Yeezy taught me? Yeah, that could really be a thing, if you're interested, of course. You can literally take a college class on Kanye West — in. real. life. But seriously, here's the news: Washington University professor, Dr. Jeffrey McCune recently introduced a new course based on the rapper called Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics, which will focus on West's impact on black culture and I, for one, think it's absolutely perfect.
OK, I know you're probably thinking, "What could there possibly be to learn about Kanye that we don't already know?" But here's the thing, McCune is teaching the course from the perspective of Kanye's self-prescribed ideals of genius and its impact on black culture. The idea that Kanye believes that he has something that does not exist in most people, while sometimes it can seem narcissistic, may just be an expression of his genius. Once again, let me say that this idea is all about perspective, and I by no means am condoning obsessive, self-absorbed behavior.
But I must say, there's no doubt that it's of the utmost importance that everyone believe in themselves in order to find their space in this world, right? And oftentimes, it can be hard to place your mind into that kind of psyche and keep it there — but, what if you actually could? Would that increase your productivity, feelings of self-worth — your greatness? I think it might.
You see, as McCune put it to TIME, the African-American community is not traditionally looked at as being "genius." He said, "We're always thought of as maybe being articulate or smart but not really genius." So, I'm wondering if Kanye perhaps could be sort of the prophet of this brand of "self-greatness" for the black community, the thought that if you believe it, you can achieve it — and if that's the case in this course, then there's actually a lot to be learned in "Kanye 101."
In his TIME interview, McCune revealed that he has always been interested in Kanye's "sense of black excellence" and "belief that we have within us the capacity for greatness." He goes on to explain that while he's aware that the hip-hop superstar's words and actions have sometimes translated into "narcissism and arrogance," there's actually some good that comes along with it. He continued,
I'd have to say that I agree, confidence is healthy and very necessary in order to achieve a certain level of excellence. And maybe, just maybe, taking a little page out of Kanye's mantra could prove beneficial for many of us. OK ... I'm on board.
Guys, maybe this is what Kanye's been trying to tell us all along — perhaps he's just a bit misunderstood.