KANYE WEST TALKS #METOO, MENTAL HEALTH AND DONALD TRUMP WITH DAVID LETTERMAN

KAN YESea­son 2 of, “My Next Guest Needs No Intro­duc­tion with Dav­id Let­ter­man” is out on Net­flix. Those of us watch­ing the Dav­id let­ter­man epis­ode with Kanye West inter­view hoped to get an insight into the mind of a hugely suc­cess­ful and con­tro­ver­sial indi­vidu­al. An eccent­ric char­ac­ter often por­trayed in the media as a bit odd. His own explan­a­tions of this beha­vi­or was allur­ing. I found let­ter­man a bit dry as a host and slow to start very dif­fer­ent from his tra­di­tion­al style of inter­view­ing. The inter­view began very slow and it was dif­fi­cult to keep attent­ive. Regard­less there was an open­ness between the two. Kanye seemed relaxed yet still at a bit of a dis­tance, tak­ing a pause to think about his answers before he answered.

Once the inter­view got under­way, Kanye began to open up about his men­tal ill­ness as he was dia­gnosed with bi-polar dis­order two years ago. He explained feel­ing under pres­sure, “This is like a sprained brain, like hav­ing a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more.” He felt the per­cep­tion of a men­tal ill­ness is very dif­fer­ent to any oth­er ill­ness. “Once our brain gets to the point of sprain­ing, people do everything to make it worse.” Men­tal health has always had a stig­ma attached to it so it was refresh­ing to hear a celebrity talk about his struggles.

The con­ver­sa­tion then turned to phar­ma­ceut­ic­als. Let­ter­man con­trib­uted to the con­ver­sa­tion with his own exper­i­ences of bat­tling anger issues which almost stole the con­ver­sa­tion. Both dis­cussed the bene­fits and neg­at­ive effects. Kanye admit­ted he hadn’t taken any med­ic­a­tion to treat his Bi-polar dis­order for eight months which was met with applause from the audi­ence. He felt med­ic­a­tion may affect his cre­at­ive abil­it­ies, “If you want crazy ideas, there is a chance it might come from a crazy per­son” he said.

Things escal­ated in ser­i­ous­ness when Kanye remarked the #MeT­oo move­ment made men “feel uncom­fort­able”. I was not entirely sure what his coun­ter argu­ment was as Let­ter­man described the fear for women be great­er. Kanye — If you don’t sexu­ally har­ass women you won’t have a prob­lem. This very con­ver­sa­tion seemed to prove this move­ment was finally call­ing out actions which have become “the norm£ in the enter­tain­ment industry. And it’s time for change.

Kanye spoke out about his sup­port for Don­ald Trump. “This is my thing with Trump: We don’t have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel and we have the right to have a con­ver­sa­tion”. His belief is in free speech and the freedom of choice. He did not agree with Trump sup­port­ers being vic­tim­ized. Most of us would agree, every­one is wel­come to an opin­ion but when that opin­ion sup­ports the oppres­sion and sys­tem­at­ic oppres­sion of eth­nic minor­it­ies then people are going to dis­agree. Even stranger he said he has nev­er voted. To which Let­ter­man replied “then you have no say.” Even though I don’t agree with Kanye on his polit­ic­al opin­ions, I respec­ted his cour­age to voice them. As he said on the show, someone once told him, “Your power is to influ­ence” To which he replied, “No my power is to not be influ­enced”. He cer­tainly proves that.

The inter­view ended with Kanye dis­cuss­ing his con­cept for the “Sunday ses­sions”. Describ­ing the red light­ing play­ing a con­trast to the strobe light­ing and fast paced music ‘by the dev­il’ dom­in­at­ing the music scene. The scene he has made most of his liv­ing off. It seems he now wants to turn things around. He said, “We were really light on even giv­ing it a name. It was just an idea we had to open up our hearts and make music that we felt was as pure and as pos­it­ive as pos­sible. And have some­thing where people could just come togeth­er and feel good with their fam­il­ies.”

The whole epis­ode is avail­able on Net­flix.

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Break­in’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the con­cept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.