Monday, February 1, 2010

America Still Not Forgiving of Mr. West?

The 52nd Grammy Awards took place last night in Los Angeles, and all the stars were out shining bright (Snooki and Situation included!). The event came and went without problems, and was actually very enjoyable to watch. The performances were exceptional; a touching MJ tribute by some of the all-time greats like Smokey Robinson, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood and Usher, along with an upside down rendition of "Glitter In The Air" by Pink, Lady Gaga and Elton John dueling pianos with one another doused in Army-like face paint, Dave Matthews Band played with about 100 extras for their song "You and Me", and a great job by two of the usual suspects in popular music today- Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas. However, with all the notable celebs in attendance, there was one star whose absence from the awards was hard to ignore. That man, was Kanye West.

For years Kanye West has been at the epicenter of everything that is everything in the entertainment world, especially in regards to music. In fact, his first three albums all won Grammys for rap album of the year. However, the backlash from his mic-stealing stunt at the VMA's has become so apparent that his stellar "808's & Heartbreak" album didn't even receive a nomination. On top of that, West wasn't even invited to preform the single "Forever", a song on which he spits a verse. Drake, Lil Wayne, Eminem and Travis Barker (on the drums) performed the hit single to much praise, however the fact that Mr. West was not in the building (in contrast to his opening line in the song where he boasts "Mr. West is in the building") was all I could think about. I would compare last nights rendition of "Forever" to seeing the '92 Men's Dream Team play basketball, but without Michael Jordan. Sure you still got to watch all the greats, Eminem as Larry Bird, Weezy as Magic and a young Drake as an equally young Scottie. And undoubtedly they would still be very entertaining and win every game they played, but you wouldn't be able to help yourself from thinking about how good it could have been if Michael (Kanye) were there.
Ever since Kanye drunkenly stole that microphone from Taylor Swift during that legendary September night, nothing has been the same for the once lovable rapper. He was forced to cancel his winter "Fame Kills" tour with Lady Gaga, due to fears that ticket sales would be down as part of societies backlash on West, and I feel like his exclusion from this years Grammy Awards just goes to further solidify the uphill battle that lays in front of him. Lets face it, Taylor Swift is America's Sweetheart (Sorry Sammi, your a close second) and you can't embarrass and bully someone that everybody loves that much. It is just as if one of the hot "bitchy" girls from high school was caught bullying the nicest, prettiest, most popular girl in school. You just don't do it because you know everyone already likes that girl more then you, so stick to making fun of the out-casts, and bullying the Math Team in the cafeteria, and everything would have been fine. But if you take shots at someone who is not confrontational to begin with, mixed with the fact that she has the largest following in popular music today, then yea the outcome probably wasn't what you expected it to be.

Look, I still love Kanye West for all he has accomplished in his life, and all that his artwork has meant to me over the past eight years or so. He came from nothing to something, busted his ass as a producer, and then finally showed the world he could spit better then almost any cat out there when no one gave him a chance. I hope he can find a way to turn his ego down a few thousand notches and come back with the fire and motivation that propelled him to this level of fame in the first place. Let's not forget that A) this man is one of the hardest working people in the industry, and settles for nothing short of perfection and B) that we live in America people, the most forgiving country on the planet (i.e. Bill Clinton, A-Rod, Robert Downey Jr., Martha Stewart, Charlie Sheen, Madonna, O.J. etc.) and there is no reason why Kanye should be any different. I hope to see Mr. West back in the building at next years Grammys, playing with a chip on his shoulder, just like Jordan would do...

On a side, and somewhat related note, today is my mothers birthday. The video below is Kanye West preforming a tear-jerking rendition of "Hey Mamma" at the 2008 Grammys, shortly after his mother passed away. I remember watching this in my dorm room in Smith Tower live, and unsuccessfully trying to fight back tears. One of the purest things I've ever witnessed, and it is a song that my mom and I both love very much. Happy Birthday Loretts, enjoy!

"A livin legend too, just look at what heaven do,
Send us an angel, and I thank you- Mamma"

-danye fresh


  1. Kanye West is no Michael Jordan, Bird and Shady though, I like that.

  2. Dan this is great

  3. I dont know if America ever forgave OJ. He just got made fun of it for awhile and is now in jail in Las Vegas for kidnapping. The person that writes a book titled "If I did It" that involves the most popular court case in human history is an absolute idiot that is just boasting how lucky he was to not end up in old sparky.

    However, I must say the Grammys this year were very enjoyable. Hopefully Kanye (and there is no doubt in my mind) will in fact make a comeback with an amazing album and be able to save his image.