The Style Of Mr West
The last time we profiled Kanye, we discussed his evolution in style as representative of the evolution experienced by many hip hop luminaries and how that style reflected their understanding of their business as it fit symbiotically within the ecosystem of a wider economic reality.
This image though is much more than a photograph. For many who either follow or chronicle (or both) hip hop, their connection no matter how knowledgable is still hopelessly superficial, driven by a love of the outrageous, the overt and the attendant ‘look,pose,cameraflash!’ of the lifestyle and therefore, this image will say very little. For the purists however, who understand that the collective lyrical output of hip hop is as much driven by social condition as it is by the psychological state of the messengers themselves, this image speaks the equivalent length of War and Peace for it says that this messenger has reached a state of sartorial comfort and thus, expresses his persona in ways which even though they are varied, are as calmly confident as this ensemble.
Much like a fencer then, who thrusts his epee for the ‘kill’ only when he is fully balanced, coiled, ready and having parried the early frenzied attempts of his attacker, clearly perceptive of his own opening to strike, Kanye now enters a stage where he is driven by a matured sense of his place in the hip hop firmament and the world at large. This image suggests that unlike a brainwashed world that has been conditioned to believe that great music in this genre must be the result of the poverty, crime and psychologically angry circumstance of the messenger, Kanye’s music can now be more powerful, dynamic, varied and expressive; reflective of his understanding of himself.
Yeah, for many it’s either just a photograph or the writer’s giddy adulation of Kanye; far from it! Instead, we at C6 trust that eventually, those who think so will learn how to perceive the ‘story’ of the photographed image and thus understand that all images are frozen moments in time that capture not just a look but a deeper personal reality that we all exude like a synonymous soundtrack to our lives…