Kanye West, the artist formerly known as competent, creative, unpredictable, and immensely talented, has devolved into a stalking, frightening, insecure man known more for his threatening actions toward his soon-to-be ex-wife than he is for his musical prowess.
What was an eccentric performer and eclectic rapper, Kanye West, is now a shell of his former self, with equal numbers of people waiting for his next performance as those gawking at the fast moving train wreck that is now his personal life.
He was tolerated because his music made fans think and feel. He spoke powerful and adversarial words in his music with lyrics that challenged conventional thought and celebrated originality in flow, bars, pace, and tempo.
Kanye pushed rap but also pulled it and bent it toward something unique and different. Something thoughtful, playful, angry, hopeful, and silly from one line to the next.
His lyrical prowess wasn’t so much poetry but closer to creative arguing, clever punning, and whimsical teaching. He could do the thing.
Until he couldn’t.
Kanye is the athlete unaware he can no longer hit a curve ball, no longer run routes over the middle, and no longer can be depended upon to shoot the game-ending three-point shot.
Kanye today is the “B” side Kanye – at best.
For despite his talents, his terrible political actions and instincts, and his inconsistent public behaviors, Kanye West has crossed the line and shifted the conversation beyond musical abilities and musical awards.
In the midst of divorce proceedings from Mrs. Kim Kardashinan, Mr. Kanye West is conducting himself like a jackass, and if he were only being a jackass, though, he would merely be like millions of other men going through divorce.
But Kanye is doing what Kanye does. He is being extra. A lot extra.
He has taken to social media to argue, accuse, and make public what should be private disagreements with his wife. He has begged, admonished, pleaded, and sought to embarrass her, while also demanding she abide by his every whim and wish. He has alternatively messaged her incessantly, posted their private messages, and sent her unasked for gifts – and the only fact we know this is he has overshared his their personal business on social media.
He has, in brief, harassed, gaslit, bothered, and harangued her in public for all the world to see.
He has criticized her parenting, demanded she acquiesce to his fatherly rights, and has attacked almost every aspect of her life as he made himself the victim.
Meanwhile his fans cheer, laugh, and agree with him, while continuing to buy his latest beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder, ugly and overpriced shoes and clothing.
What Kanye is doing is all too familiar to women who have broken up – or tried to break-up with partners unwilling to be decent humans. Instead of leaving and doing the right thing, Kanye is following in the footsteps of abusive men everywhere.
What he is doing isn’t funny. It isn’t eclectic, artistic or cute. What it is, can only be categorized as abusive, scary, and dangerous. And most importantly — his actions are damaging to their children.
Despite adults knowing the statistics that women’s lives are literally in danger when they break-up from men, Kanye’s antics are being downplayed by far too many people – mostly but not exclusively – by men.
The danger to Mrs. Kardashian is real, present, and unlikely to diminish as the divorce methodically progresses to conclusions.
But if the aforementioned creepy actions weren’t enough, Kanye the Extra, has recently taken to publicly threatening Mrs. Kardashian’s boyfriend, Pete Davidson, on social media, causing his fans to again laugh and make his DM’s go viral.
Kanye is extending his particular his dangerous rhetoric to creatively worded “threats” to Pete Davidson while generating the same laughter from his fans.
The excuses for Kanye’s behavior that fans have long clung to include his mother’s passing, his untreated and/or undiagnosed mental health diseases – Bipolar is the most common public diagnosis – and his mercurial artist personality.
But we are way past the fickle, sensitive artist part of this story, because Kanye isn’t a kid and he isn’t excluded from the norms and rules of adulthood no matter how famous he is, no matter how many millions of streams he has, and no matter how many new style of shoes he releases.
Kanye West is a menace to his wife and an embarrassment to his children.
If you grew up witnessing your father abuse or otherwise harass your mother as she tried to care for you, tend to herself, and try to leave to better yours and her life, then you see the obvious signs of what Kanye is doing. People laugh at the term “Triggering” but that is what many people are experiencing watching Kanye’s all too common post-break-up behaviors.
The anticipated next awful thing is causing a lot of stress and anxiety for millions of people.
Kanye West isn’t unique or special in this way; he is far from it, in fact. He is typical of grown men unused to being told no and who refuse to hit the road after they failed as a partner. He is typical of grown men facing the consequences of their own actions, and he is typical of entitled men allowed to get away with poor behavior due to having talent or skill of “value.”
He is not a genius going through divorce. He is a man who failed to give his partner what he promised in his vows, and who failed to make the necessary changes and adjustments that would have given his partner the energy to continue trying to make things work.
Kanye is not revolutionary in his divorce behaviors – just ask any marriage counselor, therapist or, sadly, any police officer.
Kanye is a run-of-the-mill bully, a self-centered lout, and an immature partner who got exactly what he deserved – divorce papers. The sooner he and his fans accept that simple fact, the sooner he can get on with his life, Mrs. Kardashian can get on with her life, and their children can begin to see a functioning father who puts their well-being over his inflated ego.
Whether or not Kanye West has undiagnosed or diagnosed and untreated mental health issues, it is important that we normalize therapy. It is important that we normalize telling our friends to get therapy.
And that we normalize not normalizing toxic masculinity.
We all know the stories, and we all know where this ugly situation could go. Cheering from the sidelines while it is happening only furthers the environment of women as property who are beholden to the whims and anger of their partners, with expectant physical violence waiting in the wings.
In the same month we celebrate women’s history, we men can collectively do better in recognizing and calling out abuse when and where we see it. To speak out for women – all women – no matter their station in life, race, wealth or status.
The history we want to celebrate this month should be about groundbreaking women who accomplished significant achievements in the arts, sciences, politics, activism, sport, academia, and all other areas where can praise and honor them out for what they have done in history and what they are doing now.
What we are not going to use this month for is being quiet while a famous man attempts to berate a woman into submitting to his egotistical shortcomings.
It is past time for men like Kanye West to just go away when their partner wants them to leave. It is not too much to ask for Kanye West to take his ego out of this equation and do what is healthy and best for their children, for his wife, and for himself.
It is time for Ye to seek whatever help he needs to resolve whatever issues, mental health or otherwise, that may be contributing to his unacceptable behavior. He is a grown man responsible for his actions and there is no one else to blame for what he is doing.
Kanye’s behaviors are not the responsibility of his music company, not his industry friends, and not his peers. And his actions are not the fault of his wife or her new partner.
The only person at fault here is Kanye West.
And the sooner he accepts his responsibility, the sooner he can begin to confront the personal issues that may be driving his actions, and the sooner Mrs. Kardashian and their children can begin living a life free of his abusive public threats and behaviors.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton.
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Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.
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