Kanye West suffers from bipolar disorder. Everyone knows this because the rapper has been open about his struggles with the illness. Before learning of his struggles, America has always found Kanye’s brash, egomaniacal personality entertaining. It made for good sound clips. In fact, before learning of his diagnosis, I used to yell “It ain’t Ralph, though” for no reason, randomly, because like damn near everyone else, I thought Kanye spazzing on Sway’s morning show was a moment. Looking back on it, and knowing what I know now about his diagnosis, it’s cringe-worthy. This could’ve been a manic moment from a mentally ill man. We wouldn’t make soundbites of a person slurring their words as they lapsed into a stroke on air. It wouldn’t be funny.
We have to stop laughing at mental illness. Full stop.
Kanye West is sick. His illness is just as tangible as any other physical illness, and despite his platform and his current halfhearted attempt at a run for the White House, we have to continuously remind ourselves that there is another thing at play here. I don’t want to rob Kanye of his agency or his voice; I just don’t want either to be exploited.
This is exactly what Republican operatives who’ve infiltrated Kanye’s lackluster attempt at public office are doing. And if they prove to be successful, then they will have pushed Kanye into the middle of America as a Trojan horse only to siphon off enough votes from the Democratic party to help Donald Trump get reelected.
Yes, Kanye admitted to such in an interview with Forbes’ Randall Lane via text on Thursday (Aug. 6); that he was basically trying to steal votes from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
West’s response to being asked if he was merely trying to fuck up Biden’s chances of winning was, “I’m not denying it; I just told you.”
The problem with this answer isn’t that it’s happening, it’s that earlier in the interview Kanye noted that he wasn’t running for office but he was “walking to win.” Also when told that he wouldn’t be on enough ballots to win 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, West responded, “I’m not going to argue with you. Jesus is King.”
These are not the statements of a well man, no matter how esoteric he appears to be. The man needs help and it’s insane to me that magazines and newspapers keep clamoring for a soundbite from a man whose attempts to run for office have been hamfisted at best. At this point, these writers who continue to hunt Kanye down for quotes and these publications that continue to run these stories are just as complicit as those GOP operatives who’ve infiltrated Kanye’s camp to prop him up just enough to fuck things up.
I’m reminded of the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose art has been overly commercialized since his death. At one point Basquiat was having a hard time with heroin but his art was going for record prices, so instead of getting him help with his addiction, his then art dealer just moved him into the basement of the art gallery where he lived and did heroin and made art. We all know how that turned out.
I’m tired. I’m tired of having to write about Kanye in an election that has the potential to ruin the world as we know it. I’m tired of publications running the rumblings of a mind on the mend. I’m tired of the GOP continuously doing GOP shit without regard for the rest of the world.
I’m tired. I’m sure Kanye is too, and I wish publications would let him rest and get the help he needs.