Columns, Opinion

Burke’s Bully Pulpit: The rise of Kanye West

Which Kanye West quote bothers you more?

“George Bush doesn’t care about black people” or “… when I put this [MAGA] hat on, it made me feel like Superman!”

West has been used as a political crutch since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Republicans bashed him for saying what was on the mind of many of the citizens deeply affected by the tragedy. Now, Democrats are taking aim at West for meeting with Trump and saying that he loved the president.

West is the most polarizing figure in entertainment: either you hate him or you love everything he does. Most — if not all — of the rap community has condemned him in the past few months, which can be expected when you keep an alliance with Trump. I don’t think he’s crazy. It’s hard for me to call him genius, but I really think what he’s doing is a way for him to reach his goal of becoming president. It might seem like a ludicrous statement now, but if you asked anyone before 2015 who our next president would be, no one would have said Donald Trump. He might fall short of his goal, but I honestly think he will end up in a powerful political role at some point in the future.

He uses his controversial statements and antics to get a rise out of people. It works. There’s no denying it. These are all trademarks of someone who is trying to put the laws that are in the book “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, into action in the real world. Here are some examples of the laws, all of which describe West’s career thus far.

Law 1: Never outshine the master and Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with, do not offend the wrong person. I lumped these two things together because they directly relate to West’s relationship with Trump. West idolizes this man because he was a billionaire and now he holds the highest office in our country. This is the path that West wants to follow. With Trump, he realized that his dreams of becoming president aren’t far-fetched at all. With that being said, he does not want to offend him at all because he views him as his own goal. With Trump’s support, West can get Republicans to back him if he ever chooses to run for an office.

Law 3: Conceal your intentions. No one knows what West is going to do or say next. It’s a total crapshoot at this point.

Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy and Law 15: Crush your enemy totally. In a recent interview, rapper Drake told the story of his trip to Wyoming this summer to work with West on new music. On the trip, Drake confided in West, telling him that he had a son and wasn’t sure how to tell the world. He gave him advice, and soon the trip was over. Weeks later, Pusha T released one of the best diss tracks in recent memory, exposing to the world that Drake had a son no one knew about. Drake backed down and suffered a tough loss in the beef.

Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish. This describes literally everything he has done in the past few months. He has gained supporters from the Republican party and, while people may not admit it, has kept his true fans. Do you now see why I started this article with those two quotes?

If he continues to follow this book, which I figure he will, because he’s been mega-successful so far, there is no limit to what he can achieve. Musically, we always talk about how every West album sounds new and impressive: that’s Law 25: Recreate yourself.

It’s crazy that more people aren’t making this connection. It’s right in front of our eyes. I hope he rises to power someday because I know that if I ever get the urge to do the same thing, all I have to do is read this book.

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