Now Kanye West wants to be the new Socrates

Unlikely bedfellows: In response to the rapper, Trump tweeted, “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”

Is Kanye West wise or idiotic? The rapper is making headlines with a remarkable series of tweets which express his opinions on a range of subjects. He describes it as his “philosophy book”.

Last week, Kanye West began tweeting furiously. He describes his tweets, which jump between subjects like the nature of truth and ping-pong, as a “philosophy book in real time”.

One running theme is Kanye’s individualism. “I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself,” he notes. He encourages his fans to be themselves: “Don’t follow crowds.”

Another is Kanye’s faith in love: “Truth is subjective but love is the most powerful force in the world.” He sees “feelings” as a more reliable source of guidance than “thoughts”.

But the rapper’s feelings have ruffled feathers. In one tweet, he calls President Donald Trump “my brother”. “We are both dragon energy,” he declares. At the same time, “I love Hillary too”.

Kanye has backed Trump before — he has even met him. Many fans are outraged that an African-American icon could be friendly with a man liked by white supremacists. Not that he minds: “Truth is my goal,” he writes. “Controversy is my gym.”

Kanye’s tweets have also fuelled gossip about his mental health. Speculation has been rife since the artist was hospitalised in 2016, but it is unfounded. His wife Kim Kardashian West has criticised those who “casually” debate his mental state.

“I’m a proud non-reader of books,” Kanye once said. Now that he is writing a “book” of his own, what should we make of it?

Wild wild West

It’s gibberish, say some. Kanye has mistaken his fame for wisdom. In reality, his ideas are inconsistent and offensive. He is an egomaniac who will write literally anything to get attention. No wonder he gets on with Trump.

Kanye makes good points, reply others. Love surely is the best attitude in life. Kanye’s “support” for Trump is really a refusal to get caught up in the hatred dividing the US. If we follow his advice, the world will be a better place.

You Decide

  1. Should we take Kanye West seriously?

Activities

  1. Reply to Kanye’s tweets in a tweet of your own (no more than 280 characters!). You do not have to address Kanye directly.

Some People Say...

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”

Kanye West

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
With 21 Grammys and over 100 million sales to his name, Kanye West is one of the most successful musicians in the world. And he knows it. The rapper is as famous for his grandiose, sometimes arrogant statements as for his highly innovative albums.
What do we not know?
Why Kanye went to hospital in November 2016. The Los Angeles police described his case as a “medical emergency”.

Word Watch

Ping-pong
The exact quote: “I’m nice at ping pong.”
Dragon energy
Kanye defines this as follows: “Natural born leaders. Very instinctive. Great foresight.”
Met him
“I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues,” Kanye said at the time.
African-American icon
Kanye caused a stir in 2005 when, on live television, he said that then-President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people”. He was criticising Bush for his slow reaction to Hurricane Katrina, which disproportionately affected black communities in Louisiana.