Being a Kanye West fan is so damn hard. It feels like you are always on the defense, even rationalizing the next Kanye bombshell to anyone who knows you're #TeamKanye. As one of his supporters, non-fans always ask me how I can remain on Kanye's side even after something like his tweets about Amber Rose and her son during the Kanye v. Wiz Khalifa Twitter war and, most recently, the line in his new song, "Famous," about Taylor Swift where he says, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous." That last one was really rough, I mean we barely made it through the "imma let you finish" MTV VMAs incident, now this? How could a woman let a line like that slide?
I can always blame a line that rubbed me the wrong way on the culture or just chalk it up to him being a mad genius. Everyone knows that every genius has their quirks. After all, they are human. And when it comes to Kanye, he always ends up doing something to make amends in the end. I am personally not willing to give up on his music. It's a part of me. It's the soundtrack of my life. Let me explain:
The College Dropout (2004)
I was still in high school when he made his debut as a lead artist with “Through the Wire.” He was so passionate about rapping that he did this song while his mouth was wired shut! As a hip-hop fan I was immediately hooked! This same album gave us "Jesus Walks," "Slow Jamz," and "Get Em High"! But the track that stuck with me the most was "All Falls Down." The social commentary in the lyrics was so poignant for a teenager still trying to figure life out. As a first-generation Latina in the U.S., I definitely had no idea what I was going to do in college.
Late Registration (2005)
Who could ever forget the visual from "Touch the Sky" where he played "Evil Kanyevil" and literally touched the sky before crashing to his death? As a recent high school graduate, the message deeply resonated with me because the pressure to be successful and the desire to meet those expectations were so real at that time. And in "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" he recognized his tantrum-throwing ways and shut the haters up, all while making a statement against blood diamonds. There's still a message in the madness.
808s and Heartbreak (2008)
This incredibly raw and emotional album was just what I needed when I was all in my feelings after a devastating heartbreak of my own. Looking back, it probably didn't help me heal, but I related with the songs 100 percent. Let me tell you something, if there is an ex you wish you would never have to see or hear from again, just listen to “See You in My Nightmares.” But this album also touched on relationships with your family. “Welcome to Heartbreak” is the brutal honest truth for a disconnected workaholic, something someone like me who has family in another country that I barely get to see can totally connect with.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Kanye did not pull any punches with the album that followed the infamous Taylor Swift MTV VMAs debacle and breakup with Amber Rose. Debuting "Runaway" on the same platform where he said, "Imma let you finish" and delivering these lines was all the vindication every fan needed:
And I always find, yeah, I always find something wrong
You been putting up with my shit just way too long
I'm so gifted at finding what I don't like the most
So I think it's time for us to have a toast
Let's have a toast for the douchebags
Let's have a toast for the assholes
Let's have a toast for the scumbags
Every one of them that I know
Let's have a toast for the jerk-offs
That'll never take work off
Baby, I got a plan
Run away fast as you can
It was like watching your favorite basketball player deliver multiple slam dunks, back to back. The classic unapologetic Kanye was back, recognizing his faults so that others can't use it against him. Another inspiring moment that I'll never forget. And that was just one song! I could go on and on about "Power," "Devil in a New Dress," and "Blame Game" but imma finish that another day.
After working with Jay-Z on Watch the Throne and his GOOD music crew on Cruel Summer, Kanye came back with a brand new sound. He’s not afraid to take risks despite what anyone else may think and that is so motivating for an introvert like me who doesn't take a lot of risks. He is incredibly convinced and secure in his belief that he is a creative genius, that he will do whatever it takes even if it is blowing up or putting people on blast in an interview, or if it puts him $53 million in debt. Don't get me wrong, I would drop dead if I ever owed that much money, it's part of the reason why I left my career in finance behind, but it's amazing that someone can believe in themselves so much that they would go that far.