I don’t know, I just feel like 2013 was the year of the Black artist. A whole lot of famous, talented, artistic black folk positioned themselves to go from household name to legends this year: Janelle with ‘The Electric Lady,’ Solange with Saint Records, Pharrell with his production credits & I Am…
But they won’t be legends/icons like that. The “legend status” isn’t one you reach by releasing pleasant music every now and then. It’s the one you get from making yourself known with everything you do.
In other words, controversy+talent makes you a legend.
Beyonce isn’t controversial. You’ll find a lot more people who like everything she does than you will find people who disagree with her work. Janelle isn’t even up there with her work in terms of popularity, neither is Solange. Pharrell has always had a quiet career. At best, with these people, in a hundred years, textbooks will mention them when referring to the Hip-Hop and R&B movement. People will look back and go “they were good” and then listening to whatever music is hot in their time period.
But someone like Kanye West will always be a talking point. Here’s a man who thinks he’s great, has the music to back it up and could be considered a creative genius. Yet, here he is, still hungry for the next level. When he was producing, he wanted to rap. Now he’s rapping and he wants to be a designer. He will never stop being hungry until he’s up there with Microsoft, Sony, Rockerfeller.
And here’s the crazy part. Even if he fails, he’s still much closer to being a legend than any other black artist right now. He has pushed boundaries. he has always spoken his mind. His has sparked thought among people with his words. His music is always his creativity pushing forward to try something new. And as much as people can note that Kanye West is this egomaniac, narcissist, etc., rarely anyone will deny that the man has always been a music and creative genius.
So, in that respect, he can compare himself to Michael. He can compare himself to Shakespeare. He could even compare himself to Mozart. People with major controversy amongst their peers, but generally praised for their works. 100 years down the road, when you look into the evolution of Hip-Hop and R&B, this man will be focal point. Will he be as big of a focal point as Run DMC or Tupac? Who knows? But, every recorded thing he has said will spark debate in some fashion. People will always analyze the words he has spoken. They’ll try to decipher it like some code even.
So, the little radio interview rants that he has, they’re helping him achieve that status a lot more than an album that nobody knew about is helping Beyonce.
And I’m generally a fan of Queen. But this is one of the main examples whenever people try to overglorify the past and say the present can’t compare to it.
So, to start, I’ve been on the fence about Man of Steel.
In so many ways, I love it. I revel in the classic punch-into-buildings action scenes and I didn’t mind the revamped origin story. There were, however, a number of terrible plot points. And that’s where this post begins.
Lately, there has been this huge idea that it would be best to make superhero movies a bit more “realistic”, so to speak. Basically, remember how Spidey became a pro wrestler? it’s a bit “unrealistic” to think that he would be able to become a main-event wrestler, get cheated out of the money he was contractually promised and allow a thief to rob anyone and escape without facing some sort of punishment (outside of the guilt he suffered tremendously). So, now there’s this idea that there needs to be tweaks. Someone has got to rob a gas station or convenience store instead. That’s “real”.
And I’m not even trashing that ideology. it has it’s results sometimes. SOMETIMES.
Take The Dark Knight, for example. It works. Why? Because nothing is forced when utilizing that “realism” mentioned. For one, Batman is a realistic superhero. He has always been. He is just a man utilizing resources gained from being an inherited billionaire. Is that unlikely? Yes. Is it impossible? No. Batman can be realistic. Heck, Joker can be realistic. Why? Because if you take away the batsuit and the face paint, it’s just a vigil versus a terrorist. Basically, it’s Die Hard 6: Die Hard in Gotham. Minus the dying, of course.
However, on the flipside, you’re trying to cultivate this realistic story about an alien who conveniently lands in the middle of a farm of two of the most responsible people in the world without any government official tracking him down, spent most of his life keeping his amazing power hidden from the world, can convince everyone that he’s not Superman by putting on a pair of glasses, father’s conscious exists on a flash drive and gets his power from a Yellow Sun. The only type of Sun we would ever have.
And once again, that’s where this post begins.
Christopher Nolan spearheads this idea of realism. And with The Dark Knight, he showcased its best assets. However, subsequently, his writing in everything else shows his biggest flaws. they don’t make him a bad writer in the slightest, but they do tend to stick out more and more.
-Speeches. I’ve always been a proponent of a key phrase I’ve learned in writing. Show, don’t tell. It has been a cornerstone for me as a writer in fiction. Limit exposition to necessity. Limit moral messages to actions. Express your writings, don’t say them. Christopher Nolan doesn’t do that at all. He is quite literally the king of exposition in writing. I’m not kidding. The Dark Knight Rises literally had an entire explanation for Bane’s origin, an exposition of how Blake knew Bruce was Batman and Bane quite honestly does exposition and explanation for most of the movie. It’s not like The Dark Knight, were Joker simply told a bunch of fake origin stories. For one, he didn’t explain his every action. Another point was showing that people are redeemable before saying it in that movie. But even The Dark Knight wasn’t without its exposition.
-“Realism” trumping storyline. Man of Steel had this issue. Lois Lane gets invited on the Krytonian ship because … we’ll skip that one. Clark couldn’t save John, better yet, the dog that was stuck in the car because … Zod didn’t just terraform Mars and spare Earth because …
Because it’s “real”, right? The problem is, realism trumps storyline in anything Christopher Nolan related. Would it have made more sense for Batman to have immediately create a device to slow Bane down without killing him? Yeah, but then it wouldn’t be a realistic Batman move in the real world.
The irony in this is that in trying to create a more realistic story, Nolan creates something of the most unrealistic. Batman was able to work through the pain of a broken back and bum knee, climb out of a pit after multiple failures, fly back to America as Bruce Wayne without being reported in by any news station of government and sneak into Gotham, which was supposed to be heavily locked down. Meanwhile, he couldn’t figure out that the girl he banged at random after sulking about Rachael for 8 years was the daughter of his mentor/enemy. Because he try to create that realism, his stories often rely on convenience in the plot. It’s sloppy since it can lead to bigger problems in the plot down the line.
-Trying too hard. This only applies to when Nolan has a hand in anything other than Inception. Inception is the prime exclusion among any others. So, remember that entire city war in the last minutes of The Dark Knight Rises? How about Superman vs. The Kryptonians who outclass him. Batman and Ra’s? Nolan pushes it to the limit. TDK is the only one of his movies with a subtle ending. Something that doesn’t scream “THE MOVIE’S COMING TO A CLOSE” with a barrage of action, followed by speedy closure.
What am I?
What am I really?
What have I always been?
Am I insane?
Am I insightful?
Am I a listener?
Am I a manipulator?
The same questions every time I wake up. Every time I sleep. Every time I interact with any other person. And I can never seem to put words into answers.
Even when I’m writing, I feel the questions type themselves into my words. I feel them managing to try and become typos.
Could I be a monster? A maniac? A genuine guy?
"Where is up and what is down? Long before the generation. She has to believe in herself and her kids. She’s come a long way since that meeting in the friend’s bedroom. I can’t keep fighting like this. It’s only a matter of time before I overload. What if I didn’t run from that situation? Should I eat a hot pocket right now? I could start cooking. How many hearts did I break? Dude, wtf?"
Every single thought currently swimming in my head and the only two that even relate remotely is “Should I eat a hot pocket right now?” and “I could start cooking.”
Why can’t I find my identity? Do I have one? Is this it? Could it be possible that I lost it a long time ago?
What am I listening for? To hear a story? To feel superior? To understand?
What am I feeling? Love? Lust? Stupidity? Bravery? Or just really intense friendship?
This outlet, it helps. Every day, it helps. But it isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to sort things out. It isn’t enough to understand what I need.
What I want.
So, tonight, I think I’m going to find that out for myself. And if I should die in the process, I’ll find peace when I know the answer.
You know, whenever a major Kanye story breaks out and I believe people are looking at it the wrong way, I’d make a point of defending him on here.
Now, to a degree, that hasn’t changed. Upon thought, I still think that he’s made more of a point in overreacting than Kimmel has in the joke.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m not writing this to necessarily defend Kanye.
No one knows how to argue a point anymore. Like, no one knows how to take things in stride either way.
If I were to say that I think that I have the potential to be God after God, you’ve got two groups of people created from that sentence. The first group is the detractors. But not just any detractors, people who take the quote as literal as possible. They think because I have this unpopular opinion, I am an idiot, a blasphemer, egotistical.
But then you have your diehard fans. These people feel like I’m right. They feel like I’m supposed to be God or something. They believe in the message no matter how you would spin it. They believe in that. They want it to be more fact than reality.
And which side am I supposed to absorb from? The detractors who have established that a single quote makes me a terrible person? Or the fans who agreed with the quote without a single insight?
Neither are good. Neither are what I would want. I don’t want people agreeing with me just because. I don’t want people saying “Deonte’s always on the money with things” and not giving background as to why they said that. I also don’t want people going “He’s an egomaniac” without so much as having listened to what I said in context.
And that’s what my problem is with the arguments surrounding Kanye West.
It’s an argument between “he’s crazy” and “he’s a genius.”
But why? Can you tell me why?
He’s crazy because he flips out? He’s a genius because of his music? By what standards do you hold your opinion?
And I get upset. Here is a man giving out his thought process on air, on BBC. Here he is telling the world what he truly thinks, uninterrupted. And no one can say anything beyond “he’s insane” and “you just can’t understand him.
The matter of it is, Kanye West IS insane. He’s driven insane by this contradictory world he lives in. He’s in a world where he can’t walk without a camera flash. And he has to eventually bring a daughter around that. He has to eventually walk out into the world with strange men snapping unsolicited pictures of his daughter for money. And every time he tries to bring that point across from his insane mind in his insane way, someone turns it into a joke and he’s not allowed to be angry about that. He’s not allowed to convey emotion about something he’s passionate about. And if he does, he’s this asshole/egomaniac/douchebag. Could you stay sane after that? Could you say that you’d be alright knowing these things? People are calling your daughter a fake and her mother a whore. You have to take it. People tell you to live with it and stop acting out against it. And you’re driving past some homeless man in your brand new ride valued over $1,000,000 or something like and all you can wonder is “Who is the real free one here?”
Sure, he’d give up life as this bum to be as rich and famous as Kanye West, but that homeless man has more of a right to his personal life. He has the ability to speak his mind without being persecuted, without being judged, without being misconstrued. He’s free from the cruxification that the media would give a celebrity and he could have the same opinions as they do.
And that’s the basis of the man’s insanity. It’s just a feeling of unfairness. All he’s doing is voicing how unfair it is. What’s so wrong about that?
And then, Kanye West is ALSO this genius. He’s also this guy that understands he’s hated, understands his fans, understands what he wants in life. And even with the world against him, he can convey that in songs, beats, interviews, whatever. He conveys genuine passion towards this anger. He puts it to words, to a melody, to a beat and on an album, some of which he doesn’t even promote.
And here he is, showing his dedication level, his passion, here he is constantly doing it. Not even because it’s necessary or anything.
And some people think it’s for attention or that he’s a dummy.
No depth, to their argument, no creativity. However, he’s the idiot somehow. He’s the one that needs to stop talking.
I’ve been hardly following this Kanye West situation for a minute and I’m already mad at a lot of things but this one gets me though people out throwing around the word dumb and uneducated when referring to him cuz he didn’t finish college. But wanna ask how they described Steve Jobs. Last I checked Kanye had earned a scholarship but I guess speaking anything less than standardised english is absolute proof of a lack of intelligence.
Kanye West (via omie)