I’m pretty cynical and critical and skeptical and eyerollical about Kanye West most of the time, and I think I have pretty good reason to be, since he’s known to do the kinds of things that warrant a negative response. But even someone like me, who spends her spare time screen printing T-shirts that read things like “Yeezus? More Like Oh-Please-us,” is capable of feeling something when sincere words come out of Kanye’s mouth. That’s especially true if he’s talking about North West, and it’s extremely true if the quote doesn’t contain the word “artist.” I really want “artist” and “hater” banned from the world’s vocabulary forever and ever amen.
This past Friday, February 21, while performing at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, Kanye took a moment to speak to the audience. While this usually means a rant is on its way, this time he actually said something rather heartbreaking:
“These past 10 years have been amazing,” he told the crowd. “There’s been some ups and downs. I made some mistakes and I’ve made some accomplishments. There’s only one thing I regret,” he continued. “There’s only one thing I wish I could change out of everything that’s ever happened. I wish that my mother could’ve met my daughter.”
When Kanye removes his pretentious persona and actually expresses his emotions like a human being, he earns a lot more of my (grudging) respect. Kanye’s mother Donda, who raised him as a single parent, passed away in 2007 of heart disease combined with complications from a plastic surgery operation.
Reading Kanye’s thoughts on dealing with the death of a parent, and his sadness that she won’t meet North, actually makes me feel something for him besides rage. It’s the side of him that people like Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner always say exists but rarely ever gets shown, so every time they insist on it being there I’m just like, “Yeah, sure, uh huh, whatever you say.” If it is there, it would serve Kanye well to show it more. Or at least to crack a smile every once in a while.