“I don’t know if you noticed, them accident pictures was bogus…”
For better or worse – something I’ve yet to truly determine – Kanye’s music will always resonate with me, even as he prances around in odd clothing, lives happily in the present with Kim Kardashian and whatever else he’s doing with himself these days. I’ll always give ‘Ye’s music a shot if for no other reason than the seamless intersection which occurred when his art once reflected my life, and my life once reflected his art. To a certain degree, of course.
In 2004, one of those inordinate transitional periods we all experience at some point or another was on the horizon. For myself, this was high school graduation and abandoning the title of “man of the house” leaving my mother, grandmother and brother behind to pursue higher education. Both nervous and excited, College Dropout was an album which instantly proved its transparency in both emotions and connectivity. Many of the same reservations, fears, strengths, weaknesses and, occasionally, ignorance Kanye confessed to manifesting, I did as well. And to be honest, still do.
As Kanye, and myself, really, become older and more removed from the life we once ran on parallel tracks with, the talent and vulnerability rap fell in love with remains present, albeit not as frequent. Take “White Dress,” for example. The talent is still rare, but more so from an expectation to top previous works. His vulnerability in 2012 stems from the pressures of fame, continuing to come to grips with his mother’s passing (an on-going process) and what life is like living under a microscope as opposed to attempting to keep the lights on with whatever money music afforded.
Not long ago, his “Through The Wire (Remix)” came on. Having not heard the song in awhile, there was a rejuvenated sense of aggression in the lyrics. Long before the millions of dollars, awards, mega-celebrity and controversy came into the picture, this was the Kanye who was hungry. And the Kanye with a point to prove. And the Kanye who, as he said himself, was humbled for a second chance at life.
Music has forever been a reflection of self and the space it was created in. So expecting art to remain the same when its two dependent factors – time and people – don’t, it’s often an unfair correlation from jump street. What doesn’t change, however? That feeling in the pit of your stomach when a song is just more than a song. A gateway back into the vivacity you and said artist once led may be an even more accurate description.
Who knows what 2013 and beyond holds for Kanye, myself or anyone who reads this. Regardless, there’s the music. And there’s always, always the memories.
Kanye West – “Through The Wire (Remix)”