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October 8, 2012 | by  | in Features |
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Kanye, Yahweh, Or The Highway?

An imperfect God for an imperfect world.

“I believe there’s a god above me / I’m just the god of everything else” declared Kanye West in July. He was wrong; no God is above Him. Kanye is the contemporary deity modern life needs. Let’s begin with the parallels between Yeezy and the archetypical God-figure:

“And I embody every characteristic of the egotistic”—cranial scale.

Compare a sampling of ‘Ye lyrics (“My presence is a present kiss my ass”; “With my ego, I can stand there in a speedo and be looked at like a fucking hero”; “Doing it better than anybody ever seen do it”; “But my head so big you can’t sit behind me”) with some of Yahweh’s imperatives: “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me”; “There is no other God beside me”.

War and beats; flawed beauty.

If a God-figure did create the world, it was an act of immense beauty, skill and dexterity. God’s back catalogue is near-flawless. Caveats: war, no more Georgie Pie, male nipples. A designer just as intelligent: Mr West, creator of The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, MBDTF, and half of Watch The Throne—universally commended albums with average critical reception of 84% ( He is the producer of our generation, reappropriating all manner of music to his aesthetic in a manner so auteurist David Lynch would flinch. Keen readers may have spotted the omission of 808s and Heartbreaks; more soon.

“Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive”—the West dichotomy.

The charactered misogyny of “Been a long time since I spoke to you in a bathroom gripping you up fucking and choking you” versus the sincerity of “But I’d never hit a woman never in my life”, or the contrast of materialist disillusionment present in ‘Diamonds From Sierra Leone’ to the opulent braggadocio of Watch The Throne.(1) Corollary: Biblical contradictions, found here:

Parallels aside, there is no ‘perfect God’: if we are made in His image, should we not be perfect? (Oh yeah, that bitch Eve.(2)) Instead of long tales of talking snakes, we need Kanye as our beacon of imperfection—as a golden mirror of our collective failings. The Taylor Swift incident was unbecoming (even though He was right, the line “The media crucify me like they did Christ” is relevant here), 808s and Heartbreaks was a valiant but ultimately futile attempt, ‘Christian Dior Denim Flow’ was a better hat-tip to high fashion than his own line ever was, his acting in Runaway was cringe-inducing at best, and his self-absorption varies from narcissistic to really fucking narcissistic. (Take this tweet: “I was recently questioned about the use of the word BITCH in my music and initially was offended by anyone questioning anything in my music”.)

However, it is these imperfections which make him all the more appropriate as our contemporary deity—what better model than the flawed hero? Let us reject traditional religion’s fetish for sin and instead follow and embrace the rise of a modern Zeus(3) from His resurrection,(4) His search for meaning(5) and the roots of morality,(6) the removal of His last vestiges of humble naivety,(7) through the passage of His darkest days,(8) to his valiant resurgence wherein He comes to terms with himself(9) and finally overcomes all obstacles to flourish and devote himself to his following.(10)

If I ever “get my money right”, it will not be through 2000-year-old Gospels, inner peace, the Hajj, or Holy Communion. It will be because “Yeezy taught me”. ▲

1  “They ain’t seen me cause I pulled up in my other Benz / Last week I was in my other other Benz”, ‘Otis’, Watch The Throne.
2  “So if the Devil wear Prada, Adam, Eve wear Nada I’m in between but way more fresher”, ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’, Graduation.
3  “This pimp is, at the top of Mount Olympus”, ‘Gorgeous’, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
4  ‘Through The Wire’, The College Dropout.
5  “They say people in your life for seasons / And anything that happen is for a reason / … / I can’t figure it out, sick of it now”, ‘Heard ‘Em Say’, Late Registration.
6 “Ask the reverend was the strip club cool, if my tips help send a pretty girl through school”, ‘We Major’, Late Registration.
7  “Only thing I wanna know is why I get looked over / I guess I’ll understand when I get more older”, ‘Big Brother’, Graduation.
8  “Look back on my life and my life gone / Where did I go wrong?”, ‘Welcome to Heartbreak’, 808s and Heartbreaks.
9  “I made mistakes, I bumped my head”, ‘All of the Lights’, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
10  “Black excellence, truly yours”, ‘Murder to Excellence’, Watch The Throne.

Christ McIntyre is a second-year bachelor of science majoring in zoology minoring in tigers and intends to undertake a post-grad diploma in feeding time. Chris is also one of Salient’s two paid feature writers. 

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