A Professor Explains Why He’s Teaching College Kids About Kanye

Just down the road from me, Georgia State professor Scott Heath doing work that needs to be done.

“He’s aware of the criticism and the critiques that come his way, and he then critiques those critiques. This is a guy who gives interviews where the entire interview is about another interview that he gave earlier,” says Heath, pointing to conversations with Jimmy Kimmel and Ricky Smiley as examples. “That, to me, is very keenly discursive.”

And also:

“He’s having to process or deal with other people’s interpretation of what he’s saying and who he happens to be,” says Heath, alluding to Du Bois’ assessment that black people in America are tasked with the emotionally arduous task of filtering their own identities through the lens of dominant white culture. “An exciting moment for me was the students reading Du Bois and the lightbulb going off and them making the connection to Kanye.”

Filed under: Kanye West.

A Professor Explains Why He’s Teaching College Kids About Kanye

Kanye West

I was a music producer, and everyone was telling me that I had no business becoming a rapper, so it gave me the opportunity to tell everyone, “Hey, I need some time to recover.” But during that recovery period, I just spent all my time honing my craft and making The College Dropout. Without that period, there would have been so many phone calls and so many people putting pressure on me from every direction—so many people I somehow owed something to—and I would have never had the time to do what I wanted to.

Kanye West

I love the fact that I’m bad at [things], you know what I’m saying? I’m forever the 35-year-old 5-year-old. I’m forever the 5-year-old of something.

They say you only live once but every time I come to work I feel like I’m starting a second life.

Kanye West on the transformative power of creative endeavors.