Kanye West went on a 27-minute-long rant during the Toronto stop of his Yeezus tour and vowed to stop speaking negatively for at least six months in the coming year.
His speech, backed by the instrumental of his hit song “Runaway”, described how he is looking forward to 2014. “I decided to completely focus everything in 2014 on all the new ideas and all the creative outlets,” he said.
In his speech, he once again referenced his disagreement with Nike and promised to move forward from it with a positive attitude.
“I’m not [going to] ever bring up Nike again. And the only way I’ll bring them up is in a positive light,” he said. “Because I actually appreciate the opportunity to have been able to make my own shoe with them, and if I didn’t have the opportunity I wouldn’t have my deal I have with Adidas right now.”
West has become well-known in recent years for his controversial statements, many of which hit topics like unfair practices within the music industry, classism and institutional white supremacy head on. While he isn’t willing to change his stance on many of these topics, he noted his need to keep it quiet for a while. He explained that his fans are one big family and he is the “crazy cousin.” He joked that every family needs someone to play that role.
Finally he added: “So I’m letting you all now that this is the last Yeezus show, and this is the last time you’ll ever hear me say negative about anyone.”
This brings one to question why an artist like Kanye who isn’t afraid to raise social issues in his craft would need to quiet himself in the first place? It may very well be Kanye’s brash and sometimes curt ways of expressing himself but the backlash and pressure to keep the expression of social issues out of popular culture seems to work against the rights of being an American. Kanye is no stranger to exercising that right but it clear that it is not welcomed in popular culture.