NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 2, 2018) – For years, many people have referred to Kanye West as a musical “genius” because of his artistic repertoire. Recently, his strange behavior has increasingly been in the spotlight, from trying to break the camera of a paparazzi to cosigning with President Donald Trump throughout the campaign and during his presidency. Recent events have made the world step back and look at him from a new perspective.
Most notable was a Sept. 29 appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” during which he offered a monologue that complained about black voters’ relationship with the Democratic Party. The next day West, wrote a pair of tweets saying, “We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs,” and “We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13 amend. Message sent with love.” Trump then cosigned with him saying the rapper was “Leading the charge.”
The set of tweets received mass backlash not only from fans but even celebrities and public officials such as actor Chris Evans, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, singer Lana Del Rey and many more. In a later tweet, West claimed that he didn’t actually mean the entire 13th Amendment should be abolished, but this comment did not staunch the criticism.
People have begun to publicly question the state of Kanye’s mental health.
West reportedly was diagnosed with bipolar disorder early this year; however, he says it is not a disorder, it’s a superpower.
In an interview with radio personality, West said, “I have lived with this my entire life. This is where my genius comes from; this is my gift from God that I am supposed to share with the world.”
Like many people, West had had to face many traumatic events in his life: his mother dying after elective surgery, his father leaving and re-entering his life and the pressure for him succeed in his own mind. Sources from West’s publicity team have been reported as saying his doctor is constantly trying to get him into a facility to stabilize his moods, but all West wants to do is throw money at the situation rather than fix the problem.
The question is then posed: Which is more important – the art or the artist? What will it take for us to take off the rose-colored glass and realize celebrities are humans? In this year alone, we have lost artists like Mac Miller and Avicii, both of whom were diagnosed in with mental illness and didn’t get the treatment they needed and took their lives.
We love Kanye West for the musical genius he is, but we want him to get the help he needs. Confronting this problem head-on would be an inspiration to the myriad numbers of his fans who could be dealing with mental health issues themselves. (For example, a recent Times-Picayune article about mental health in New Orleans and the state said one in five people in Louisiana have some sort of mental health issues.)
(Managing Editor Taj Odem wrote this editorial on behalf of the Courtbouillon staff.)