Season 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.