While the world watched for thirteen minutes as Tiger Woods discussed his recent problems with infidelity, in such a scripted manner, it became clear that America has forgotten who really needs to comeback to save their scene. Kanye West needs to come back as badly as the economy does. Although the debate continues over who is the best in hip-hop today, Tiger is the clear-cut leader of the golf game. Ratings are down, and one of the biggest names in the world has been M.I.A. Problem is, when he returns, not much will change besides the ratings and the chances of wining will be greatly reduced for everyone else. Everything else will stay the same. Tiger is too clean cut. Even though he will be remembered as a sex addict from here on out, bank on the fact that Tiger will do everything he can to be the exact same person he was before this all broke. He’ll be PR protected and walking with a tighter ass then a 110 pound kid fresh in prison. When he does return and finally win big the sports world will talk, but those outside of the sports world will hardly bat an eye. When Kanye returns and does his first big thing, everyone will talk. Fans, critics, pop culture fanatics, pundits, and almost every comedian looking to crack an easy joke or create a new meme will converge on the scene like a car accident in a suburban cul-de-sac.
To keep the comparisons sports related a little bit longer, Kanye isn’t LeBron or Kobe. Jay-Z is both of them, combined, in hip-hop. But that doesn’t mean Kanye is Adam Morrison. Imagine a season where Dwyane Wade is out for the season. The game takes a big hit. One of the premiere players goes down and soon uprisings of above average players start getting called all-stars to keep the fans tuned in. It’s a common practice to try and fill the voids. Just look back at all the flash in the pan artists that tried coming out when Eminem and Jay-Z were away. Ever since Swift-gate 2009 happened hip-hop has been trying to do this. There are a lot of talented young stars ready to rise to prominence. Yet, none of them are Kanye West. He transcends hip-hop and ventures into pop culture. He’s not on the Tiger level, but he sure is close.
The world was shocked to hear Tiger had these skeletons in his closet. So it was expected that he go away and try to better himself and rehabilitate. No one should have been shocked that Kanye got on stage and did his rant in support Beyonce. He has a track record of doing things like this for years. To hell with modesty, Kanye tells it like it is! In 2006 he said he’d have a problem if he didn’t win a Grammy after all the hard work he put in. In 2007 at the Europe Music Awards he interrupted the group Justice for accepting their award because he thought he deserved it more. He even tried to calm Justice down by saying it wasn’t about them because he never saw their video. He was merely stating that when he loses, the show loses. Dick move? Yes. Totally incorrect? Maybe. But just like Manny Ramirez, it’s just another case of Kanye being Kanye. And eventhough it was an incredibly dickish move to go after innocent Taylor Swfit, it helped launch her into the next level of fame. I’d go as far to say Kanye pulling that stunt was the best thing to ever happen to Taylor Swift’s career. She went from country darling to America’s wounded sweetheart in one night. Add to the fact that Kanye’s act pressured Beyonce to turn the mic back over to Swift when Single Ladies did win video of the year further putting Kanye in the villain role. By the end of the night people were rallying around Swift and distancing themselves as quick as they could from Kanye.
When Kanye acts, the landscape changes. In hockey when a team needs a shakeup they send in the enforcer. They are the game changers. They knock around some people, cause fights and let the competition know they are there win or lose. He may not look like it, but Kanye is that guy. Not everyone loved his direction with 808’s and Heartbreak, but he singlehandedly took autotune to a whole new level and killed it all on the same disc! After its release no one outside of T-Pain could make an autotune track without realizing Kanye had already bested them. Then to boot, he and Jay-Z created The Death of Autotune. This is the same game changer who stood up to the then-dominant 50 Cent and dropped him like a baby on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. He’s stood up to hip-hop’s views on the gay community and broke the clothing stereotype of the industry. He takes the status quo and tosses it out the window whether the scene likes it or not. The only person who can do this aside from him is Lady Gaga,. Coincidentally, they almost went on tour together before the VMA incident. It’s amazing how this all ties in. It’s like an episode of Lost.
Just like in our personal lives, our entertainment needs an asshole in it. The asshole is the one doing things that get us talking the next morning. He’s the drunk guy who defends his friend against someone who wasn’t picking a fight with them in the first place. Sure, not every situation needs an asshole. They’re not usually the brain trust that should be speaking on behalf of the room, but they do it anyways. For eight years the US had an asshole running the country. He picked fights with people who didn’t need to be dealt with, he spoke stupidly on a constant stream, and he may or may not have done a lot of coke on vacation when there was work to be done. Pop culture isn’t the government and we like having a good asshole to loudly root against, and quietly root for. When he said that George Bush didn’t care about black people, he might have been right. He was saying what a lot of people were thinking. Just like your asshole friend in college, Kanye picked out the elephant in the room and brought it to our attention. Mike Meyers face summed up the general reaction most of us have when the asshole in our life does the same thing at an office party when he calls the boss a hypocrite. Who else is doing that now? As earlier stated, Lady Gaga is a game changer. Unlike her, Kanye doesn’t plan it out. Gaga plans her moves. Kanye is off the cuff in his asshole moves. And just like your friend, he can somehow justify his actions. When he’s drunk he’ll apologize and say he did wrong, but he’ll still justify with some ounce of reason in him. And although all proper wisdom says you should turn a deaf ear to this guy, you somehow can’t because you know life isn’t as fun without them in it.
As 2010 is about to be one-sixth of the way done without a Kanye shakeup, here’s to hoping his return is soon. Rumors swirl that he is finishing up an old-school, back to basics style fifth album that will drop sometime this year. When he returns let’s hope that he goes back to launching the attacks he needs to do. Please stay away from the pop stars, Kanye. Instead, go back after the weak MCs who need to get woken up. Maybe even branch out and go after Hollywood. A Kanye versus Brad Pitt incident would get the public talking. Kanye is the variable that music has been missing since September of 2009. When he returns he’ll most likely act contrite and say he has turned over a new leaf. Unlike like his sound, though, he can’t change his attitude and who he is. He is the asshole we love to hate. He makes great music, and keeps the likes of MTV and TMZ working in overdrive. So Tiger Woods, get your family back in shape and take time to recover. Golf will be ok without you; music and pop culture aren’t the same without Mr. West.
Until this day, enjoy some of his past actions below.