Last week, after Drake followed through on his closing “Duppy Freestyle” threat to invoice GOOD Music for his assistance selling more copies of Pusha T’s Daytona — due to the buzz generated by the rappers’ battle — Chicago rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith replied to Drake on Twitter, writing, “When G.O.O.D. Music sends the money they owe you, will you please help us rebuild Kanye’s mother’s house for the youth of Chicago. I spoke to Kanye about it. His response was ‘f**k the youth of Chicago.’”
Kanye West’s reported response to Smith’s request, whether exaggerated by Rhymefest in the interest of a spicier narrative or not, reflects his attitude toward his other long-term supporters. His recent comments and publicity stunts feel like a curse to those who’ve weathered the storm of his prior offenses and social faux pas. His Make America Great Again hat, his embrace of Donald Trump, whose policies have proven to be embarrassing and harmful for any number of Americans, and his unwillingness to simply admit when he’s wrong and apologize have undermined all those fans’ hope in his work and his legacy, leaving them just as disappointed as Rhymefest and the kids of his Donda’s House charity.
While Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian-West, leaped to his defense with a Twitter tirade of her own, accusing Rhymefest of mismanaging funds and threatening to have the charity taken from him, her counterattack only highlighted the problem with Kanye. Rather than addressing the request or dealing with the issue privately, as she apparently hoped Rhymefest would have done, she increased the drama. Rather than seeking a compromise, or using the moment to help the charity named for her late mother-in-law, she chose to lash out — the same way Kanye does when he is challenged.
While both sides have valid arguments, their beef doesn’t serve anyone, least of all the underprivileged kids that will suffer as a result. The truth is, however overblown the violence in Chicago may be in national media, it is real, and it’s prevalent and it’s present in those kids’ lives, and they need somewhere to go. Every second the adults in control of the charity spend fighting is wasted; the priority should instead be helping the kids.