Real Friends

Friends… how many of us have them?

-Whodini “Friends”

This past Monday, Kanye West tweeted his mania and on Sunday he displayed it for everyone to see… moments of intense emotion, yelling, wild and disorganized thought, and then moments of just staring blankly while being spoken to during his rally in SC. I’ve seen people joke about it, and there is nothing remotely funny. I’ve also seen people mistake questions about his wife’s protection of him with calls for her to control him. Protection does not equal control.

No one is blaming Kim Kardashian for Kanye’s mental illness. He is responsible for seeking and following his treatment. However, to characterize questions about his wife’s whereabouts during his recent episodes as misogynistic… that’s a big nope. Her entire family has became more famous because he is present and such a polarizing figure. They crave the media and the media craves him. Match made in heaven. Today Kim Kardashian put out a statement asking for grace for Kanye and his loved ones living with his disorder… herself included. She too led with the premise that he cannot be forced to seek medical treatment. And while I understand that premise, that’s neither lost on me or some new information to me, it doesn’t negate her absence as his spouse. She has previously downplayed his disorder, tweeting “your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself.” His disorder is not a media ploy or a media toy. And it’s real AF!

Control and protection are two very different things. No adult is responsible for controlling another’s actions. But when I put myself in relationship with someone else, I should be expected to take on some responsibility to protect them, from others and themselves if necessary. There is NO way my dude’s episode of mania would be broadcast live… first, how he get outta the house to go do that shit, but beyond that everybody gotta get out! I’m buying all the cameras and the footage, fade to black, NOT on my watch. As wild and reckless as Kanye’s mouth is, he is still clearly suffering and in need of protection. Sadly his circle of protection is worthless.

To love someone is to provide the safest place possible for them in your presence.

A short story: Many moons ago, I was once in a relationship with a horrible person. I was living in Oklahoma, a few months before law school started, with him. He got worse when I got further away from my family and friends. I had shared some of behavior with my three closest friends. That very Friday, I got a call after work to pack a bag and come to a hotel by the airport, I thought, oh goody a surprise trip. The three of them lived in Detroit. One had a two month old. They were in Oklahoma, the weekend of my call, just RANDOM! It wasn’t a surprise vacation, it was a true labor of love. They basically told me I could come back with them or not but they had to show up… to let him know they could show up at any time. That’s protection. I only stayed long enough to sell everything including the bed and leave him in an empty apartment… I even gave away the food.

Dave Chappelle showed up to support Kanye in that way… he just showed up in the flesh. Sometimes a text or FaceTime don’t cut it. That kind of support is necessary when you aren’t sure of how to help yourself. He didn’t come to force him to do anything, but to stand in the gap. And the gaps are huge for Ye. Big King Kong gaps. Kanye’s family by marriage, his only family to speak of, was nowhere to be found during this moment that he became unhinged on camera. Yet they are at Sunday Service in the flesh. They are at the award shows in the flesh. He’s on their show. They are at the fashion shows. So they know how to be present when it matters to them. But they aren’t his real friends. He was having a whole presidential rally with a bad mic and no agenda or platform to speak of, DOLO! I’m not suggesting they force him to take meds or any such thing… Just protect him, in the flesh. That’s all.

Protection is not control, be clear. It is guarding, defending, and honoring. It is letting someone talking shit about your folks know that in your presence, that doesn’t fly. It’s keeping information that other people don’t need to know under wraps so your people aren’t charged with managing other folks emotions. Just like Kool and the Gang would have pulled the amp plug the first sign of water on the Titanic, everything is cancelled if my spouse is coming unhinged on something being nationally broadcast, forever archived to see. It’s buying all their masters as a gift. It’s the opposite of control, it’s freedom. When they aren’t able to control themselves or the narrative in a moment, it stands time still to allow them time to rewrite the script.

I blog about Kanye a lot. I am a fan and also I am concerned. Black Minds Matter. He is a musical genius fading into a meme and social media fodder because he lacks real support and protection. I’m not a Kardashian fan, but I believe her statement was typical of the type she makes to maintain her image, as genuine as she can likely be. I also believe the whole lot of them are bloodsuckers and you cannot tell me that they don’t prey on famous Black men and aid in the destruction of their character in the media, because they do. So they don’t know how to protect. Their own mother pimped her daughters sex tape into an 18 season show. She’s good… but not at protecting. He was doomed from the start of this episode.

Kanye has likely been bipolar…but the old Kanye had protection and support. The new Kanye is bipolar, off his meds, and on his own.

And that’s my opinion on that!

How many of us are real friends?

To real friends, to the real end

‘Til the wheels fall off, ’til the wheels don’t spin

To 3 A.M., callin’

How many real friends?

-Kanye West “Real Friends”

🗣🗣🗣Burn Him at the Stake!!!!

This is my fave Kanye gif.

This is my favorite Kanye tweet.

“Killin’ y’all niggas on that lyrical shit. Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips”

This is my favorite Kanye lyric.

Clearly, I dig me some Kanye… I’ve written about him several times. But this public stoning of the brotha is out of order.

OUT OF ORDER

I’m rooting for Kanye. I have that right. I don’t cancel people. I might not fuck with you anymore because it’s contrary to my well-being, but I’m not ever going to use my words as little verbal bullies to get you and you to reject someone’s humanity. I am not the final judge of anyone… that isn’t my place.

But EVERYTIME dude opens his mouth folks go on the nut.

So here’s my toast to the douchebags:

1. I read an article earlier, by a social media made writer Luuvie Ajaye, (link: https://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2019/10/jesus-is-king-kanye.html) that diminished his mental illness and grief, as if she’s his therapist. Kanye might be a fool but she’s a bully. She’s done this before. Her argument hinges on things he did unmedicated in a state of mania (red hat, slavery comment, Trump meeting). I can’t stand a bully. Clearly you’re judging folks. That petty shit isn’t cute.

2. Folks SAY they support people with mental illness and want to support them seeking help and being open about their struggles, but yet folks promote and participate in the same bullying.

“Kanye needs help”

“Get some therapy!”

“Stop blaming your actions on mental illness.”

Wow… the use of someone’s weakened mental state to get likes to your social posts or draws to your blog is some bullshit. Yes of course he needs continuous treatment, but these are not compassionate truths but unkind jabs.

3. If you listened to R. Kelly at any time after you knew he had sex with children, you should really not be pissing on Ye.

4. Celebrity culture is so fickle and such bullshit, we let it lead to us to both worship humans and hate humans. We exalt folks who wake up with sleep in their eyes just like we do. Ridiculous. We simultaneously cancel people who don’t hold our same beliefs. Foolishness. We lack compassion and support those with struggles. Shenanigans. We like our Kanye outspoken but only against folks we don’t like… otherwise his commentary is unacceptable and we should burn him in the town square.

5. Here’s the truth: cancel culture is bullying. Social media puts us very close to celebrities in a way we otherwise would never experience. So we feel compelled to keyboard klown. At the end of the day though, these are just people with issues and struggles too. Perhaps if you healed yourself, you wouldn’t need a hero to worship and a villain to villify.

6. Dude challenges deeply held positions and that makes people uncomfortable and threatens what they think is special, unique, and good about themselves.

a) The truth is he can vote for anyone he chooses.

b) The truth is he can wear anything on his head that he chooses.

c) The truth is Democrats have catered to the struggles of Black people instead of our strengths. Let’s promote the destruction of American oppressive systems and not just implement systems that band-aid that oppression. Additionally, Religious Black people have condemned Democratic abortion support for years… it’s not new. Chances are your great Aunt Annie who wears her prayer cloth while watching Creflo, and who ends every sentence with hallelujah feels the same way. Do you call her a clown? I bet she’d bust your head to the white meat!

d)Republicans… all of them aren’t horrible people. All racists are horrible people. So this narrative that being Republican is in and of itself racist and makes you horrible is incorrect. We can disagree on policy… our disagreement doesn’t make either of unworthy of humanity.

e)Kanye West owes no one an apology for doing things he has a right to do that don’t infringe upon your rights. Trump, red hat, whatever. I happen to despise both, but that doesn’t give me license to dictate what he should do. Besides I don’t see y’all boycotting those Black pastors” churches… the ones cumbayaing with dude.

f) On the slavery comment at Howard: If slavery was reinstuituted by the government TODAY, the first place the bounty hunters would go are places where a majority of Black ppl can be found. That’s common sense. Diversity and inclusion breaks down racial barriers. Black Meccas DEFINITELY allow us spaces to be free and excel without racist influence, but they do not gain allies. So his comment wasn’t a dismissal of HBCUs but a real world commentary on how segregated spaces look OUTSIDE of those spaces to those threatened by our collective power.

g) On Black people in America being culture-less. We have very little of our ancestral culture. Instead we were handed white capitalist American culture. We move and morph that in creative and necessary ways… but that doesn’t make it uniquely ours. Hip hop culture is not owned by Black people either.

7. How dare anyone claim to know what brings someone closer to God. Sunday Service is free. Religious artists sell their albums. If you can make money off of your art, so can he. Who are you to determine his arts worth or genius. You may not like it… cool. Most people think the Mona Lisa is simplistic and uninteresting… but there it is. THERE. IT. IS.

True understanding comes from the ability to use knowledge in a way that brings us closer to the truth. You will never uncover the truth if you sit in the muck of the status quo.

I respect anyone who bucks the system. We hate the systems but we aren’t in love enough with the truth to overcome our fear and start chipping away at it. Sometimes when we start to break down the existing barriers that prevent change, we will misinterpret what we see. We will make mistakes. Those bold and outspoken enough to do it are often the geniuses amongst us. But genius isn’t necessarily academic, so they may lack panache and refinement, their message might be rough cut. But raw diamonds don’t glitter or glisten.

” I’m not interested in preserving the status quo, I want to overthrow it!” Niccolo Machiavelli

Wake up … Mr. West?

Okay so I had a whole other post planned… I’ll release that later. But I really want to talk to y’all about Kanye West because y’all concern me. Really you do. Take a psychology class, read an article on mental health, see all these posts about “support Black mental health” but then watch how you act. You don’t support a person’s basic rights… let alone their right to an opinion that doesn’t match your own. We put Brandt Jean on trial for forgiving. We wanna cancel Ellen because she sat with Dubya. Really?

Well I’m gonna tell you my opinion. Fight me. You might want to after this. I don’t care… this is what I do. Now read…

So recently he made some comments and y’all like, see keep dude cancelled cuz he’s on that bullshit again. Now I’m not gonna go back in time and argue my case for or against, but I will say this…

You cannot be for supporting Black mental illness and judge him through some other lens. You cannot also preach about privilege and racism and not see that in the past our elected leader has used this man to validate his position that he’s for “the Blacks”. We all know he’s not, but in a state of unmedicated mania, we can certainly understand, if we seek to, that this man should have been protected from that monster, not allowed to sit down with him and further his agenda as a result of his mental instability.

Okay so fast forward to this past Saturday, let’s break down what was said…

“Abraham Lincoln was the Whig Party—that’s the Republican Party that freed the slaves,” … That is truth. The Whig party was the modern party mid 19th century, that rose up in opposition to hard nosed racist Andrew Jackson, while his followers formed the Democratic Party… the party of the “people”… who were considered only the White men who could vote. They morphed into the Republican Party primarily huddled around the idea of anti-slavery. Yes the parties have “realigned”… but that does not negate his point. He was referring to being called a coon for his affiliation with the party.

“You black, so you can’t like Trump? I ain’t never made a decision only based on my color,” West said. “That’s a form of slavery, mental slavery.” Ok, so I cannot say I’ve never made a decision based on race. However, what a position to be in. To be so personally unaffected by the economic and social disadvantages of race to be able to see things from a different vantage point. Be clear that doesn’t mean race and racism aren’t important and present, but that as a singular human you can see outside of and around race, because your position allows you to. Black people VOTED for Trump, will likely again. He spoke about rights… the right to vote for whoever one desires. That is true, it is his right. We focus so much on what other people are doing we don’t focus enough on ourselves and how we play a role.

I see my social, political, and racial responsibilities involving as much my vote as my economic stability, promotion of that to my child and my peers, and use of whatever small or large platform I have to promote understanding, health, love, and more economic stability. This is America. For the love of money people will…

So while I dislike Trump, I understand it is within the right of anyone else to choose. Freedom of choice is huge. You can’t argue a woman’s right to chose then shit on his rights. I don’t listen to R. Kelly and I have not for years, he’s a child rapist. Other people do. I’ll take a racist over a child rapist any and every day if the week if I have to choose. But I get to choose. If I’m Kanye, I’ll take the racist who embraced me to use me over the Black people who condemn me and cancel me constantly and with vitriol.

Brandt Jean likely understands as does Ellen.

“Social media is designed to make you think slower. … They want to slow you down and control you”

Welllllllllllllllllllll… I can’t find the lie. Sorry. So you read an article, it contains quotes, but did you go and watch whatever they took quotes from. Chances are, EVERY TIME, the quotes, in QUOTATION MARKS are not exact quotes and are used to match the writer’s intent. So instead of reading or listening to what was said you are told what was said. Every article. Every. ERY. This quote was not about Trump but about him not paying attention to critics on social media. These are not unlike things we sat ALL the TIME.

If you got it from the internet, chances are you don’t have all the answers.

Keep in mind, this man doesn’t live in our world. He’s married to a woman who makes money because she’s a White woman with an ass and has gained more and more fame based on her relationships with Black men. He’s a genius. He’s mentally unstable. He sells out stadiums. We praise God with dude… who we hated a year ago. He’s a complicated individual. Our relationship with him is complicated.

Listen, I get it, we want our big names, the powerful, the verbose, the opinionated to stand up and out for US. I understand that. But we cannot want that so badly that we a) fail to do our part and b) ignore their ability to choose their own path and voice their own opinions. We cannot want others to be so woke, that we sleep on their rights.

After all, This is America.

C

Oh, you lost lost

Nigga…

Excuse me in advance to anyone “nigga” averse reading this… if the word nigga makes you uncomfortable… too bad because I’m gonna say it a lot!!!

I need to talk to my Black men for a minute, this is serious business. I am up to my eyeballs in this toxic Black masculinity. In so many ways, Kanye West unfairly becomes the poster child when there are a lot of y’all doing some regular level type bullshit. He was diagnosed right… dude is bipolar, and that’s okay. But when he goes off his meds and says it makes him feel more like himself, he displays his pain… and he did exactly that yesterday. But y’all healthy negroes, what’s your excuse!?

Sitting in that room of White people putting his mental illness on display was hard to watch. It didn’t make me, a Black woman, the person most hurt by toxic Black masculinity, angry… it made me sad for Kanye. If that made you want to curse him, cancel him, get on Facebook and talk about how much of a disappointment he is, you are not really sensitive to mental health, you are just talking. Dude is ill… and someone convinced him he’s not… another person seeking to gain something from him. No one is helping him.

Despite some of the viable arguments he makes, they get lost in all of his animated theatrics and pain. As he ranted and spazzed out, as Don Lemon called it, he put on a minstrel show for massa, talking about “bringing back father’s to the home”, his lack of a father, how “I’m with her” promoted gender separation in his mind, and male bonding with Trump. (Note: If I’m agreeing with Don Lemon the world must be about to end. ) It’s the typical “men will save the world” diatribe. And in front of the Potentate of Patriarchy, it sounded like a love letter. To the ears, he sounded stupid stupid. But to anyone with an ounce of understanding of mental illness, he sounded lost lost. Like lost in space, floating in the atmosphere, on a island in the middle of nowhere with strange people…

He is still grieving for his mother and his lack of a father. That family he married into does not love him. They like the publicity they get when Kim can disagree with him wearing the MAGA hat or saying the 13th Amendment should be abolished… like she’s the woke one. When Kim Kardashian is the woke one, in any situation, shit is fucked!

But Kanye is not you niggas caping for Bill Cosby and every other foul ass Negro man, wanting Black male liberation at the expense of women because White America protects its monsters. They make movies about Ted Bundy and Charles Manson, idolize them. Ain’t shit entraining about cutting up folks-in REAL LIFE. But still, some Black men want a piece of White patriarchy so bad they reject Black liberation in favor of saving only themselves. I challenge you… since you think Cosby should get that Kavanaugh treatment, I say when you sneak around on LaKeisha she should get that Lorena treatment… Lorena Bobbitt, not guilty by insanity. You basically leave your women and your soul on the auction block in an effort to walk alongside massa. But until you, as a man, seek total freedom which is the antithesis of supremacy, you will just be Stephen to Calvin Candie. In a suit, talking back, eating the first bowl of chitterlings and chicken feet, running the house…Still nigga!

I wholeheartedly believe some of you desperately need to invest in some yoga, therapy, and meditation before you find yourself in Yeville. The fear of public execution, we have all been watching videos of Black male killing for sport on social media for the past few years, along with some deep desire to share in the often stolen wealth, male privilege, and patriarchal power White men own has some of y’all tripping. But eventually you’ll fall. And frankly, I’m not trying to fall with you when you have abandoned me for your own feigned favor. You sound stupid stupid. But you too, are really lost lost! Difference here is your mind isn’t fighting against you… use that mug.

As for Kanye… I don’t rock with too many people, but I rock with him. I’m gonna pray for him. He’s a genius sonically… but he can’t hear himself!

That’s why I fuck with Ye / That’s my third person / That’s my bipolar shit nigga / That’s my superpower

By Black Design

The fashion world has long been short on Black influence. Aside from the King of fashion Andre Leon Talley and its resident Queen, Naomi Campbell, the global fashion world has taken from urban and street style, made popular by young Black kids in Brooklyn, Harlem, Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, and other chocolate cities, but it’s designers, models, and influencers were really very… vanilla.

When Dapper Dan started remixing the the iconic prints made famous by Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, MCM, and other high fashion brands into sportswear that was featured on the backs of rap stars in the 80s, he started something major, that wouldn’t be realized until years later. “Back then they didn’t want me…”

Remember… there is a thin line between genius and insanity…

In 2016 Kanye went H.A.M. on the Ellen Show about influence, mentoring, and fashion. He spoke about how in music all great artists had great mentors which helped grow the art. In fashion, he proclaimed, even low end brands didn’t seem open to doing features with people of color, thus shutting us out. But when you alienate a group from any art form, you rob that art form of the unique perspective, innovation, talent, and vision of an entire group of people. So Ye was right to find flaw with this premise… but his delivery…

Its always his delivery…

Anyway, at that time the sole head Black designer of any MAJOR fashion house was Oliver Rousteig for Balmain. At Kanye’s urge, the Kardashians started to wear his designs…EVERYWHERE, ALL of them. And while Rousteig had previously designed for Roberto Cavalli and been at Balmain for a few years, in 2016 he reached his highest heights. From the whole family showing up everywhere from Fashion Week to the Met Gala in Rousteig designs head to toe, Balmain went from bringing in $30 million in 2012 to over $150 million.

Kanye had a point to prove…

ENTER Virgil Abloh!

Kanye and Virgil are friends, since they were teens. In 2009 they both interned at Fendi. Virgil started what has become one of the biggest sports brands, Off-White, in 2013. His remakes of ten of Nike’s most famous shoes launched him into space, and in March of 2018 he was named creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. STRATOSPHERE!!!

LV should just stand for Love Virgil because Virgil Abloh has done some iconic things with the label that has basically gone unchanged from the iconic canvas bag that has stood front and center at its brand… for years. In June of 2018 he showed his first runway show at Fashion Week in New York, and it was unlike ANYthing you have ever seen from the typical polished luxe Louis Vuitton is known for. His men’s collection was a collection of fabrics, colors, and sportswear meets professional style showcasing his very urban yet modern eye!

And at the end of the show, Virgil’s friend, the nigga we love to hate, Yeezy himself, embraced and cried with his friend. Cuz that’s what friends do and that’s how big King Kong sized their dream was…

And yesterday, after she has been the victim of such vitriol about her hair, clothes, body, strength, and motherhood, our newest icon outfitted our modern day legend, the Queen of the court, Serena Williams in a TUTU my G… after she was banned from wearing a compression one piece. (Cue … “dat ass, dat ass, dat ass, she bad!”)

Not only making clothes but making statements!!! We LV (Love Virgil)! And I still love Kanye. Why? Cuz Sometimes… to get shit done, your karate doesn’t work, but your crazy gets noticed, and heard! Sometimes, you gotta be okay with making noise, because that noise might turn into a difference. Sometimes your genius comes out as insanity… other times you just insane. And sometimes when you are passionate, you just go too fucking far! Ask my last boyfriend, I think I ended our last argument with … “I’m sorry for the realness!”

Oh and Dapper Dan has a full atelier in Harlem showcasing his custom Gucci designs… back in the day folks thought he was bold as hell, a thief and Gucci sued him. “Now [we] hot, they all on me…”