Okay Mr.West…

…don’t make me regret this.

kanye-west-graduation-portrait-acrylic-painting-junko-abe

Photo credit: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/kanye-west-graduation-portrait-acrylic-painting-junko-abe.html?product=fleece-blanket&blanketType=blanket-coral-50-60

Let me start by saying, I am writing this as an artist. I am writing this as a student of life. I am not a political blogger therefore I am assuming you are already abreast of the controversy surrounding one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time.  I do not usually provide commentary on societal trends. I am writing this as a tortured creative soul.  I am writing this as a lover of hip hop.  I am writing this as an optimist.

I love hip hop.  I will not mourn Kanye West.  I do not agree with his political views. I am not even sure Kanye West agrees with his political views!  I’m celebrating the parts of him that I can morally subscribe to…his genius.  I will even go so far as to say that I am astounded by his acceptance of himself and of others. He has been saying that he is “leading with love” and that he loves every creature who walked the earth.

I am perplexed by the dichotomy dwelling in Kanye West.  He is talented and articulate.  He is a wordsmith.  Yet, he is thinking clearly (kinda) and he is not successfully conveying the true intent of his actions and thoughts.  In fact, when one mentions that he may be “hurting others” you can see the distress and the SUDDEN awareness on his face as he carefully chooses his words.  How does this happen?

People will take something enlightening, put it in a different context and then call it crazy.  To try to diminish the impact and the value of what I’m actually saying. -Kanye West

 

I was born in 1985.  The artists who have impacted my generation in an astounding way all had a common motif …they were “crazy.”  I don’t even have to mention their names.  You’re thinking of them right now: Michael Jackson, Prince, Left Eye, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston…

They were judged when they were alive.  They were called icons and legends when they died.  Food for thought:  We studied the poetry of Tupac Shakur at Pace University post his death.  We studied the lyrics and videos of Lady Gaga in English Literature at Stonybrook University.  Her “enlightened viewpoints” were compared to the great Edgar Allen Poe.  What measurement do we use to distinguish the difference between brilliance and insanity?

But I know the view is that I’m emotionally unstable, which is reality. Like you aren’t?-Lauryn Hill

One of the most terrible things we do to artists is forget to separate their human form from their ethereal imaginative alter egos.  We have to consider that in order for a person who is of this world to create something out of this world, he or she has to remove their consciousness from the boundaries and constraints of what is accepted as “normal.”  

Bravery is more important than perfection.-Kanye West

I am actually scared to publish this post.  What will you do tomorrow, Mr. West?  What hat will you wear tomorrow, Mr. West?  Will you forget this girl from South Jamaica Queens who bumped “The College Dropout” in my 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix? Will you forget this wannabee rebel who had “The wise man say, you’ll find your way
The wise man say, you’ll find your way” scribbled on the back of my favorite denim jacket?*  This fake actress-Spike Lee geek was glued to the computer screen when you had the balls to release your own full length film, “Runaway.”   I’ve never considered myself a “fan” of anyone really but the respect I have for your talent and perseverance is immeasurable.

I see your pain but I see your passion.  I can disregard the blond hair and the liposuction because that is just a physical representation of a spirit who is lost on a level that he wasn’t fully prepared to ascend to.

We don’t want to mourn you, Sir.  We want to be moved by your music and motivated by your mystique. Get out.

What I see here is nothing but a shell…what is most important is invisible.- Antoine de Saint Exupery (The Little Prince)

By: Shaun Liriano

*Lyrics from Pinocchio Story by Kanye West (808’s & Heartbreak)

 

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Filling the Void-Interview With Figgy of “The Wealth Club” {Diamond In The Rough}

*************LISTEN TO THIS TRACK BY FIGGY ENTITLED “ELECTRIC SLIDE MUSIC”!!! CLICK THE LINK–> Electric Slide Music

 

Music has a way of dragging you out of the monotony of a dreary day.  Music creates paradise in the midst of poverty.  Music set scenes.  You ever hear a song and it remind you of an ex? Or hear a song that causes you to drive your car faster, lift more weight at the gym, or maybe even run further?  I’ve always loved all music but hip hop touches me in a special place.  I used to listen to my older cousins Big Daddy Kane album on my tape deck.  I would blast Queen Latifah “Black Reign” through the house until my father said I had to turn it down because it had too much profanity.  That being said, I am so pleased to feature an up and coming artist on the blog!  The following is an interview with Figgy of The Wealth Club. 

1) What inspired you to form the group?

When I was in high school, I wanted to “Restore Hip-Hop to its natural state” and all that other hipster, hype beast bull. But as we started to vibe with each other and make music together we realized that we were filling a void. We were making the music that we wanted to hear, not the music being forced on us thru radio, TV, and other mainstream media outlets. So I guess our inspiration came from being sick and tired of doing the Soulja Boy

2) Name the members of the group and one unique talent they contribute to the eclecticism you offer to the music industry as a whole.

We’re made up of a myriad of talents. From producers, to promoters, all the way down to haters. But Hook, GP! & I (Figgy F) are the faces of the Wealth Club. Hook brings the raw, unadulterated lyricism (That Brooklyn Sh*t), plus he’s the hook master (Hence the name, hook lol). GP! Is our wildcard, he’s a singer turned rapper, turned singer, turned potent artist. It’s almost indescribable. He’s bringing something absolutely fresh to the industry. I always find it very difficult to talk about what I bring to the table. Along with Hook & GP! I feel like I have the ability to give the listener direct insight into my life. You don’t see that anymore in hip-hop. People are often living vicariously through their predecessors while we’re just trying to let you know what we’re doing right now.

3) At Shutyamouthandcallmeugly.com we believe that passion is the space between wanting something and needing something.   What are you passionate about and do you think it comes forth in your music?

Enlightenment, I’d like to think that we live in an age where you’re judged by your intellect and the content of your character rather than your class or skin color. Here at the Wealth Club we strive to be the voice of the thinkers, the voice of the intellectuals, the voice of the people who want to see this world become not only a better place, but a place that embraces individuality.

4) Who is your favorite music artist? Why?

We don’t have one. We can’t have one. We draw influence from everywhere. Shout out to Kanye West though lol.

 

5) Which one of your songs is your personal favorite?

“Snapshot Music” It’s about 10 mins long but it seems like 3 and it features almost everyone who was involved with our movement at the time. It was like the summary of our first summer together.

6) Wealth Club will be featured in the “Diamond In The Rough” section of the blog. That section is being developed as stomping grounds for entrepreneurs, aspiring artists, and community fixtures that I believe shouldn’t be overlooked and need exposure.   What is your plan B if you don’t reach your desired level of success as a musician? What “rough” circumstances have you had to overcome to get noticed?

You don’t need a Plan B when Plan A is paying off lol. We never imagined ourselves as top-notch main stream major label artists. When it’s all said and done, I still want to be able to go to Mc Donald’s. We still want to be regular people; we want to influence the people with our music rather than our celebrity. As far as overcoming rough circumstances, I mean that’s what we do every day. We’re on the grind until we change the world.

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If you have any questions for The Wealth Club please comment and/or inbox me at ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly@gmail.com!!!