Love or hate him, there’s really no denying that in terms of quotability, notoriety and infamy, Kanye West is currently up there with the best of them.
But how do you explain the confusing tangle of soundbites, flashes of genius and deranged outbursts that define the man who has labelled himself ‘Yeezus’.
Well, one guy has gone deep in his attempt to unravel the complex motives that drive Kanye’s ‘philosophy’.
Jared from the always excellent YouTube channel Wisecrack, has put together an impressive look at the philosophical basis behind how Kanye presents himself to the world.
He kicks off by stating:
Following Kanye gives you the feeling of watching a train full of $300 sneakers being crash into a guy dressed as Jesus.
A frighteningly accurate analogy if ever I heard one.
Jared thinks that the majority of Kanye’s persona can be put down to his obsession with one thing – death.
He uses the theories of 19th century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaad about the path to ‘accepting your own mortality’ to explain Kanye’s wildly contradictory behaviour.
He says Kanye tries to deal with his own mortality in three ways:
Distracting himself with cool shit, trying to be a good person and striving to somehow make himself eternal so he doesn’t have to worry about that shit anyway.
And it’s true – it can be argued that one way to not care about death is to believe in your own godliness – which in Kanye’s case is manifest through the ‘immortality’ of his work.
Basically Jared believes the ‘performance art train wreck’ that is his public persona is really just a conversation with himself as he tries to turn himself into a ‘god’ whose artistic legacy ‘cheats’ death.
Maybe the reason he has such a huge following is that he gives a voice to the anxieties about our own mortality that we all feel?
Or, Jared’s alternate theory: “Maybe he’s just really good at Twitter.”
Either way, give the video a watch – it’s awesome.