It’s ironic that during the administration of a President that was considered to be so good to Black people, Muhammad Ali got banned from boxing.
You’d think that Lydon Johnson, after signing the historic Civil Rights Act, woulda figured out a way to keep The Greatest in his trunks.
Irony strikes again when you consider that it was under Richard Nixon that Ali was finally reinstated and under Gerald Ford, Nixon’s former Vice President, immediate successor and also another Republican, that Ali finally regained his title in The Rumble in the Jungle.
Ali went his own way all the time and was consistent.
His was the path of Sir Thomas More of A Man for All Seasons fame, a path that ultimately got Sir Thomas murked because of direct defiance of the King.
Kanye West, on the other hand, is a man for one season.
His philosophical/political position depends on who’s in charge.
And all the traits and attributes he knocks in other rappers, foes and just generic existences, now seem to be projections.
“When he gets on, he’ll leave your ass for a white girl“? Well, Kanye was engaged to a Black girl before he “got on”, and since…
And Donald Trump, who Kanye met with yesterday, does?
As I’ve written before, sometimes the worst thing that can happen to a Black artist is that they get an overdose of white fans.
This can cause them to start tailoring their art to their new white fans when the likelihood is that their white fans had only been attracted to them because of their Black authenticity.
Meanwhile, Kanye seems to be actively trying to distance himself from his Black core audience.
And forgive me for doubting the veracity of wife Kim Kardashian’s devotion, but she’ll always strike me as a love-opportunist, her first and only real love being, of course, herself, and the insecurities that spring from that love causing her, if she hasn’t started already, to always test her ability to attract.
Also working against Kanye is the fact that he’s already had a comeback of sorts.
Working his way back from the disastrous Yeezus he gave us the classic and great The Life of Pablo.
And while I’d personally disagree with that line, even my disagreement would be limited.
I think the best of us get two shots, sometimes three.
Shit, Ali, Tyson, Jordan, and even R. Kelly had comebacks.
Thing is, they each faltered on their third attempts.
Can you imagine what Kanye will do, after Kim K’s left him and even though he’s making what he’d argue is the best music of his career, finding no takers for his beats and no interest in his rhymes?
It’d probably turn him blacker and more militant than Khalid Muhammad.
It’s sad, but Kanye reminds me of another musician that was once at the very top of the game but who now nobody’s checking for.
And even though he’s still making music, I hear Sly Stone‘s actually living out of his car.