Sunday, April 29, 2018
The Odd Couple
Just when you thought it couldn't get any stranger, Kanye returns to twitter heaping praise on his "dragon energy" brother, which set the blogosphere afire. Trump responded in kind, leading their followers to ponder the meaning of this odd bromance. Is this a calculated move or has Kanye not fully recovered from the "exhaustion" he suffered on his 2016 world tour? What exactly does Trump have to gain by embracing Kanye?
This comes shortly on the heels of Roseanne's triumphant return to television, in which she declared her loyalty to Trump, garnering huge overnight Nielsen ratings. He called to congratulate the low brow comic, seeming to consider her opening night ratings a vindication of his own popularity. Her numbers have since dipped substantially but still enjoys high ratings.
One of the things the conservative movement has going for it is a large audience anxious for programming that suits its views. They are always complaining that Hollywood is stacked against them, but along come Roseanne and Kanye to tap into their angst.
Not sure what's in it for Kanye as the demographics definitely don't favor him. Trumpkins are mostly white, middle aged to elderly, who prefer to line dance to country western music, not the hip hop scene he is part of, but maybe Kanye is thinking of switching genres, putting him more in touch with Middle America.
As Chance the Rapper says, "Black people don't have to be Democrats," but how this fits with Kanye's 2024 presidential ambitions is another big question mark? Maybe he sees himself a a younger version of the Hermanator, who captured Republicans' imagination back in 2012. They both hail from Atlanta, but Kanye appears to consider himself a Chicagoan based on his brief stint at the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University before dropping out to pursue his musical career. His debut album was entitled The College Dropout.
Not sure why Kanye felt the need to dump on Obama, but Chance defended his pal Kanye just the same. Chance, a true Chicago native, has since tried to distance himself from both Kanye and Trump, as his base let him know what they thought of this whole sordid mess.
What can Obama do specifically for Chicago, or any president for that matter? It's not like Trump has done anything for Chicago his 15 months in office. This is something Kanye should take up with Rahm Emmanuel, who has been the mayor of the city for eight years. However, now that Obama is building his presidential library in Chicago, he will take a more active role in the city.
This latest series of tweets, which appear to be nothing more than a promotion for his new single, has put his wife Kim in a tough spot as well. She has been busy doing damage control, helping to keep the good name of the Kardashians from falling into the Trump camp. It was bad enough when her "aunt" lined herself up with Trump in 2016, only to deeply regret "her" decision.
One never knows how much of this is self-promotion and how much is genuine feelings. The lyrics to the song are as banal as you would imagine. In fact, Chance just repeated one of the lines by T.I. who engages in a "conversation" with Kanye about Blacks being stereotyped as Democrats, despite "not making it off the plantation." After all, it was the Democrats who put them in this spot to begin with, which Republicans like to point out so much these days, re-imagining themselves as the Party of Lincoln. Such nuances as Southern Democrats abandoning their party in the 1960s with the advent of the Civil Rights Act don't get mentioned in this "conversation."
However, Trumpkins haven't been so quick to accept Kanye. If not for his skin color then certainly for his relationship with the Kardashians, which conservatives widely regard as the worst influence on teenage girls today.
Kanye's problem has always been that he takes himself too seriously. This was a guy ready to renounce his citizenship at one point over all the perceived racism in this country, but then seemed to find a new light in Trump in 2015. How exactly Trump made things better is anyone's guess, but Kanye clearly had an ax to grind with Obama, who he didn't feel lived up to expectations.
I never could understand this infatuation for Kanye myself but those in the biz say he is the real thing, even David Chappelle, who introduced him to a broader audience way back in 2003. I must have missed that episode. Chappelle has defended Kanye in the past, but Dave also defended Bill Cosby, albeit in his own amusing way. So, it is hard to know where he really stands on Kanye.
It reminds me a little of Chappelle's hilarious racial draft day from 2004. Only now we have Republicans and Democrats drafting controversial figures.
Whatever the case, it shifts the focus away from Trump's scandals once again, leaving the news media to ponder over this odd bromance. You almost wonder if there is someone orchestrating these events back stage.