Kanye West is a self-proclaimed creative genius.
There’s no doubting the influence West has had on the music industry.
“His musical innovations, via electronic vocal treatments and esoteric samples from a diverse pop heritage, altered the genre, setting standards that other hip-hop recording artists would follow,” wrote UK journalist Armond White.
In the mid to late 2000s, after the release of his first album in 2004, rap music was quite different than it is today. His musical storytelling tactics were so different than the music of the “bling era” that his music gained popularity for its relatability.
“Kanye’s highly personal brand of storytelling and ability to touch on so many topics was a big departure from other hip-hop giants during his era,” White continued.
Despite his unique contributions to rap music and Black American culture itself, his controversial views have made him significantly less idolized by his Black fans – the ones he made music for in 2004. West’s influence is steadily dwindling with every new obscene comment that comes out of his mouth and every tweet that appears on his Twitter profile.
After making music for over a decade that highlights the unique struggles the black community faces, it’s not a surprise that because of his support of policies that disproportionately affect people of color, West has alienated these fans that have been with him before the invention of his beloved platform, Twitter.
“So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color,” singer John Legend wrote in a text message that West posted on Twitter.
“You bringing up my fans or my legacy is a tactic based on fear used to manipulate my free thought,” West replied.
Adding to the list of his public criticizers, West previously expressed his admiration for singer Lana Del Rey – she performed at West’s wedding to Kim Kardashian. Del Rey posted on West’s Instagram page after he posted a photo of himself in a Make America Great Again hat followed by a tweet rampage about abolishing the 13th Amendment.
“Trump becoming our president was a loss for the country, but your support of him is a loss for the culture,” Del Rey wrote.
His recent interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God in which he shed light on the ostracism he has faced in pop radio and the high fashion community shows that he recognizes that racism is alive in well in society.
This, in turn, makes his views particularly troubling because they perpetuate the idea that black people are in control of the racism they face. West’s success has made it possible for him to have access to anything he so desires — something that less successful Black Americans aren’t always awarded.
Because of this disconnect, Kanye has created between him and his once-loyal fans, it puts a damper on all of his previous musical works, and taints his legacy entirely.
Ringer staff writers Rob Harvilla and Justin Charity write that, “(West’s Twitter is) a reminder that annoying arguments regarding his social media genius long ago overshadowed his actual, inarguable musical genius.”
West recently announced that he wishes to no longer be apart of a political discussion, but it’s far too late.
It seems as if Kanye West fans really do miss the old Kanye.