Granderson: Kanye West’s life and art are one. You don’t have to keep watching him
Evan Agostini | USA TODAY
Show Caption Hide Caption Kanye West: My art is art Kanye West has never met an artist he didn’t like.
The art world is like a restaurant, a theater, a concert hall – you never go there expecting to see a “star.”
The exception was Kanye West. The late-night TV producer and sometime rapper was a star. A star of one kind of art.
He was in the house more than anyone, more even than Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley or Jimi Hendrix or Paul McCartney, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan. He opened so many doors for so many people to see and feel and embrace and respect.
He was also one of the best entertainers ever, a performer of the highest order. He was a one-man Broadway. He sang, he danced, he acted, he wrote, he played, he directed, and he acted and played brilliantly.
He broke social mores that had governed art for more than two centuries. More than one generation of artists has been shaped and molded by his artistry.
There is one word for the essence of his art: irrevocable.
“In this moment,” says West, “I have reached my maximum level of achievement.”
This is not to diminish the accomplishments of his collaborators. The list goes on and on, from A Tribe Called Quest to Beyoncé to The Roots to Mary J. Blige to Dr. Dre (who did not attend the concert this weekend) to Jimmy Fallon to the musicians he brought from the underground.
But it is to point out that, from a creative perspective, Kanye was not a “star” in the ordinary sense.
We are talking here about a one-time performer whose last stand in the cultural spotlight was his performance at the 2008 Super Bowl halftime show.
No, he was a big game, a one-of-a-kind superstar whose appeal went far beyond mere “art” – which means