Kanye West Album Cover Shocks the World, Gets Banned from Walmart?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action 

Like many other people across America, I found myself googling like crazy to see a picture of the new album cover issued by the great Kanye West. Well, I use the word "great" to describe West for a few reasons. First, he’s made it clear that he sees himself as the greatest artist of all time. Secondly, many of his fans think he’s the greatest. Third, he’s certainly had the kind of impact on music and culture that only a great artist can produce. Therefore, he certainly fulfills the definition of greatness, at least in my mind. But that doesn’t mean I like him.
Great artists are rarely well-behaved, and Kanye is certainly no exception. His music changes at the drop of a hat, with Kanye taking creative risks that sometimes cause many of his fans jump ship. He’s also said some of the most random things in live venues, including his challenge to Taylor Swift during the MTV Music Video Awards. We also can’t forget when West disappeared from NBC for years after telling George W. Bush (and the rest of the country) that Bush doesn’t care about black people. I applauded when Kanye went after Bush, I shook my head in shame when he attacked Taylor Swift. So, like the rest of you, my perception of Kanye is certainly mixed, which is probably the way he wants it.


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