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KANYE WEST: “Who’s that African in the background Mom?”



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Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa

From the mind of Kanye West, he blogged some “man in the mirror“-type of sentiments, this past Tuesday. Peep it below…

I’m on the plane listening to The College Dropout. It brings back so many memories. When we made it, I had all 6 parents, 4 grandparents and my mom and dad. Now I have my dad and my grandfather.

Music is so nostalgic. Every song I listen to brings me back to when I first played them for my mom, when I first played them for Dame, when I first played them for Jay, When I first played them for Kweli, When I first played them for my n*ggas back in Chi, When the album first came out, When I first called Ebro from Hot 97 and begged him to play Through The Wire, When DJ Pharris blew me up in the Chi.

We used to be the n*ggas rocking polo shirts, Louie backpacks, paper denim jeans and exclusive Adidas from Sporty LA. We were the Underdogs. I never feel like I’m not the Underdog. I never felt completely comfortable. I’m tormented by the need to create.

With the loss of McQueen I feel like we lost one of the faces of modern creativity’s Mount Rushmore. There were times that the only thing that kept me on this earth was the need and responsibility to create. Maybe McQueen felt his job was done because his last collection was the greatest of the decade.

We are all so hurt. I know we’re selfish because he brought us so much joy and inspiration.

I know how it feels when the night demons come. We can’t let them control our hands and feet. Sometimes when it hurts so bad we have to just lay in the bed. Just lay in bed and don’t move please, I know how it feels. I wish McQueen could have just been still.

Don’t let the psychiatrists give you their drugs because it slows down your wings. Society and public opinion can beat the wings off of angels. When God sees they can’t take it anymore, he brings them home.

During this new album process sometimes I turn the music up and drink and cry. When something sounds so amazing and ground-breaking, I’m reminded of Why I live. I drink the pain of now 2 generations and breathe our melodies and messages.

The music keeps us alive.

I was blessed with the opportunity to bring my and others dreams to life. It’s like performing magic or something. It’s surreal. We bring the unrealistic to reality. “Go hard, go hard, go hard” echoes in my dreams. When I wake up and brush my teeth and look in the mirror it’s like I see Michael and My Mom and Malcolm…Who’s that African in the background Mom? Oh, He created the original layouts for the pyramids, But was written out the history books and his MTV Award was given to “Aliens”.

There’s no such thing as fact anymore, only opinion. The closest thing we have to “FACT” is “COMMON OPINION”.

Everything is an opinion.

The way you dress is an expression of your opinion. Your religious beliefs are your opinion. The music you turn up loud is your opinion. For most people it’s easier to just agree.

For me the hardest thing is to ‘just’ agree and that is what sparks creativity. The feeling that something can be better, the feeling that something’s missing, the feeling that something’s needed.

‘Ye also posted these African themed pictures on his blog entitled “Natural fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa”…(I personally struggle with these images of Africa/Africans because they tend to reinforce the “primitive” perception that most people have of Africa. The Africa in my mind is a complex web of modernity, sophistication, progressive groundedness in tradition & culture…another blog post I know!)

And these were titled “Tribal by Herring & Herring”…

What was so prophetic for me in Kanye’s blog post was his question “…who’s that African in the background Mom?” – for the longest I have been asking when will Africa Stand Up? For real! We exist but…

What do you think of ‘Ye’s post & flicks of Africans? Let us know in the comments below!

farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.


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  • Farai M. Malianga

    To be honest I came to read the article because of the Beautiful African images of the face painting and bright coloured Embroidered cloths called “Natural Fashion.”

    I understand your concerns about the fact that people still fail to see Africans ability to be Sophisticated and Modern in the Western sense….However I feel that we also don’t have to conform to be modern or sophisticated.
    These beaded outfits require the same amount of work to construct as the Oscars’ Red Carpet wears.
    The face paint the same process as the make up and lipstick that the actors wear and of course the materials used have evolved so in essence these are modern.
    (And you know me I’ll wear African gear on a Red Carpet in a min)….It’s a tuff paradox we live in but we can make them come to us as much as we go to them…..

    Let It be noted I love the fact that FARAI TODAY REPS THE FULL SPECTRUM OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA..thats no small feat. (Gonna Youtube some S.African Artist right now)

    Keep up the good work.

    FMM