A Guest Post By Jonathan Hailey“You gotta love it though, somebody still speaks from his soul.”
Kanye West spit that memorable line in 2005 and music fans agreed. However, in 2011, Kanye and his label are more into back pedaling than the
freedom of expression. What the hell am I talking about? After a yearlong wait, an “official” visual for “Monster” has hit he net. The only difference from the “unofficial” clip is a disclaimer saying, “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any groups of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.” Def Jam and West must’ve been watching another
video because “Monster” is full of misogyny. So why haven’t they stood by it?
(Watch ‘Monster here.)
Kanye West has transcended the hip hop genre and is an artist. An
artist’s job is to push an audience’s buttons in some way. West did that and is back pedaling because people don’t like the clip. For a man who went on television denouncing our former president, that’s a bit cowardice. Has the money effected so much that he’s forgotten who he was when he dropped his debut. It doesn’t seem right that a man bold enough to release three videos for a rap song about Jesus tacks a disclaimer on a video based on a dark and twisted idea. The name of the album indicates what types of images you’re going to see.
So who are we supposed to be angry at–Kanye, ourselves, or Def Jam Records? All three. Simply put, Kanye has said he is an asshole. All the people I’ve considered assholes have stood firm in their action despite the scrutiny they’ve received. West used to be like that. Maybe time has smoothed his rough edges. We should be mad at ourselves
for being hypocrites. We talk about we want the freedom of speech and expression until someone expresses an idea we don’t like. That’s when censorship is cool.
The mass media is trying to have their cake and eat it too. Obviously, things don’t work that way. Def Jam should take a portion of blame because they released Rihanna’s video for “Man Down” last week. Her video shows rape and murder. Yet she has stood by her work. Does Rihanna have bigger balls than Kanye West? She might not have bigger
balls, but she damn sure isn’t being hypocritical with her controversial video.
(Watch ‘Man Down‘ here.)
Words By Jonathan Hailey