I have to admit Kanye West has and continues to be one of the most influential artists to play a part in my life, shape my definition of what an artist is, and help me to understand that largely the dream of being an artist is not fashioned for those who simply wish it, but those who tire with interminable ferocity.
Yeezy is a hero. With College Dropout coming out my senior year of High School he had me questioning everything from societies degradation and treatment of black people to the value of hard work. Reminding me in an era of 50 Cent and Eminem, hip hop could also be fun and poignant, vulnerable and self reflecting, and above all else real. I don't think theres any dispute that Kanye paved the way for artists of a similar caliber today including Drake and Kendrick Lamar. It was Kanye that brought my old school father and me to bond over the lyrics on a daily drive to Temecula Valley High, discussing the lyrics, the relevance, and reminiscing to familiar samples of a time past.
I may not agree with all things Kanye, and have to admit I take a rather negatively biased approach when it comes to dealing with the Kardashian's - but with that being said I always will define Kanye as an artist, more than a rapper, more than a producer, designer, activist. Kanye West is an artist and deserves at every level his honorary doctorate from the Art Institute of Chicago. Made me think back to the Kanye of years back proclaiming in Hey Mama, "My mama told me go to school get your doctorate, something to fall back on that you could profit with, but still supported me when I did the opposite."
Favorite line: "This honor is going to make your lives alot easier - you dont have to defend me as much"