The name Kanye West resonates differently with separate people. There are those who think he is the most egotistical artist and person on this planet. Then there are the unapologetic, die-hard Kanye fans who are inspired by his every move (ahem!), who are aware of the media’s views on him, and see past it. We get it. You don’t like Kanye.
Whether you love or hate him, Kanye West is one of the most influential artists of our generation, and there is no doubting his artistry and genius. With six award-winning albums, that are all completely different but still have that unique Kanye vibe, he has taken the musical industry by storm. In fact, Kanye has even been teaching listeners how to survive our life troubles through the subliminal messages of his lyrical genius. Here are five life lessons that can be taken from Mr. West’s lyrics.
It’s true, Yeezy taught us.
Life Lesson #1: Perseverance is key
They’re gonna have to take my life ‘fore they take my drive
‘Cause when I was barely living, that’s what kept me alive
Just the thought that maybe it could be better than what we at at this time
In his song, “Bring Me Down,” which was featured on the album “Late Registration,” Kanye is basically telling all of his haters to shove it since nothing will stop him from reaching his full potential. Here, Kanye is literally saying his haters would have to take his life before taking his ambition or desire to succeed. He is so utterly dedicated to the world of rap that people would forcefully have to kill him to take away his determination.
Looking at the bigger picture is almost always advantageous in any situation. Through all of the ups and downs in Kanye’s life, in the end he landed his dream girl, is one of the most respected artists of our generation, and inspires a multitude of people on the regular basis.
Through his lyrics, Kanye is encouraging you to not give up and to push through the obstacles that are in your way. After all, you don’t want to let Yeezy down.
Life Lesson #2: Your past does not define who you are now
No, you’re not perfect, but you’re not your mistakes
This heartfelt lyric comes from Kanye’s single, “Only One,” which is a tribute to his and Kim Kardashian’s daughter, North West. Kanye felt as if his mother, Donda West, who tragically died from surgical complications back in 2007, sang through him to deliver this message to North.
We all know about the Kanye/T-Swift catastrophe that happened at the 2009 MTV VMAs, where Ye’ broke the hearts of millions of viewers by interrupting the pop princess’s acceptance speech. The single stunt would work to tarnish his reputation from then on.
However, at this years VMAs, he was honored with the Video Vanguard Award and T-Swizzle was the one who presented it to him. After thanking her, he reminisced on the last time they were on that stage together and expressed that if at that time he had had a daughter, he would have never gone on stage and taken the mic from another artist.
The rapper told the audience and the millions of people watching, “This arena, tomorrow, is going to be a completely different setup. This stage will be gone. After that night, the stage was gone, but the effect that it had on people remained.”
Ye’ can show us that no matter how many mistakes you make through your lifetime, they don’t determine you as a person. You will essentially learn from them and with that comes growth and acceptance. Remember to always keep your attitude on Kanye level, and pick yourself back up should you slip up along the way.
Life lesson #3: Face reality when posed with problems
The plan was to drink until the pain over
But what’s worse, the pain or the hangover?
Taken from the song, “Dark Fantasy” off of the award-winning “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” album, the Louis Vuitton Don is questioning the judgement of people when it comes to how they solve their problems. Is drowning whatever sorrow you have in excessive amounts of Hennessy worth the pain of the excruciating hangover you’ll suffer the next day?
Tapping back into the post-Taylor Swift madness that initially fueled the album, Kanye admitted to having been under the influence that night and with that he was slammed with rumors of rehab and an intensified look into his alcoholism.
By delaying your problems, you’ll deal with twice as many repercussions and vomit-stained shoes. Face things as they are and don’t procrastinate. Do things that will benefit your life in the future.
Life Lesson #4: Take everything with a grain of salt
They say people in your life are seasons
And anything that happen is for a reason
This lyric was taken from “Heard ‘Em Say” off of “Late Registration” and encompasses the Chicago-natives belief that God has a plan for all of us.
Something Kanye haters most likely don’t know is that his first big hit was created while his mouth was wired shut, due to a tragic car accident in 2oo2. Kanye recorded “Through The Wire” with a broken jaw and his career took off from there.
Going back to the notion that everything happens for a reason, in his Grammy acceptance speech for “The College Dropout” for Album of the Year in 2005, Kanye said, “When I had my accident I found out at that moment nothing in life is promised except death. If you had the opportunity to play this game of life, you need to appreciate every moment; a lot of people don’t appreciate their moment until it’s passed.”
You can learn from people and situations, but do not be afraid to take out those that are toxic. In the end, you have one life to live, and you should live it to the fullest since you never know when this precious gift can be stripped away from you.
Life Lesson #5: Be daring and innovative
You see it’s leaders and it’s followers
But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower
This lyric from “New Slaves” is from West’s most recent studio album and rebellion against music, “Yeezus,” which is as straightforward as can be. You’re metaphorically either the leader — male genitalia — or the follower — the one well…swallowing.
One of Yeezy’s biggest gifts is that he is an extreme advocate for individuality and hustling so hard that one day you’re in charge of all branches of the industry you choose. This is evident in his interest in producing not only his own music, but the artists signed to the labels he’s associated with and his daring ventures in the fashion industry.
Ye’ has always been an admirer of the fashion world, Anna Wintour being one of his BFFs, and within the past few years has expanded his work in the industry beyond shoes and has created his own fashion lines. As successful as his sneakers are, which sell out within seconds, he has had two Fashion Week shows that not only embrace the younger generation of models, but also his take on the fashion world.
There’s more to this lyric though. It embodies that typical “make shit happen and watch your empire grow” type of mentality Kanye radiates. Be a trendsetter. Be an individual. Do crazy things, because realistically, Kanye West is the only human that could have hundreds of thousands of people yelling that they’d “rather be a dick than a swallower” voluntarily.
All in all, be ready. Yeezy season is approaching.