This isn’t shade in the slightest; I honestly don’t know if people are truly checking for Kanye the musician as much as they’re checking for him as the spectacle. Who can forget his rant on stage during his St. Pablo tour in November–the remainder of which was ultimately cancelled after this event. You know that rant where he told his audience that they have been lied to by the radio, that Obama couldn’t make America great, that Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Mark Zuckerberg hurt his feelings. It went on for 15 minutes until he announced that the show was over and walked off stage. After this breakdown, Kanye was hospitalized for stress and exhaustion and placed on a psychiatric hold.
A few weeks after his release from the hospital, he met with then President-Elect Donald Trump. Although Kanye didn’t vote in the November elections, he confirmed that he would have voted for Donald Trump.
In more recent news, Kanye has deleted all his social media accounts, was absent at the Met Gala in May and was reportedly in a retreat on a mountaintop in Wyoming to work on new music. But like I said, no one is checking for the music. The buzz is that the Wyoming retreat is a cover for him being in rehab. People speculate about his mental well-being and his marriage with Kim Kardashian, but there isn’t a moment where people will be excited for new music.
Honestly, I’m not pressed for a new album by Kanye. I hope that he finds healing. I hope that whatever demons that haunt him are exercised. I hope that the pain of losing his mother subsides a little more as time passes. I hope that his episodes open dialogues about mental health in the Black community. I hope that the Black community can look at him and be empathetic and honest about what he is experiencing without making it a Black Twitter meme. If a new album is the medium in which my hopes are fulfilled, then so be it. In 2017, should we care about Kanye?