I'm never one to back down from a challenge.
Kanye West has been taking a lot of heat lately. It's just been one thing after another since his album, The Life of Pablo, dropped on Valentine's Day earlier this year. The most recent beef comes from Yeezy's depiction of various celebrities nude and in bed with him in his "Famous" music video.
Is he only doing things for publicity these days? Maybe. What's certain is I've been challenged to extract genuinely helpful advice from his latest production.
Let's be honest, anyone who willingly marries into the Kardashian clan isn't going to be your first thought for all things self-improvement. But I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by some of the golden nuggets sprinkled throughout Pablo.
1. It takes crazy to make genius.
This is fairly expected from Kanye. The man, notorious for his asinine, incredibly public antics, definitely knows a thing or two about being crazy. Given his massive success (and huge ego), he also backs up the genius aspect. A bigger point he's trying to make is you have to get off the beaten path. If you just act like everybody else, why would anyone pay attention to you? The "sane" choice is to do what everybody else is doing, but that won't lead to greatness.
Here's a sample lyric from "Feedback":
I can't let these people play me Name one genius that ain't crazy
Be crazy. Be successful.
2. A higher power is there for you.
I know, I know. You wouldn't expect the man who calls himself "Yeezus" to get legitimately spiritual. There is, however, a strong gospel theme throughout the album, particularly in "Ultralight Beam," which is Kanye's form of a prayer, and "Low Lights," which feels more like a personal testimony. Here's a sample from "Low Lights":
You want me to give you a testimony about my life, and how good he's been to me. I don't know what to tell you about him, I love him so much with all my heart and my soul with every bone in my body I love him so much because he's done so much for me.
3. Make every night legendary.
Obviously, if every night is legendary, no nights can really be legendary. They even themselves out. But there's still something to it. Life is so fleeting, there's only so much time we have here.
Why waste any moment of it doing things that aren't elating? Why wouldn't you go big or go home? Why wouldn't you treat yo'self? You deserve it, and you never know what's going to happen. Go do awesome things. Go have outrageous experiences and make incredible memories!
Here's a sample lyric from "Highlights":
One life, one night High lights Livin' the life 'til I die
4. Talking about yourself in the third person boosts your reputation.
Kanye loves Kanye and likes to talk about Kanye in the third person. He is famous for it, after all. In the 44-second song "I Love Kanye," Kanye uses the word "Kanye" 25 times. Twenty. Five. But it's so dang catchy. He's been pulling these stunts for so long they seem to actually be working in his favor. Maybe we should all take a page out of Destiny Child's book and say my name, say my name.
What if Kanye made a song, about Kanye? Called 'I Miss The Old Kanye,' man that would be so Kanye
What a Kanye thing to do!
5. There will always be people who want to leech off your success instead of creating their own.
You've worked your ass off to get where you've gotten. Why should those who haven't put the time and work in get the same benefits? As we grow and achieve our goals, there are going to be people we really care about who we're going to have to leave behind, at least to some degree.
We can't just hold on to people who only keep us around for what we can provide to them. That's not good for anyone.
Here's a sample lyric from the aptly named song "Real Friends":
I hate when a n***a text you like, 'What's up, fam, hope you good' You say, 'I'm good, I'm great,' the next text they ask you for somethin'
You tell us, Kanye.