All Articles Tagged "kanye west"
Most of us didn’t know Donda West, Kanye’s mother. But if you’ve been following his career, you know the role she played in his life. And he’s spoken openly about how losing her affected him. And we saw it.
As someone whose benefitted from Kanye’s contributions, I hurt for him when he lost his mother. As my friend put it, “I didn’t even know his mother and I miss her.” It may sound extreme on first read but knowing what little we do about Kanye, we know that his mother helped build him. And we know that he’s not exactly the same without her. I get the sense that I’m rambling now; but long story short, we care.
So, we were deeply moved when Kanye released his song “Only One” with Paul McCartney. McCartney’s on the keys and Kanye’s impeccably delivers vulnerable and heartfelt lyrics, the song is nothing short of beautiful.
In case you haven’t heard it, here are some of the lyrics.
As I lay me down to sleep, I hear her speak to me:
Hello ‘Mari, how you doin?’
I think the storm ran out of rain the clouds are moving
I know you’re happy, cause I can see it
So tell the voice inside ya head to believe it
Recently, when he visited “The Ellen Show,” Kanye debuted the visuals for the song. Check out the adorable video below.
You can watch Kanye’s full sit down interview with Ellen where he talks about what he’s learned from being married in the video below.
Why Kanye West’s Deafening Silence On Jean Touitou’s “Last N*ggas In Paris” Collection Is No Surprise
Jean Touitou probably thought he was doing “the hood” a service when he presented his Fall/Winter 2015 menswear collection for A.P.C. on Sunday. A friend of Kanye West, the designer repeatedly used the N-word to debut his 25-piece collection. Modeling the looks were white men, all dapper, all wearing shades of tan, charcoal and navy with A.P.C. designed Timberlands.
It was all going well, until the Frenchman opened his mouth. According to Style.com’s Luke Leitch, Touitou said during the presentation:
“Being both a creative genius and making clothes that can be worn are two different jobs, two worlds apart. One can’t at the same time do things right and bother with headlines and spotlight exposure…. I call this one look Last Ni–as in Paris. Why? Because it’s the sweet spot when the hood—the ‘hood—meets Bertolucci’s movie “Last Tango in Paris.” So that’s “N****s in Paris” and Last Ni–as in Paris. Oh, I am glad some people laughed with me. Yes, I mean, it’s nice to play with the strong signifiers. The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time—never; it’s bad taste. So we designed Timberlands with Timberland…”
Yea, HUGE red flags.
In America, the N-word holds a deep seeded source of contention and debate, but it’s fairly ambiguous in Europe where race is often swept under the rug. Admittedly, several (read: A LOT) of black face and/or racially insensitive ads and magazine coverlines have come from our friends East of the Atlantic Ocean.
But are we to believe Touitou is really ignorant to the most emotionally fueled word in the dictionary? And can lazy cultural appropriation and casual vernacular be the sole issue?
His answer: Yes. And his alibi: Kanye West.
Read more on StyleBlazer.com.
Just when you thought Kanye West couldn’t get anymore self-indulgent, here comes news about a certain pass he has given one of his famous (White) fashion friends.
According to the Style.com, the “Black Skinhead” rapper has given a hood pass to Parisian designer Jean Touitou, founder and owner of luxe jean maker A.P.C., who used West’s song “Niggas in Paris” as inspiration for his Fall 2015 mens wears collection. Touitou introduced the line, which features Timberland boots and sweatpants (I guess that is the N-word part.), earlier this week during a runway show that also included featured him giving a very awkward explanation for his colorful approach to the line.
“Touitou ushered in a quartet of models wearing three different cuts of a camel overcoat and one check, all matched with gray sweatpants and A.P.C.-designed Timberlands. Then he held up a sign that said, “Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS,” and gave us this exposition: ‘”I call this one look Last N****s in Paris. Why? Because it’s the sweet spot when the hood—the ‘hood—meets Bertolucci’s movie “Last Tango in Paris.” So that’s ‘N****s in Paris’ and Last N****s in Paris. [Nervous laughter from audience.] Oh, I am glad some people laughed with me. Yes, I mean, it’s nice to play with the strong signifiers. The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time—never; it’s bad taste. So we designed Timberlands with Timberland…”
There is so much nonsensical bullshit in that second to last sentence alone, I don’t even know where I should begin, other than to point out that I highly doubt Touitou knows anything about the “ghetto” let alone what is considered proper “’hood attire.” And the mere fact that he dared to open his mouth to teach other clueless White folks about “ghetto” attire, let’s you know the kind of entitlement we are dealing with here. (Here’s a hint: it’s the White kind.). I just pray to the Black Jesus (the one on the Evans Family’s wall); not the one from the Cartoon Network) that those weren’t Black models walking the runway with Touitou as he held up his N-word in Paris sign. But something tells me that they were, because some of us are stupid like that…
If the name sounds familiar to anyone, (Not me, my knowledge of designer fashion labels doesn’t extend beyond T.J Maxx.), Touitou has a reputation around the industry (so says the news blogs) for being an arrogant prick. As the blog The Business of Fashion writes, “Jean Touitou has often been portrayed as a difficult and grumpy man, who actively courts controversy and can be harsh and contemptuous.” In fact, some may call him the Kanye West of fashion, but like, he’s an actual fashion designer.
This might be an understatement. According to Hint Magazine, he once called the entire Chinese manufacturing industry, “Mr. Chong” and “fascists.” He also once accused designer label Hermes of only selling “ugly colors.” And according to Oyster Magazine, he has also taken shots at fashion powerhouse Yves Saint Laurent by basically calling their aesthetic, under new leader Hedi Slimane, tired and “bullshit.” Ironically, West also once called Laurent “bullshit” too.
In fact, outside of their shared hatred for Saint Laurent and love for N-words cruising the streets of Paris in leather sweatpants, the two loudmouths are actually quite friendly with one another. If you recall, Touitou and West collaborated on two limited edition capsule collections, which included an exclusive $120 plain white T-shirt. And according to Style, West actually co-signed Touitou’s new Fall line, including the use of his song, prior to the collection hitting the runway.
More specifically, Touitou told Style, in an email after the awkward runway show:
“I am friends with Kanye [West, who recorded “Ni**as in Paris” with Jay Z], and he and I presented a joint collection at the same place, one year ago, and that this thing is only a homage to our friendship. As a matter of fact, when I came up with this idea, I wrote to him, with the picture of the look and the name I was giving to it, and he wrote back immediately saying something like, ‘I love this vibe.”
So “vibe” is what we’re calling cultural appropriation now?
Listen, I’m so over policing White people about their usage of the N-word. For the record, I don’t like it – in any context – when they use it. But at the same time, they made up the word. And it is not like some of them don’t use it with or without our permission. Plus Hip Hop has made it so cool for White people to call themselves “niggas” that at this point, arguing over who can say it is a exercise in futility.
With that said, I am bothered by how self-serving this all is. For one, Touitou is not even calling himself a “nigga;” he’s just pointing out how inspired he is by our presence there. And more importantly, while it is his song, West is in no position to be granting any White boy a pass, let alone permission to interpret and label supposedly “ghetto” culture. Especially when none of the proceeds from the sale of that line will benefit or even advance the very people he is stealing from. In fact, the only person getting anything out of this is Touitou, who not only gets to sell some ugly boots, jeans and pea coats, but gets to seem hip and edgy at the same time. Heck I don’t even think West is making any money off of this. He is just the N-word inspiration. For that reason alone, I got to call this a fashion miss – as in, miss me with this one.
But what do folks think: Should Touitou get a hood pass for his inspirational clothing line or should that pass be voided and Touitou (and West too) be escorted out of Blackistan by security? Be sure to leave your comments below.
There’s been a whole lot of “internet breaking” going on as of late and last night was no exception. The highly anticipated collaboration of the legendary Paul McCartney and hip-hop and pop royalty Kanye West and Rihanna hit the net last night. Rihanna debuted “FourFiveSeconds” on her website, two weeks after Kanye dropped the single, “Only One”, in which Ty Dolla $ign sings back up vocals.
Rihanna sings over the acoustic, percussion-less track about her flaws and faults:
“I think I’ve had enough. I might get a little drunk. I say what’s on my mind. I might do a little time. Cause all of my kindness is taken for weakness.”
Kanye comes in on a verse as he laments about his own troubles:
“If I go to jail tonight, promise you’ll pay my bail. See they want to buy my pride, but that just ain’t up for sale. See all of my kindness is taken for weakness.”
West previewed the track at an IHeartRadio summit music industry event last Thursday at which in true Kanye fashion he went on to deliver a 45 minute stream-of-consciousness speech about his “responsibility to innovate” and apparently revealed a conversation with the The Beatles member in which he asked, “What was pu**y like in the sixties?” He played the track straight from his computer for the audience before closing his laptop and exiting the stage without speaking of a release date.
You can listen to the track at RihannaNow.com. In the meantime, Rihanna’s bestie Melissa posted the pop star’s reaction to the track going live. Peep her cute reaction below:
Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s even worse in a time where there’s a major reliance on social media. Not only do couples use these platforms to duke it out, but they sometimes let us know how they really feel about their past relationships in other ways, including in song form. More and more celebrity men are doing it these days too, which leaves me wondering why these feelings aren’t shared with an understanding homeboy who will encourage them to keep their head up. But then again, I guess social media fans might bring the comfort these attention-loving men were looking for anyway. Check out this slideshow of hurt men who put their feelings, and their exes, on blast.
Kanye West Releases New Song, “Only One” For Daughter North From The Perspective Of His Late Mother, Donda
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 1, 2015
Christmas was a week ago, but Kanye West is sharing a gift with us that is close to his heart.
Yeezy just released some new music to ring in the new year, and it’s called “Only One.” The song, though very much about his daughter North, is actually written from the perspective of West’s late mother, Donda West. As the song begins, West makes that clear in the opening lines of the track:
As I lay me down to sleep, I hear her speak to me:
Hello ‘Mari, how you doin?’
I think the storm ran out of rain the clouds are moving
I know you’re happy, cause I can see it
So tell the voice inside ya head to believe it
Donda West passed away in 2007 after complications from cosmetic surgery procedures she was having done. This is the first real time that West has spoken through song directly about his mother since her passing (“Hey Mama” was recorded prior to her death for his Late Registration album).
Featured on the song is Paul McCartney, who plays keyboard on it and has a solo at the end that’s quite beautiful. The song as a whole is very moving, and while the auto-tune might initially rub you the wrong way, after giving the track a second play, I’ve had it on repeat since.
Here’s the story behind the song, according to a press release:
In early 2014, Paul McCartney and Kanye West first began working together in a small bungalow in Los Angeles. The process that would result in “Only One” began with a simple brainstorming session between the two: With McCartney improvising on the keyboards and Kanye vocally sketching and shaping ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff.
When they played back the recording afterward, something remarkable happened. Kanye sat there with his family, holding his daughter North on his lap, and listened to his vocals, singing, “Hello, my only one . . . ” And in that moment, not only could he not recall having sung those words, but he realized that perhaps the words had never really come from him.
The process of artistic creation is one that does not involve thinking, but often channeling. And he understood in that moment that his late mother, Dr. Donda West, who was also his mentor, confidante, and best friend, had spoken through him that day.
“My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” he said, astonished.
The small group in the room kept listening: “Hello my Only One…just like the morning sun…you’ll keep on rising till the sky knows your name.”
To some, Kanye’s insight didn’t immediately register. But then he explained: The name Kanye, which his mother had chosen, means “only one.”
And then it dawned on everyone there: Something powerful and undeniable had occurred through the power of music and of letting go. A message had been passed down through generations.
The song, according to Pitchfork, is the first single from West’s upcoming but as-yet-untitled new album, and one of quite a few collaborations with McCartney. Check out the track for yourself, which is now only streaming on Kanye’s website, as well as the lyrics, and let us know what you think.
News outlets have been on high alert with Prince William and Kate Middleton making visits around the country. Even though there is no monarchy in place here in the U.S. doesn’t mean we can’t crown high profile couples as our own royalty. Take a look at these 10 celebrity couples who we can’t seem to stop discussing.
In the reconceptualized words of Dave Chappelle, “Can somebody please, find Kanye West? Get hold of this mofo so I can make sense out of all of this. Where is Mr. West? Hide me Kanye West…”
But in all seriousness, there is a certain uncomfortable silence from America’s most vocal celebrity agitator at a time when we probably need to hear him the most. Yes, I’m talking about Ferguson. Yes, I’m talking about justice for Mike Brown, and Rekia Boyd and John Crawford and Tamir Rice and Eric Garner, Aiyana Jones and the rest of the brothers and sisters who are shot by a police officer every 28 hours here in America. If we could count on anybody having something to say about all of this, it would have been Kanye West. But lately, he hasn’t been saying much, and for me, that is slightly bothersome…
It’s not because I feel like West should be obligated to speak. I am of the school of thought that not every celebrity needs to make a political statement, especially when it is not helpful. Yeah, I’m talking about the neo-Negros among us like Kobe Bryant, Nelly, T.I. and Pharrell Williams (sort of), who all have been preaching this slightly ironic and exceptional view of respectability. I mean, a good portion of Williams’ early career involved him making beats for “bully” music, most notably “Superthug” by N.O.R.E. So if he wanted to do something about bully culture, being more selective about who he works with and accepts money from, is a good place to start.
However, Mr. West has always been a bit different from his fellow brethren in entertainment. For one, he’s always been sort of a race man. And no other incident illustrates that more than his now infamous ad-libbed statement that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” which he made during the Hurricane Katrina telethon. If you watch the video in its entirety, you will notice that West was pretty off-the-cuff and filled with raw emotion during his short speech. At one point in the video, particularly when his chest started heaving up and down, I thought for sure he was going to cry.
However, that single coherent statement out of all that raw emotion became one of the most profound and heartfelt political sentiments to ever come from that sad time. Why? Because West didn’t take the easy way out of just blaming black folks for not swimming hard enough. Nor did he punk out and just continue on with the script in front of him. What he did that evening of the telethon took plenty of guts and courage. I can’t imagine anyone else then or even now, being brave enough to do that.
And that is what many of us loved the most about West: You could always count on him to speak from his heart. And yes, even a little (okay, a lot) from his ego. There is no doubt that West goes hard for himself. And at times, he can be obnoxiously cocky in his assurance of himself, as illustrated by this third person account of Kanye West’s success as told by Kanye West in an interview with the New York Times. In particular, he tells the paper, “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture.”
He would again declare himself among the greats in a separate (and also infamous) interview with Sway, noting in particular: “I am Warhol! I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney, Nike, Google.”
It’s all sounds so unnecessarily self-aggrandizing until you consider the amount of belief in one’s self it takes to achieve the level of musical success (I’m not even talking about financial success because many untalented people are making major bank nowadays) West has achieved. If you’ll recall, not only did West spit the verses of “Through the Wire” through an actual wired jaw, but he also put up the money and more for his own marketing and promotion for the career-launching track.
There is a certain amount of narcissism needed to think above all visible indicators and detractors that your art, along with the thoughts in your head, are legitimate and worthy of public discourse and appreciation. West has that and over the years, has used that for the benefit of those who can’t always speak for themselves (or have the platform to speak for themselves).
But that was the past. And today, I read more headlines about West apologizing profusely to white people all over this country than I do of him actually saying something worthwhile. And I find that troubling.
In some respect I can understand his hesitation to speak out. His boldness oftentimes has come at a high price, with some obstacles still holding him back to this day. The mainstream media hasn’t forgotten about the Taylor Swift incident. The pundits and other talking heads have reduced his thoughts and opinions to the ravings of a self-indulgent eccentric. He gets booed and harassed by paparazzi just about every place that he goes. And even common folks, the same folks he used to lend his voice to, now mock and ridicule him worse than any in the actual paid media can.
A few years back West told the audience at the UK’s Big Chill film festival about the chilly reception he has been getting as of late, saying “I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I’m f***in’ insane, like I’m Hitler.” I can imagine that this public perception probably motivates him to choose the words that he shares with the larger community with more discretion…
But that hasn’t exactly been the case. And West has been more than willing to be controversial, but only with some things. Like using the Confederate flag in some of his touring merchandise. Or when he showed up at Occupy Wall Street as a prop for Russell Simmons. Or performing with a white Jesus. In fact, the only substantial outrage West has shown recently is when he made a fuss about the croissant shortage in his song, “I Am A God.”
It would appear that the most vocal mainstream celebrity has been neutralized, or perhaps, he simply no longer cares about anything important. Whatever the reason, you have to admit that there is something weird about the angriest black male celebrity in America not having a single thing to say.
— Nigel Int’l D. (@Nigel_D) October 31, 2014
I wonder if the Carters watch “Black-ish”? If you watched this week’s Halloween episode, you saw the Dre and his family went as the Jackson 5. Earlier today, we reported that Beyoncé dressed as Janet Jackson from her Rhythm Nation days. But Blue got the better costume. She was a young Michael Jackson, complete with the shiny glove, boots and a curl. And it’s just too adorable. Check out a couple of pictures of her stepping out with her parents last night.
Apparently, Jay Z didn’t want to join in on all the family theme. Later that evening, he was seen wearing a mask on the back of his head but it wasn’t Jackson family related. Bey and Blue got the best ones. Though it would have been pretty hilarious to see him attempt the Jermaine Jackson spray painted hair.
As smart at that little Blue Ivy is, I wouldn’t be surprised if she specially asked to be Michael Jackson. Either way she’s adorable. And I peep the little twist hanging out, just like Michael used to have that single curl hanging down in his face. Blue isn’t the only celebrity baby whose debuted her Halloween costume already, this morning Kim Kardashian shared a few pics of North West. Check them out on the next page.
Money ain’t a thing for Kanye West it seems. The rapper has reportedly turned down a $4.5 million Las Vegas gig, according to reports says The New York Daily News.
A Vegas residency seems to be good enough for Jennifer Lopez, who reportedly inked a residency deal at the Axis theater at Planet Hollywood. This is the same location of Britney Spears’ “Piece Of Me” residency show. Word is Lopez will do a total of 72 shows, three times a week for 24 weeks over the course of two years. And she is rumored to make $350,000 per night, $40,000 more than what Spears is currently earning for her residency. “Her final paycheck would total around $26 million,” reports The Huffington Post.
(A Forbes contributor says the deal will be good for Lopez because although she is worth $300 million, her recent business endeavors have not performed up to projections. It is also speculated she won’t keep her American Idol judging position for much longer because the show’s audience is not as receptive as it used to be.)
But West was reportedly offered a nine-show, $500,000-a-night gig at the same venue, where Britney Spears is currently in residency, but turned it down. The offer came even though West’s last record didn’t fare so well. His sixth studio album Yeezus, which was certified platinum by the RIAA, only moved around 630,000 units since being released on June 18, reports Music Times. The platinum certification merely means that one million copies of the album were shipped to stores — it doesn’t mean that many were actually sold.