What the fuck is wrong with Kanye West y’all? That was rhetorical. Kanye isn’t doing anything new. Let’s take a minute to analyze who Kanye is and what his motivations are.
Kanye has always been an eccentric rapper/producer from Chicago. Kanye West has always been driven by his own ego. I consider myself a fan of his music, but truth be told, he can’t really make a hit without a sample. So he’s not the greatest producer, but making hit singles isn’t exactly easy, so he clearly is an artist.
I personally don’t view College Dropout as the same masterpiece that everyone else does. I personally thought Late Registration was way better. That’s because I am less in tune with a rapper’s message than I am with how good the music sounds, and to me, Late Registration is just better on the ears. Simply put, there’s more songs that I enjoy and would replay on his second album than on his first.
So somewhere around the time of the release of Late Registration, Hurricane Katrina happened and Kanye West famously did this:
Kanye is clearly an emotional person. And saying something like this felt like he was saying something we all wanted to say at the time. Kanye West became our hero that day.
Then came Graduation. I remember when this album was on the way, 50 Cent apparently famously claimed that if Kanye West outsold him first week that he would quit doing music. From what I recall, Kanye’s album stomped 50’s. But of course 50 didn’t quit. I don’t recall Kanye ever saying anything about it, but I found it ironic that one of Kanye’s biggest singles from the album coincidentally had a line referencing a 50 Cent line.
50 told me go ‘head switch the style up
And if they hate then let ’em hate
And watch the money pile up
Here’s where things begin to take a turn. 808s and Heartbreak was a huge risk on Kanye’s part. Because let’s be honest, nobody wants to hear Kanye sing.. Not for a full goddamn album. There was some decent music on that album though and there are plenty of people who would say that was his best album. It definitely revealed Kanye as a risk taker.. But it essentially killed the “Old Kanye”. I recalled having arguments about Late Registration because fans of College Dropout felt Kanye had already moved too far beyond his conscious roots and depth to make more sonically enjoyable and shallower music. But like I said, I loved that album. Those College Dropout fans would naturally see 808s and Heartbreak as a continued fall from their ideal Kanye, even though that album might be considered his most personal album.
If that album wasn’t controversial enough, the next came this..
I have never been a Taylor Swift hater but on the other hand I agree with Kanye here. Beyonce’s Single Ladies was iconic. Taylor Swift’s single was great and all, but Single Ladies was an anthem and the video was one of the most memorable things from that year, aside from Kanye shitting on Taylor’s moment at the VMAs of course. On top of that, there’s this:
If this isn’t a pretty hardcore blow to the ego, I don’t know what is. The first African American President verbally expresses an opinion about you, and it aint positive. Obama has only ever had good things to say about Jay Z. Big Brother wins again.
I would say all of this put the cracks that started Kanye’s rift with black America. He got points for the Taylor Swift thing, but everything else kind of left him as a bad taste in our mouths.
Then came 2010.. The comeback year. Kanye dropped My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. That album to me was a masterpiece, and furthermore masterfully marketed.
He debuted one of the singles at the VMAs. I remember people wondered if he was apologetic toward Taylor Swift and if would possibly take this opportunity to express that. Nah. He performed Runaway, which seemed to be Kanye embracing his place as the guy who has to say the wrong thing at the right time because somebody has to:
It was perfect. Furthermore, he created a movie showcasing the music from the album:
And was going around shopping the album with his artists in suits, walking around looking like black Wall Street.
On top of all of that, one of the singles pretty much showcased Nicki Minaj’s lyrical skill, making her a household name overnight:
You couldn’t tell Kanye shit in 2010. He had fallen and risen like a phoenix (which by the way was one of the subject’s of his Runaway movie). His artistry was on full display and those of us paying attention were in awe of it.
One thing nobody acknowledged tho.. Remember that white girl that was with him at the VMAs during the Taylor Swift fiasco? Well obviously they were done. And if you listen closely, half of Dark Fantasy is about her. Especially this song, which I am pretty sure features her:
So yeah, I wonder if that phoenix was Amber Rose. Who knows.
After a year like that, why wouldn’t Kanye take some time to himself. But in that time, with little to no positives to drive his image, it began to deteriorate. That’s when his relationship began with Kim Kardashian. That’s when he dropped his most mediocre body of work, Yeezus. That’s when he was trying to break into fashion and feeling like his genius was being held back. That’s when he was going around defending his new found passion and music and being demolished in radio interviews:
Around this time I began to consider that maybe Kanye West really was a genius. See he was having yet another bad year. But he had followed up 2009 so beautifully after the whole Taylor Swift thing that I figured this might be by design. So at that time, I decided that regardless of what happened, I knew Kanye was going to come back in dramatic fashion afterward. And I was almost right. Kanye learned to stop talking about fashion so much and just started doing that shit. His shoes, Yeezys, are a success story. They still sell out when released to this day. His follow up album could probably be considered a success. I didn’t care for The Life of Pablo as a whole, but it was definitely a step above Yeezus. However, there seemed to be an apparent fallout with Jay Z. And then there was shit like this:
It all has just felt like Kanye has been trying to hold on, but is still deteriorating. Understandably. I think Kanye’s ego is quite fragile and fame is crazy. It can make you crazy if you don’t manage it properly. Look at everything Michael Jackson went through.
So I have said all of this to talk about the Kanye we have today. The one who appears to support Trump and at the same time doesn’t mind being vocal about that support. I believe Trump and Kanye are of similar minds. Two individuals driven almost entirely by their ego. It feels like a turn for Kanye to be supporting Trump after being the same man who called out George W Bush on live TV. We would expect that Kanye to have the same opinion about Trump. But that’s because we thought we knew that Kanye. We thought we knew his motivations. Kanye is about self, same as Trump. Kanye most likely feels like we turned our backs on him a long time ago. But he still has to go on.. And Trump didn’t call him a jackass. Truth be told, Kanye West having a relationship with Trump, the most powerful man in the world, will probably be quite beneficial. He blew his chance at having that with Obama, so fuck it, why not Trump.
I’m not saying I approve. But I understand. Y’all think Kanye is fucked up. Nah. He knows what he’s doing. And in the end it will probably benefit him more than being the old Kanye that we all miss. We lost Kanye a long time ago. When it suits him and he actually has something to offer us, maybe he’ll come back. Till then, yeah he’s pretty much in the sunken place. It is what it is..
Kanye is up to something..
Famous words after the verdict of the fallen “clean comedian”:
“He doesn’t have a private plane, you asshole“
This is yet another brilliant idea of mine. I was talking to a new mom friend of mine yesterday. She just recently created her second life. I have not created any lives. Ever since she and I started hanging out back in 2011 I decided that she and I were pretty much the same kind of person. In reality we are vastly different, but we had several parallel personality traits and drives. We don’t speak much anymore ever since she moved away, got married, and started making babies. Not to mention we were once a pretty tight trio including my ex-girlfriend. So things are very different now. Everyone is in a very different place.
She was talking to me about how her daughter in her terrible twos doesn’t listen. After having my nephew live with me at that age, I learned you really only have two choices with children at this level. You can spank them or you can bribe them. What terrible choices. I personally have the policy of not negotiating with terrorists, so I refused to bribe my nephew, regardless of the fact that his mother kept chips or candy on hand to get him under control. Not me. I would just suplex that little boy.
It’s exhausting. So here’s an idea. We need shock collars for kids. Before you call the authorities, hear me out. White people have ALREADY opened the door, putting those damn leashes on their babies. Baby leashes are perfect and necessary if you think about it. Babies are suicidal. They are looking for every opportunity to run out into traffic the second mom isn’t looking, and get their parents thrown in jail for neglect. Selfish little bastards. Of course they don’t know better. Anyway, since we already have leashes, why not go all the way and shock em to stop em.
“My whole life now is changing diapers and saying stop and sit down” -Candi
Ok I’m kidding. That’s not the idea. I actually brought up something during our conversation that made me wonder why this doesn’t exist. With millennials being so much more free and in tune with themselves, they aren’t getting married as much as their parents. Women in general are growing to be ok with not having a relationship and instead focusing on themselves and their career. It’s a new age and marriage is dead. However, marriage can’t die. At the moment, there is no better environment for a child to thrive than within a strong marriage. But strong marriages are a dime a dozen. So maybe it’s time to reinvent the wheel. And the funny thing is, we are almost there already. We have sperm banks and all of these avenues for individuals to become parents. Here’s another one that I think may be long overdue due to societal norms and how controversial it would be.
There are way too many dating sites. They all have one of several goals in mind. To set us up with someone to spend our lives with, or at the very least someone to spend the night with. All circumstances that ultimately lead to emotion filled relationships that often lead to children. Let’s get that emotion the fuck out of there. How about a “matchmaking” website that simply matches two people who want to pro-create. Before I continue, let’s ponder on this. As usual, let’s jump to a song or stand up comedy clip to further analyze the concept:
Louis CK feels like he is the best version of himself as a parent under his current circumstances of divorce. Think of what he had to do in order to get there. The roller coaster of a relationship that ultimately did not work out. Divorce (and the bad relationships that it stems from) fucks adults and kids up. I think it fucks kids up because it takes their normal, tears it apart, and puts it back together in a different way. Worse, sometimes the parents can’t work out a mature agreement the way Louis and his ex-wife have and the kids are caught in the hurricane of it. It’s not healthy.
So back to my idea. Give consenting adults a tool (website/app) to do research and make a conscious decision to co-parent children without the love or marriage to another person. It would simply be an agreement between two adults to create a new life together and split the parenting. It’s basically jumping to the divorce phase of a relationship without all of the feelings involved.
It would be the most controversial thing since the 2016 election. It would create a new issue for Republicans and Democrats to completely take opposite positions on like abortion or gun control. I can already see the website headquarters being fire-bombed by religious fanatics. I can also see the creator of the website essentially being crowned the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Bezos, or Steve Jobs as a forward thinker. Why? Because it would essentially pioneer yet another thing to enhance human beings beyond our current limitations. This is not to say that love is a limitation. Love is a beautiful thing. But at the same time it’s a drug and we often make bad decisions on drugs. However one’s love for their children. That’s probably the best love there is. There is nothing more powerful. So let’s stop coupling that love with the fleeting love that comes and goes with relationships and marriage. Forcing them together is probably what is creating so many fucked up human beings. I mean.. aside from all of the mayhem that goes on outside of rich countries.
First and foremost, I’d like to say fuck this beautiful ass infuriating ass Walmart ass puzzle.
I don’t recall the exact date I purchased this puzzle but I can do a roundabout. Early 2017 me and my girl had a bit of a spat and as a way of spending more time together, we started doing puzzles and watching Game of Thrones together. We went ham on this sexy savage tiger puzzle that we got from a hobby shop.
It got agonizing in all the tiger’s orangeness and the grey faded rocks, but we powered through and now this bitch is mounted on our wall, sad and defeated. Lil bitch. We were so impressed with ourselves that sometime after, but definitely before Game of Thrones season 7 started, we decided to get another one. We saw the box containing all of the pieces of the beautifully constructed puzzle you have witnessed at the top and decided to give it a go.
This goddamn motherfucking Walmart ass puzzle..
While working on this puzzle and my girl being exposed for the first time to The Hound’s genius and ferocity, we soon realized what we were in for. I stress “Walmart ass puzzle” because that is what I found myself exclaiming as I realized the flaws of this puzzle. Multiple times we encountered pieces that appeared to fit well in places other than where they go. PUZZLE PIECES SHOULD NOT HAVE OPTIONS. Walmart don’t give a fuck, they’re tryna make a buck. We soldiered on.
Eventually we grew weary, but at least we had completed the entirety of the edge, the house, the ducks, the flowers, the boat, and the dock. As my girl’s interest in the puzzle and Game of Thrones began to wane and my interest in a certain video game that enveloped my 2017 began to peak, we spent less time working on this monstrosity. Especially when we got to the hardest pieces to match within the various trees. Then, one fateful day something happened.
We kept the puzzle in the second bedroom with the door closed so as not to be meddled with by our rambunctious roommates who also happen to be of similar species to the subject of our previous puzzle. These clawed assholes were looking for a chance to destroy our work. One day, we gave one of them just that. The black cat, named Batman because as a little kitten his face kind of looked like a bat, found himself locked in the second bedroom one afternoon. We hadn’t done a good job of ensuring the room was clear before closing the door for the day as we went to work. And so when we returned, Batman has pretty much taken apart an entire corner of the puzzle along with all of the ducks and the flowers. We redid most of what was destroyed but by this time, bae was pretty much done and without any help, I lost most of my motivation as well. Thus began a hiatus from the puzzle.
During this time a single puzzle piece managed to end up on the floor and in the vacuum cleaner. The piece was recovered but was never the same again. It was one of those 4 corners pieces that is symmetric in multiple directions and has 4 concave connections, shaped kind of like a four-leaf clover. The thick bottom cardboard part of the piece and the thin upper layer of the picture has gotten separated and worn a bit. We put the piece in a baggy and vowed to glue it back together one day..
Still, I refused to give up. So when moving day came and we had to make a decision of what to do with the puzzle, I got creative. The puzzle was on our card table. I took apart a box and taped parts of it together to create a flat surface to cover the puzzle. Then I used packing tape to tape that box atop the puzzle onto the table, securing it in place. We put the rest of the pieces that had not yet found their home back in the box. After the move, the table sat folded in a corner, the box of remaining pieces on a shelf. There the puzzle sat for about 6 months.
Then one day, I noticed that moving the table around had exposed the puzzle. Pieces of a corner were peeking out from beneath the cardboard. Having taken a day of not addictively playing video games, I decided to set up the table and have a closer look at the puzzle. Aside from that corner, it was still well put together. I began messing around with making additional connections and by the end of the week, the puzzle had me hooked all over again. I found myself employing intricate strategies to finally determine where most of the tree pieces needed to go. All the while, bae would sometimes pass by the table and attempt a connection, then get frustrated and go back to watching Law and Order. Eventually I got down to enough pieces that I could separate them based on their shape, and when looking at a missing area, I could look among specific pieces based on color and connect-ability. This all sounds technical but I am just making this up as I go.
I even managed to get the fucked up piece that got vacuumed up into place. I left that spot open for a long time because I had sworn I ran out of pieces with that shape of 4 concave connections and had resigned to likely be missing a few pieces. Then I remembered that piece we had stashed and it fit like a glove on OJ Simpson. It didn’t fit great at the moment but that doesn’t mean it never did. I managed to get it in there well enough.
Once I hit the final stretch, pieces were flying into place like hotcakes. And when I ran out of pieces, there were still two spots exposed. I let out a sigh and went to bed. The next morning I found one of them on the floor. The other has yet to be found. But I’ll find that motherfucker. Maybe. Idk. I glued the puzzle yesterday so I will probably put it up on the wall this evening.
And this.. This is life.. And life of course is not at all perfect so when you reach the end, of course there will still be something missing. Along the way there will be trials and tribulations. You will think things will go one way and they end up going another. Where pieces seem to fit they actually go on the other side of the picture. Pieces will be lost. Pieces will be damaged. Some parts of progress will breeze by while others seem to take every ounce of patience you can muster. Progress will be impeded and even removed by inside and outside forces. You will reach a point where it all seems futile and you want to give up. But if you power through, you get to see the fruit of your struggles. Such is life.. A beautiful imperfect Walmart ass puzzle.
That is the muthafuckin question! You know I have always spelled it like that. I put a u in “mother” when I don’t pronounce the “er” part of it. Just feels normal. And sometimes I put a ph instead of an F in “fuckin” for no damn reason at all. It’s the rebel in me. Do rebels retire? Probably not. I think we die fighting. There’s respect in that. Retirement seems like giving up. It’s a personal choice. You usually feel like you have done enough or simply no longer want to work, so you take what you got and go chill somewhere.
Been thinking about retirement a lot lately. See I exist in a bubble of comfort. I am ashamed of it to a degree because I am young. You are supposed to grind while you are young so that you can be comfortable when you can’t stand to or are unable to grind anymore. So I might be spending all my comfy points now and Imma be slaving in my 60s, mad af. My dad is almost 60.. And he’s working. He has to. And I see so much of him in me that I figure I’m probably headed down the same road. That’s the beauty of introspection and knowing your parents.. It’s about the closest thing you will get to seeing your possible future. Key word being possible. Maybe one of these days I’ll wake the fuck up and get back to work.
For now I’m going to go ahead and neglect this grind to continue this blog post. I had an argument about retirement at lunch. Before I get into that, shoutout to one of my favorite rappers.
As one of my favorites, I have expectations. One of those is the expectation that he continues to create. However back in 2016, Cole alluded to possibly retiring in “Jermaine’s Interlude” on DJ Khalid’s album. I haven’t actually heard the song but I am familiar with the line: “Said all I could say, now I play with thoughts of retirement”. Here’s the song if you want to listen.
Anyway my homeboy says I shouldn’t have feelings about J. Cole wanting to retire. Part of that is him being a less passionate individual than I am in general but furthermore less passionate about the current generation of hip hop music. There is so much nonsense on the radio that the thought of losing a solid artist to “retirement” upsets me. I just can’t help but think “Nigga, don’t leave us with this bullshit..” That to me would be like Barack Obama retiring in the Senate instead of pushing to the Presidency.
Yes of course, I am being selfish. Fans are selfish. Truth be told we don’t really care about the artists, just the art. I don’t know J. Cole or Barack Obama as people, I just appreciate what they have contributed to their craft and feel it is necessary. And of course, they don’t care about me either. They care about their own lives. And why shouldn’t they.
To side track a bit, I recently watched a video about Seth MacFarlane and his relationship to Family Guy. The author of the video talked about how Seth MacFarlane’s passion for the show probably died the day Bryan (the dog) died in the show. It went over how Bryan is the closest character to the real Seth MacFarlane and how after so many years of the same thing, it’s difficult to maintain your passion. Seth may feel stuck because his passions have evolve beyond Family Guy but there is still an audience for it and money to be made from it (not to mention, probably a contract).
So I get that. But that to me is different. Seth will still create comedy even after Family Guy ends. And J. Cole should stay committed to making music, even if he dabbles outside of his genre the way Kanye West, Andre 3000, and Childish Gambino have. The main point I argued is, you shouldn’t say you are going to retire if you are just going to do something else for a while then come back and drop an album when you rekindle your passion. Jay Z retired. But he “came out of retirement” and made several more albums, one which came out just last year. So. Did he retire? Not in my book. He took a break.
Have the foresight to declare that you need a break. Don’t retire and have your fans thinking you are leaving us hanging. Not to say you owe us something, but I think every artist owes something the their art, especially if they contribute to it in a positive way. Because there are plenty of vultures who will simply use that same art to fatten their pockets and without the balance of genuine talent, fans of that art will become exhausted of all the fakeness and that art will die. Don’t let hip hop die, J. Cole.. At least not until you have passed the mantle. Also, thanks for what sounds like a pretty dope album (tho I can do without so many repetitive hooks).
I miss the old Kanye. I also miss Sea of Thieves, For Honor, Grand Theft Auto Online (this concludes the video game portion of this listing), Facebook, Twitter (social media), two cups of coffee a day, a beer every day (mind altering substances), and falling in love (top 3 feelings in the world along with orgasms and sleep). I have been fortunate enough to never really have any serious addictions in my life. I puffed my step mom’s cigarette once when she wasn’t looking and decided that was gross. I watched my weed-head cousin go from my favorite cousin to having no direction in life and 3 whole ass children with the most psychotic woman I have ever encountered in real life. That and anticipated anxiety of possibly having to fake a drug test for a job has kept me far far away from marijuana.
I have never been exposed to the hard stuff. The closest I have ever come to cocaine is finding a straw in my step-mother’s car after her alleged coke-head boyfriend had driven it (a lot to unpack there, but today aint the day). The closest I ever came to crack was encountering individuals whose lives were clearly deteriorating because of it. No exposure to heroin or any opioids outside of television ever. So all in all, I have been fairly privileged in avoiding real addiction. But everybody is addicted to something.
Most people either don’t know or have not admitted to their addictions. Some people prefer to view themselves as above addiction. That to me is one of man’s most fatal errors. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t see a problem. If you are fat, you are probably addicted to food. Aside from the opioid crisis in America, we live in an age where epidemic addictions are to seemingly mild things such as the coffee or social media, and thus we don’t pay them much mind. They usually aren’t killing anyone and at the most are just making people’s lives a bit more difficult.
Anyway, this isn’t to be an analysis of addiction in America. Really there are just two things I want to talk about. One is the addictions I most recently have decided to kick and two is yet another genius invention I have come up with.
For Honor is a medieval multiplayer fighting game. It uses unique controls to provide an unparalleled experience of medieval melee combat between 3 factions: Knights, Vikings, and Samurai. This game fed my competitive nature. It took me all the way back to previous fighting games I once wanted to be good at including Fight Night and Street Fighter. When I play a game like this, I want to win no matter what. So of course there are ups and downs. I can’t always win and being the best in the world at a video game is unlikely for someone in his 30s with a full time job. But I played this game every single day for an entire year, taking a month break in between (relapse). The last open-ended game that had me this heavy was Grand Theft Auto Online, which I managed to kick when I made enough money to buy and pimp out all the cars I wanted before heists came out. I stopped playing For Honor about a month ago. Why?
Sea of Thieves is a multiplayer open-world XBox/PC cross platform exclusive pirate game. It allows you to take on the role of a pirate with a ship and a crew of real players and explore a map that contains other real pirate players. The gameplay is actually quite limited but for me, Sea of Thieves was Grand Theft Auto on water. Ultimately the game became about grinding to the highest possible levels and making as much money as possible to buy the best customizations for my ship and my pirate. Not to say that I wasn’t having fun, but grinding in this manner was less about the fun and more about optimal leveling and banking. If I were a Twitch streamer, it might be ok. As a regular dude with regular responsibilities, eventually you ask yourself “why am I putting this kind of time into this?” It’s my addictive nature, which I actively ignore sometimes.
When I was in college, everyone was playing World of Warcraft. In the demanding environment where I got my education, addictive gaming was a means of shattering the entire process. This was ironic considering the education was geared specifically toward video game development. Clearly we were all gamers and one of the biggest and most addictive games of all time had come out. I refused to touch it. To this day I have still never played WoW or any MMO for that matter because I have always been self-aware enough to know that diving into that world would be like signing up for The Matrix.
The MMOs never got me. But the almost-MMOs did. And that is where I fucked up. I spent the last weekend actively not playing Sea of Thieves because I have decided to no longer play games that are not finite. Playing a game that has an end allows me to dive into my addiction as needed but ultimately have to come back to the real world when there is no more game left to play. Yes yes, I know. That’s like not smoking crack and instead smoking some kind of unique brand of crack that is going out of business. That is the curse of introspection. You know yourself well enough not to expose yourself to the worst things, but being so in tune with yourself means you will walk the line because you are confident that you know the line. Fortunately with such mild addictions, rock bottom is just looking up after a year and realizing I haven’t done anything constructive with my free time all year.
I usually end on a cool line like that, but I also gave up another addiction. Facebook. To continue with the crack metaphor, I didn’t give up on this one because that crack was just too much. I have just slowly been realizing how much this crack sucks and don’t really want to put up with it anymore. Facebook’s news feed is designed to keep you scrolling for the rest of your life. Facebook shares what other people I follow are doing to excess. I don’t want to know what anyone has liked or commented on and I damn sure don’t want people to know what I am liking and commenting on. Facebook recently started giving me notifications for friend suggestions. I love notifications. I HATE notifications for things that I do not want to know about. I have always had a love-hate relationship with Facebook since I first joined it in college. That relationship has become significantly more hate than love over the years. Hopefully this is the end..
I hope Facebook goes out of business and Mark Zuckerberg goes to jail. I know that sounds harsh but if Zuck did go to jail it obviously would be super awesome comfortable jail, not butt-rape anal heroin jail.
Now that I have expressed my hatred for Facebook, let me pull a complete 180 and expose myself as an admirer of Fuckerberg’s genius (this nigga is my age and has a made approximately 70,000 times what I will make in my lifetime). I want to create an addictive app that essentially helps people kick their addictions. The app would essentially play like a game on all of the things that make other apps and games addictive. Notifications. Gifts. Progress statistics. A feed. But the entire purpose of the app is to note your addictions, be them food, social media, drugs, alcohol, etc, and essentially allow you to set goals and mark progress in getting rid of them. The evil genius of it is that it is basically using crack cocaine in order to help a heroin addict recover. The humanity of it is that the app can’t really do that level of harm. That’s the theory at least. Aside from my many basic addictions, another one of my problems is that I don’t follow through on ideas. All of that in another post tho. Go read that then get off the internet and go do something constructive you loser..