The Struggles of Being a Kanye West Fan Dana Krangel

Just look at that face...

I have a confession. Some of you might be going through the same situation; others might judge me for my position on this issue. But here goes nothing: I am a Kanye West fan. Yes, it’s true. You probably wouldn’t guess it on your own, but Kanye’s works are an important part of my life. Since Sir West’s first full album was released in 2004, I have been a die-hard fan. Like, go-to-the-store-the-day-a-new-record-drops-to-buy-an-actual-disc fan. Through all his releases, my fandom never wavered, ultimately leading to this year’s Yeezus blasting in my car for months on end and scaring anyone I gave a ride to with its dark lyrics and heavy beats. But it was yet another Kanye masterpiece.

Now it’s possible some of you are reading this thinking ‘Wow Dana, you like a musician, big confession.’ But with Kanye, it’s different. People have very strong feelings in the opposite direction towards this multi-platinum selling rapper. It’s his non-music related media drama that has many convinced he is a bad mamma jama. For the pro-Kanye sector, it’s easy to look past his PR struggles but others see this stance as a destination. It’s because of this backlash that I keep my Kanye fandom on the inside, where it won’t get judged or pounced. But really, so I don’t have to have another pseudo-argument defending my love for his music.

Undoubtedly, verbalizing this piece of my life always leads down a rabbit hole of useless discussion where my opposition attempts to make a claim that Mr. West is not a good person. While all are, of course, entitled to their own opinion, the pull towards negative behavior is particularly strong with Kanye. And thus the struggle that is being a Kanye West fan. We care deeply, yet we fear sharing.

It doesn’t help Kanye’s case that he recently successfully proposed to one of the most love-to-hate celebrities. But with a growing family and relationship stability, we are holding onto hope that his soft side will flourish and make room for the haters with open arms. Plus a hotly anticipated cameo in the new Anchorman sequel might just put Kanye in a new light in front of a new audience come December. There is still hope that this struggle will one day see its demise.

All I can say is, next time you spot a member of the Kanye fan-tribe, be nice to us. We just like his music. We get it, he interrupted Taylor Swift during her VMA speech. But how long will you hold that against us? Listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy all the way through before bringing down the backlash. He harassed Jimmy Kimmel on Twitter, but at least he apologized. Listen to 808s & Heatbreak on a rainy Sunday afternoon and tell me you still hate Kanye. When you take a moment to appreciate the catalog that he has gifted to the charts, you can start to see Kanye as a musician instead of a media bandit.

I’m sure you have an opinion on the matter, and I’mma let you finish, but Kanye is one of the best rappers of all time. Leave your thoughts in the comments. And hey, at least he’s not Chris Brown.

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  1. It’s funny because I went to lunch with some people that my mom works with. The subject of Kanye came up. When my mom’s coworker asked if I was a Kanye fan, I did say that I love his music. But I also understand why people don’t like his persona outside of music.

    So yes a lot of times, I have to keep my love of Kanye on the down low.

  2. Everyone knows that Febreese Febreese came up with My beautiful dark twisted fantasy….

  3. I too struggle with this dilemma. I would not say I’m a fan but do absolutely LOVE some of his music. The lyrics for Jesus Walks get me every time. It is his behavior that I have a hard time getting behind. I know he has something meaningful to say, and I think that he’s just so passionate about his views that he chooses the wrong words. Then again, being forced to be uncomfortable is sometimes the only way to receive a message loud and clear. As for his relationship with Kim, I actually like her more now. I think he’s good for her, and he’s showing her she doesn’t have to be who her Mother wants her to be.

  4. I don’t know, if this was supposed to be a defense of being a kanye west fan – which I really don’t think many people would find offensive as he is widely regarded as one of the most innovative musicians of our time – it lacks any argument. You have entirely ignored Kanye’s cogent and relevant opinions on his position as a black celebrity in a white privileged society – which was the root of the Kimmel controversy – and I think most fans don’t believe he needed to apologize at all. That you “struggle” with being his fan because people think he’s arrogant or insensitive is just sort of bizarre in general. I’m not trying to be negative but I think it would be fruitful to examine the roots of your discomfort with loving Kanye West, and maybe acknowledge that much of his criticism and public image is tied up in complicated threads of race politics, media distortion, and other issues of representation.

  5. I’m not really a Kanye fan. There’s never been a song that made me want to go but his records but I say to each their own. We all have those bands or artists that’s not alway popular to like. I don’t keep it secret but I get crap sometimes because I’m still a diehard backstreet boys fan, even saw them in concert this year. I won’t give them up.

  6. I love you. My thoughts exactly the same. ♥

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