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Chris Lebron @lebron_chris
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
A more serious thread on @kanyewest and #thesunkenplace. One of the most seductive attractions for black artists in the west is to be considered a #genius. There's never been any doubt Kanye has covered this designation for himself...
But Kanye's model of genius is not rooted in the black tradition. His is rooted in modern white commercial expressions of genius. College Dropout provided a refreshed template for what hip hop could sound like. The genre owes him a huge debt for this...
But Kanye's metric for success has never been the degree to which his base adores him nor his own standard of reinventing his art. Consider his consistent whining and childish outbursts for not winning mainstream awards...
These amount to demanding white institutional recognition. That his genre community already placed him on a pedestal was never enough - unless he had white affirmation, the love black folks showed him was never going to satisfy him...
So he pushes further. If the white mainstream in music won't stamp him a genius then he'll do fashion because all white people know that the genius is someone whose creativity is eclectic and uncontainable - at least thirsty black folks think this...
And he slowly begins to force the world to contend with him as a creator and not only as a musical artist. This then re-ups his idea of what it means for one man to do what others can not. Not understanding that he is who he is only because of us - brown folks...
So now he thinks he's the free-thinking genius on the false construed white model of genius so now beyond the powerful creative, he will show just how free his thinking is.
And the most pernicious form of free-thinking to is to show whites how untethered from group politics a creative black person can be. And that often entails re-interpreting a problematic white person as himself misunderstood by blacks. Why do that?...
It shows you to be not only a free-thinking but a thinker ahead of the curve. But it isn't. It's retrograde and functionally authorizes racism from the likes of Trump and passivity from problematic liberals.
So Kanye and folks like him talking about being free from oppressive black politics. You go ahead with that. Just know that your coveted institutional approval from white folks doesn't make you a free-thinking. You've traded your soul and people for new gold-plated shackles....
So enjoy the invitation that is most likely coming from Trump. Hurray. You get to go in The Big House. Think on that.
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