Photo from Complexmag.com
The angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes. – My Fortune Cookie from this past Sunday.
     Let me start this out by saying this: Reading is good for you. If you don’t pick up a book, at least pick up a magazine. I came across theKanye West: Project Runaway”  article in Complex Magazine by Noah Callahan-Bever (who has an amazing written voice & I wish people would invite me to write like they invite him!) and was absolutely entertained, if not enlightened, by the inside look at the magic that is Kanye West.  I knew the article was going to be a good read the instant I read the section about the rules posted on the wall –my favorite being “Just shut the fuck up sometimes.” Because, God knows, I can’t manage that one. 

     I wondered though if the rules were for the guests or for Kanye himself? I don’t need to detail the times Kanye probably replays in his own mind, wishing he’d have posted those rules sooner. But how do you really gauge what should and should not be said? My feeling about self-expression is that it’s healthy , if not the most crucial element needed, for personal growth. But perhaps there is an unspoken limit. When I was in high-school, leading my own revolution, I held the belief that anything that offends anyone is offensive. I mean, seems like pure common sense, no? But then again, perhaps some people are too sensitive. For my taste at least. Perhaps we need a little offending in this world. Maybe people need to be scared and insulted in order to analyze the world around them. Maybe this is the purpose for people like Mr. West. 

     While most people around me were praising the works of Martin Luther King Jr., I found myself writing term papers on the Black Panthers and infused with the character of Malcolm X. I wasn’t bearing arms in the name of “By Any Means Necessary” but I couldn’t bring myself to “turn the other cheek”. While one view and method are necessary for change, weren’t they both? This summer, I might have lost a friend because of my inability to bury truth and bite my tongue. I was caught in the crossfire between two friends. And so I knew the story from both angles. In the end, I formulated an opinion. From my understanding of the human race, this is only expected. But because I “sided” my one friend (whom I had known for longer) didn’t (and doesn’t) want to speak to me anymore.  I haven’t apologized or taken back my word because, I wasn’t wrong. More so, I just wish I would have shut the fuck up, for once. 

     But I wasn’t wrong. And if you have an opinion, backed supporting evidence, don’t you have the right to state your conclusion? I suppose that in a different forum you do. Like for scientific or mathematical theory –but not when dealing with people. People have no unadulterated sense. & now I bear the burden for my choice to speak what I felt was truth. People hate liars… but they hate truth-tellers much more. We’d rather live in fantasy. Like Lauryn said on her MTV Unplugged album, “Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need. And I’ve just  retired from the fantasy part”. 


    I wondered if I should take back what I said and pull a “reformed-Kanye”move. But I can’t bring myself to do that. When Kanye said the things he said (to Bush & Taylor) he spoke for people beyond himself. Many of us stood and applauded in front of out TVs (for both instances). He spoke for us when we couldn’t do it ourselves. The friend I defended needed me there for her because no one else was willing to say the truth. To stand up for her. To address the wrongs that had been done. Sometimes, people need you to speak for them. Sometimes, if you have a voice, you should use it for someone else’s benefit. Especially when you see that they need it. 

   They called Lauryn crazy, too. I guess that leave me in good company. Me, Kanye & Lauryn. I think it’d be conversation fit to record. I think I’d come out a better person after sitting at a table with the two most insane[ly brilliant] Hip-Hop artists of all time. I can’t imagine what life would be like if I kept everything locked up inside. I think that I’d really go insane then. Either you’re crazy for telling the truth, or you go crazy from holding it in. I’d rather insult the masses than censor myself. 

I guess it’s a blessing I’m an American. Or maybe that’s the underlying issue of it all.