Kanye West’s greatest quality is that he cares. Well, at least according to Twitter—the rapper’s favorite new vice—which he uses as more of beat report on his own life than a social media platform.
'Ye is notorious for letting his followers in on the intimate minutia surrounding his family, his music, and most recently, the opening of his The Life of Pablo pop-up shop all in 140 characters or less. And, because the West has built unprecedented cultural relevancy, media and fans seem to hang on to every exclamation.
What Kanye is really saying in the aforementioned tweet, is that he’s empathetic. Well, as it concerns his approach to popular culture, I’d have to agree. Time and again, he’s been able to anticipate what the culture wants—music, fashion, art, politics—and deliver in spectacle. It’s the marriage of empathy and influence that has allowed him to transcend the trivialities of things like tour merch and cellphone apps, and transform them into commodities.
Such was the case when Kanye announced that he’d only make his latest album The Life of Pablo available through Tidal Music, and, after announcing the location of his temporary store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, in expected fashion, the culture responded in a major way.
Over 3,000 anticipating fans lined up outside of 83 Wooster St. yesterday (some had been waiting for nearly 24 hours) for a chance at a slice of Kanye’s cultural pie. So, never mind that the quality of the product is no different than your roommate’s favorite indie band’s modest college-tour merchandise (the Gildan Heavy Blend tags remain proudly stitched into the neck of every shirt and hoodie), because that isn’t what incites the discipleship. Kanye genuinely cares about popular culture, and so long as you identify as a member of that group, you should continue to walk in faith. Besides, you’ll probably dress a lot better as a result.