I am deeply fascinated/troubled by Kanye West. But upon watching his appearance on David Letterman’s new show, I felt merely confused and emotional. Kanye has made some quite inexcusable utterings in the past (slavery being a “choice” is one little golden nugget), but it definitely makes him an interesting interview subject. And thus begins one of the strangest displays of muddled journalism and flat-out super fandom I’ve ever seen.
Letterman interviews Kanye in his normal kooky style, continuously veering off topic, but getting to the point nonetheless—and Kanye answers easily most of the time, no rambling or tantrums. Albeit with some nonsensical political outbursts, i.e. claiming that Trump supporters are being bullied for their viewpoints and that THIS is the main issue (people not being allowed to “feel their feelings”)—not that Trump himself is the biggest bully around. Letterman pushes him on this, and dares to disagree, but Kanye is a powerhouse of words and Dave can hardly get a snack in (he mumbles at one point “I know I’m just a guest, but can I ask a question”.).
Cut to Dave at Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s house (a “minimalistic monastery” as Kim described it in her recent 73 questions with Vogue) and I can’t begin to fathom how anyone actually lives there, let alone have FOUR (!) kids when everything is beige/cream/off-white or @off____white. One room is just a gargantuan white bed. Mic drop. Another room is filled with priceless ceramic art by Yuji Ueda that Kanye bought as a a gift for himself. But I’m digressing. Dave is dressed in Yeezy, head to toe, Kanye is INTO it. Dave is having the most epic time of his life. Kim is eating what must be her third meal of the day out of a plastic container prepared by a chef. She says briefly to Kanye, “Are you gonna let him have it”. “It” being the clothes on Dave’s back, basically worth more than the entire GDP of Greece. Kanye just grins, Letterman yelps that they’re buying it, surely blowing every chance of a new season at Netflix.
Last part of the interview takes place inside Kanye’s Sunday service, his newly started pseudo-church inside a James Turrell-esque light piece (he cites Turrell as a huge inspiration). It’s the weirdest thing. Kim and her mother Kris are sitting there filming on their iPhones, Kanye is jamming dressed in earth-tones.
My dad was bipolar and my sister and I received many text messages before he died with statements similar to that of Kanye’s twitter rants: Grand and absurd. Kanye speaks in length about being bipolar, one of the parts of the interview I truly enjoyed. He talks candidly about his love/hate relationship with the disease, Dave brings up the cover image for the album Ye (“I hate being bipolar. It’s awesome”). Kanye addresses being called crazy. He calls himself crazy. He speaks in sane terms. My dad was like that. Very sane at times, in between his periods of mania, but when he “ramped up”(as Kanye describes it) he was a million lit beacons, he was gonna start puppeteering, he made an operatic rock piece. He also became deeply religious at the end, striking up a personal relationship with a priest. We had a church funeral, it was a very beautiful.
Kanye performed at Coachella this year with his gospel-like ensemble on a artificial green mound he had the festival build just for his performance. He also sold merchandise. One item was a pair of socks selling for 50 dollars. The one sock said “Church”, the other just “socks” 🧦🧦🧦