The Candor

Three Lessons from Kanye West

by Kaitlynn Wolfgram


After the incident at the Video Music Awards in 2009, involving Kanye West and Taylor Swift, there’s no surprise that there was another outburst from West at this year’s Grammy Awards. After the show, West commented on Beck winning Album of the Year.

“Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it,” said West according to ABC News. His rant continues, “Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration and we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day and they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place.”

It’s apparent that over the last couple of years Kanye West’s behavior has reached new heights. But, while everyone was criticizing West for his what he said, I could help but think isn’t he right?

Kanye West has shocked the public over the last couple of years; from the name of his baby to him allegedly demanding that his family be on the cover of Vogue Magazine. However, with all his recent bizarre antics, I feel as though we can all take a couple of lessons from Kanye West.

  1. Started from the bottom. West is known for coming from a middle-class family in Chicago. He wasn’t necessarily poor, but was working class. It’s not easy to become an incredibly successful rapper and creating various popular albums. I believe his story to be inspirational. Kanye West is an example that shows hard work and dedication can lead to extraordinary achievements.
  2. How he makes his money. West was not made famous from being on a reality show. We didn’t watch him get drunk on the Jersey Shore. We didn’t see him on Teen Mom. West makes his money by creating good music. His music is authentic and creative. I find that hard to come by these days.
  3. His sharp tongue. People might be outraged by West’s comments, but the reality is that West isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I think at the Grammy Awards he said what a lot of people were thinking: how did Beck win Album of the Year? I was wondering who Beck was. I’m not saying what he said was OK. West could have chosen his words better, but he has the guts to say what’s on his mind and what he believes in.   I respect that. Standing firm on personal beliefs is important and can take you far in life (choose your words carefully though).

There’s no doubt that West can act ”heartless,” but his life truly resembles how hard work pays off, making money in a genuine way, and the importance of speak up. Before you criticize Kanye West, remember the important lessons that we can learn from him.