You've already heard about the extravagance of the "Yeezus" tour: the mountainous backdrop, the monumental LED screen, the guest appearances from Jesus and Mothman(?). Media has emphasized one aspect of Kanye West's recent tours above all the technical spectacle however: The rant.
Nearly every concert stop for West has been followed by TMZ-type headlines about what's bothering the self-proclaimed god now, from radio DJ's to Nike shoe designers. The diatribes have served to justify the public mindset that West is a blowhard, whose massive stage stage design serves as an allegory for his ego.
Music Times didn't get to see every show during the "Yeezus" run. Just the final North American date at Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. Based on the night's events, West suffers from an image problem. Specifically, we the audience would rather see the shadowy monster that lurked on the mountain than the penitent rapper who fell on his knees before God at the end of the show.
West's speech at the midway of Sunday's concert was less rant and more dialectic. Sure, the emcee compared himself to Michelangelo and listed all the art schools he had attended. He shared stories of rejecting his rejection. He shared stories of seeing a therapist. But for the most part he turned the conversation on his followers. The world has gotten used to West declaring himself the best at various enterprises, but Sunday night's theme seemed to be "you could be too."
All in all, he came across as a nice guy.
It was as if Michael Jordan realized midway through his Hall of Fame induction speech that nobody looked up to him in order to be a mere nobody in his eyes. Youth look up to legends as blueprints for what they want to be. They look up to gods as beings they could never be. An impossible goal is a worthless one. West, for all of his god imagery, wants kids to be like him.
Many publications, including the sister site for this publication, have invested time into tearing West down because they know readers eat it up. It's rarely rumor or false information. But we would do well to take off the tabloid blinders and look at what he's created over the last decade. It doesn't amount to godliness, but he knows that.
After all, he delivered his sermon from the isosceles stage jutting into the crowd, not from the mount.