Kanye West’s Double Life: Icon/Conman

Taylor Swift tormenter Kanye West is very much in the news right now, thanks to Sunday’s New York Times interview and last weekend’s Kim Kardashian delivery of his daughter.

But previous to that, there was this (via Radar Online):

Kim Kardashian has put on a brave face during her pregnancy, Picture 2even during a miscarriage scare, but in a new sneak peek of the upcoming season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians she is actually sobbing while at the doctor’s office and her baby daddy Kanye West isn’t by her side.

According to the New York Daily News, he was at this side:

Did Kanye West cheat on Kim Kardashian? Model claims rapper was unfaithful

leyla-ghobadi-kanye-west

Did Kanye West cheat on Kim Kardashian? In a shocking report by Star Magazine, gorgeous Kim Kardashian lookalike Leyla Ghobadi claimed she slept with West while he was dating the pregnant reality star — but now it looks like she’s backtracking on her tale.

Don’t they all.

Who knows if any of that is true. But this is: Jon Caramanica’s Sunday New York Times interview with West, which falls somewhere between deferential and fawning.

Behind Kanye’s Mask

16SUBKANYE-articleLarge

Malibu, Calif. — From Shangri-la Studio here you can see the Pacific Ocean just over the fence lapping calmly at Zuma Beach. And this compound is just as Zen, with recording equipment set up in various locations, including an old bus and a spotless white house with all the mirrors removed.

But there is no rest at Shangri-la, at least for Kanye West. For several days in late May and early June, he and a rotating group of intimates, collaborators and hangers-on were holed up in service of finishing “Yeezus” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), Mr. West’s sixth solo album, out Tuesday, and one that marks a turn away from his reliable maximalism to something more urgent and visceral.

And yack yack yack . . .

Nut graf(s):

I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things. So when the next little girl that wants to be, you know, a musician and give up her anonymity and her voice to 16JPKAYNE7-sfSpanexpress her talent and bring something special to the world, and it’s time for us to roll out and say, “Did this person have the biggest thing of the year?” — that thing is more fair because I was there.

But has that instinct led you astray? Like the Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Video Music Awards, things like that.

It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.

But wait – that’s not all it is. Because Kanye says he’s “in the lineage of Gil Scott-Heron, great activist-type artists. But I’m also in the lineage of a Miles Davis — you know, that liked nice things also.”

Miles Davis liked nice things. That’s his legacy?

But wait – there’s more of the awesomeness that is Kanye, in which we get the requisite third-person reference to himself.

I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.

I’ve been connected to the most culturally important albums of the past four years, the most influential artists of the past ten years. You have like, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Nicolas Ghesquière, Anna Wintour, David Stern.

Nicolas Ghesquière? David Stern?

Huh?

Also name-droppy is The Barbershop segment about West from NPR’s Tell Me More last Friday, which compared him to Andy Warhol.

[GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR PAUL] BUTLER: So this is the Andy Warhol of hip-hop.

[CULTURE CRITIC JIMI] IZRAEL: Nice.

BUTLER: He’s super commercial. He’s a marketer – it’s no coincidence that we’re talking about him on NPR the week before his album comes out. But he bridges, in the same way that Andy Warhol did, high art and pop culture. I mean, he said crazy stuff in this interview, but he also referenced making his album by going to the Louvre five times. He talked about architecture and design. When was the last time you read that in a hip-hop interview? You know, he’s just – he’s a genius.

IZRAEL: I agree. He’s the Andy Warhol – but he could fall flat, any moment he’ll be the Mark Castabi. Yo, Mike Skolnik.

The hardworking staff doesn’t know who Mark Castabi or Mike Skolnik are.

Then again, that’s probably the point, yeah?

P.S. It’s actually Mark Kostabi, subject of the documentary Con Artist, that the headscratching staff didn’t know.  Yo, Mike Skolnik we’re still working on.

 

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3 Responses to Kanye West’s Double Life: Icon/Conman

  1. Laurence Glavin says:

    Best suggestion for the baby’s name: Potassium (chemical symbol ‘K’). From a panelist on “Viewpoint with John Fugelsang” on Current TV (until August 22nd.

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