Kanye West's musical accomplishments are indisputable. He is a hip hop artist, songwriter and producer, has won 21 Grammy awards and is definitely among the most commercially successful and acclaimed musicians of the 21st century. Whether you hate or love Yeezy's music, here are five non-musical reasons why you should love Kanye, like Kanye loves Kanye.
1. Kanye had the balls to renew the concept of fashion shows
The basic format of a fashion show hasn't changed in what feels like forever. Models walking on the runway surrounded by a striking setting. The same lame shows, right?
When Kanye & Adidas Originals launched their first collaboration clothing line, Yeezy Season 1, a little over year ago, the models did not walk on the catwalk, but instead were standing in a row. Kanye, contemporary artist Vanessa Beecroft and their crew managed to skilfully mood the space in a gloomy manner.
About a month ago, Kanye & Adidas did it again when presenting the Yeezy Season 3 in New York. This time the event was a combination of a record launch party and a fashion show. Many industry insiders claimed the event as the most interesting ones at NYFW. It seems Kanye understands the potential of swimming upstream.
Maybe Kanye should advise Tesla on how to make a launch event without using all the tech and car industry cliches. Just saying....
2. Kanye recognizes the importance of hate!
One of my motivators, Jari Sarasvuo, a Finnish entrepreneur and business guru once introduced me to this idea:
"The strength of an idea is not how many people embrace it but how many people keep on declining it. "
Think about it, you'll never have something that everyone will approve of but as long as people keep saying no to it, the idea will spread.
We live in a time and age where the combination of having talent and building hype is golden -- pure talent is rarely enough nowadays. Just look at someone like Mr. Trump, the thing Trump is more talented at than any other of the presidential candidates is building hype. If someone is able to create hype and then back it up with talent, sure shot success will follow.
Yeezy is and has been on the top of the PR game for years. Generating hate is a big and essential part of it.
3. Kanye changed how rappers dress
The first Yeezy sneaker was actually a collaboration between Nike and Kanye. Nike has been calling the shots on the sneaker market for years and has such big slice of the pie that it will continue to dominate the market for years. Or actually Nike doesn't have a slice of the pie, Nike has the whole pie.
Kanye moved from Nike to Adidas in 2013. At the release of Yeezy Season 3 in February 2016, Kanye got the whole Madison Square Garden chanting
"F*ck Nike, F*ck Nike!"
at NYFW. Now how often you witness something like that at a fashion show?
Long gone are the days when rappers like Dr. Dre, Biggie or Tupac dressed in Fubu, Karl Kani or Ecko. The uniform of mainstream hip hop has changed. Today, rappers are balling in Balmain.
Kanye is the undeniable urban style leader. Mr. West has so many followers that he's been moaning on Twitter how there used to be only one Kanye and now there are too many Kanyes.
Kanye paved the way and changed wardrobe of rappers and especially the wardrobes of those who follow how rappers dress.
4. Kanye brought limited supply back to mainstream music
Remember the times when you actually had to make an effort, go to a record store to listen to new albums or hear a new song from your favourite artist?
Kanye's latest album, The Life of Pablo, February 14, 2016 was released on February 14th, 2016 but it wasn't until after April 1st that the album was available to the public on any streaming platform than Tidal, a service which Kanye co-owns.
Yeezy continues to reimagine the concept of an album. The Life of Pablo is a transparent collection of songs as Kanye continued to tinker with the final mixes of the album after it had been released on Tidal. The album's publisher, Def Jam Recordings, has confirmed that the album will receive further updates in the coming months.
Kanye continues to give his fans something to look forward to it.
5. Yeezy shows love and support to the creative community
Whether it is a clothing designer like Sasu Kauppi, a model like Amina Blue, or a stage designer such as Es Devlin, Kanye has been supporting and discovering the international creative talent more than any other global, mainstream brand has recently.
He understands that creativity is a group effort and wants to work with the true specialists of different fields. He has a golden touch of bringing ideas and people from a niche to the mainstream.
Love him or hate him, Kanye continues to back up his big words in more ways than one!
Could Kanye West be the most influential creative director of his generation?