As the Former Kanye West Sows, So May Ye Reap
Again, I’m hearing the exasperated buzz in the air over a long-nagging question: What are we to do about Kanye?
Except recently the question has changed in tune with the new name that Chicago-born hip-hop and fashion superstar Kanye West has legally adopted, Ye.
What are we to do about Ye?
Teen Vogue Editor in Chief Versha Sharma responded to that question in an early October op-ed directed to the fashion media: Stop covering Ye without criticism.
“I know I’m not alone in feeling like the not-so-new Kanye is, in many ways, a betrayal of the old Kanye,” she said as an admitted longtime fan, “something even he has acknowledged.”
I’m way older than Sharma, but you don’t have to have grown up with Ye’s music to feel the loss.
The question was hardly a new one for journalists covering a performer as eccentric and headline-hungry as Ye. Remember how many people were upset by his breaking away during a live TV fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina to ad-lib, “(George) Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Not nice, I noted at the time. Even if you didn’t like all of Bush’s policies — and I didn’t — Ye’s little protest struck me as whiny and ill-timed.
But Ye’s strange outrages had only begun.
For example, there was his interview with Forbes in 2020, in which he warned against the coronavirus vaccine, citing the bogus conspiracy theory that it could be used to implant microchips.