All Articles Tagged "College Dropot"
When I first heard Kanye’s debut CD “College Dropout” my freshman year at school I played “Spaceship” so much I don’t think I even knew there were other tracks on the album until several months later. I didn’t even really struggle through college but I was working at Old Navy at the time so when Kanye said that line, “Let’s go back, back to the Gap Look at my check, wasn’t no scratch,” I was all over it. Then when I moved to New York after school and the guy in the third verse rapped about taking the dollar cab and coming home real late at night, I felt like playing the song for all the people who didn’t understand why I was busting my butt so hard at work—“ya’ll don’t know my struggle, you can max my hustle.”
But by that time I had broken up with Kanye musically and it was a hard fall. At first I played his CD like a daily ritual and on top of falling in love with every track he came to my campus the year the album came out and the concert was crazy. Between “Jesus Walks,” “All Falls Down,” and “Get ‘Em High” I had all the motivation I needed to say eff what everybody else is talking about, I can make it, and initially I appreciated that Kanye had that same attitude. But somewhere down the line things got foolish.
Innate cockiness plus money only made Kanye an even bigger a**hole than he proclaimed to be on that first album. One too many award shows went by without a win and he turned into a whiny, arrogant, sore loser and I was immediately turned off. I just wanted to scream at him, yes this album was great, but you’re not going to get anyone to buy into that greatness by acting an absolute fool at award shows. Of course we know that’s a lesson that took several more years for him to learn with his debacle with Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Music Awards. That situation honestly didn’t even phase me because I’d already given up on him at that point. He was truly living the words on “Can’t Tell Me Nothin.” “La, la, la, la wait ‘til I get my money right…then you can’t tell me nothing right.” We later realized the bottle of Hennessy he was carrying on the red carpet likely had a lot to do with his behavior, but I don’t doubt the money he had under his belt from four albums at that time had something to do with it as well.
By the time Ye made that colossal mistake, many people had already been done with him over his George Bush comments regarding Katrina. Although I knew that wasn’t the time or the place for Kanye to make that statement in 2006, I didn’t mind. Somebody needed to say it, and I was glad someone of his status had. That felt like the “College Dropout” Kanye who talked about buying our way out of jail but we can’t buy freedom. He was standing up for the voiceless in New Orleans but nowadays he seems to be living solely for himself.
I could be missing something since I haven’t listened to his music as closely as I did when he first came out but from the single’s he’s dropped his agenda is far from what it was. I felt him on “Gotta Have It” from “Watch the Throne” when he said “Hello, hello white America, assassinate my character,” but for the most part he’s been killing his own self publicly and this latest stunt with Kim Kardashian only proves it further. Kim not being black is the least of my long list of concerns about these two dating, but I can’t help but be reminded of his “Gold digger lyric,” But when he get on he leave you’re a** for a white girl.” Hmmm, self-fulfilling prophecy?
Every artist changes once they get in the game and it’s not surprising his subject matter would be different six albums in. He’s not the same dropout staying up all night making beats and writing rhymes but I am concerned about how much he’s been changed by the industry. It’s not as though he came in blind to what the deal was, he said “the people highest up got the lowest self esteem” and “the prettiest people do the ugliest things for the road to riches and diamond rings.” Was his acknowledgement of the problems plaguing the 1% not enough to shield him from its effects? Is he just content with flossing now because he’s felt so degraded by the media? Maybe I just had too high of hopes for Ye, that he would somehow keep talking about the real struggle in white America as his fame grew but now he seems perfectly assimilated, Kim K. in tow. I can’t imagine what it’s like to need to be reminded what 50 grand is when you’re a n***a in Paris but I do remember him mentioning “even if you’re in a Benz, you’re still a n***a in a coop.” I want Kanye to get that “College Dropout” passion back and start talking about some things of substance because at this point I can’t relate to anything he’s living between lyrics on dining with Ana Wintour and balling so hard mother effers gotta find him—and I’m not sure I want to.
Are you still feeling Kanye the way you did when he first came out?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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