop culture, but he's a frustrating one to watch. He's obviously a smart, creative person who has big ideas, but not only is he discriminated against as a black artist, but his tendency to go off on rants means that he's constantly getting in the way of his own success. This isn't the first time this point has been made about West, but hopefully it will be the last. Hopefully, West won't have to keep telling people how important he is, because they'll already know.