Keeping up with Kanye


From his rants on Twitter, to his relationship with Kim Kardashian, to his $53 million debt after the release of his new album, Kanye West seems to always make headlines. Two weeks ago, it was his Twitter spat with rapper Wiz Khalifa that sent social media users into a frenzy. Then it was an offensive lyric against Taylor Swift in his new album that even earned a response from Swift at the Grammy’s. Now it is his feud with music producer Bob Ezrin.

Ezrin denounced Kanye West in an essay for The Lefsetz Letter when he wrote, “Unlike other creators in his genre … it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now. Kanye’s greatest achievements have been in the form of excessive behavior, egomaniacal tantrums and tasteless grandstanding.”

This sent Kanye West into a Twitter rant about Ezrin’s lack of “connection with anything” and irrelevance to the music business. But doesn’t Bob Ezrin have a point here? Every time Kanye West is involved in a dispute or a tantrum, which seems to be quite often, the media is all over it. Why is that?

Most people know by now that Kanye West is an interesting character who never fails to brew drama, whether it is on Twitter or on live music award shows. He is a controversial figure and that’s the thing that makes him a media magnet. Whether we love Kanye West or hate him, we want to see what outrageous thing he is doing or saying next. Right when we tune in to a media outlet to see the latest Kanye spat, the media has achieved its goal.

The news and entertainment media have grabbed our attention. Whether it seems like pointless news or not, the media have got our eyes and ears. So, yes, there are plenty of things we need to know that supersede Kanye West’s latest ventures but by giving that type of news attention, we give media outlets the impression that that is the type of news we want to hear.