I met Kanye West about 11 years ago. And when I say "met" I mean I saw him randomly walking down the street and had a total fangirl moment. This was way before he became a rap legend and had tons of security; somewhere between the pink polos and the "George Bush hates black people". I've always been a huge fan of his music. I never thought the day would come when I'd be completely over Kanye.
As a fan, I've paid for every album, watched every video and defended every rant. Even his Hennessy-fueled Taylor Swift incident couldn't stop me from loving him.
Somewhere along the line, his antics started to overshadow his talent. Sometimes I listen to College Dropout and cringed. Kanye West has become everything that he used to mock. It's disheartening. But I can't bring myself to say that I hate "the new" Kanye. It seems like the more annoying his personal life is, the better his artistry gets.. which sucks. Despite how much the man has changed, the music hasn't. The man still makes incredible songs.
Recently, Kanye performed in Atlanta as part of The Life of Pablo Tour. Of course I went. But before I even got tickets to the show, I found myself standing in a parking garage waiting to get inside of his pop up shop. It was humid, it was crowded... it was a parking garage. After a solid two hours, I finally got the chance to go inside. I was underwhelmed. I'd already seen previews of the merchandise so I knew what I was expecting, but I was still unimpressed. It was so strange. All in all, I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of money for two Gildan tees.
Was it because I had hyped it up in my head? Was it because I knew that only a hand full of other people would be walking around with it on? I'm still not really sure. In 10 years, I'll probably look back and be so annoyed that I decided to be a hipster for a day.
I still had really high hopes for the concert, and Kanye didn't disappoint. His fanbase has changed drastically since I first started vibing to him, but the loyal, day one fans showed up in numbers. I was feeling like more of a hypebeast and less like a fan at the pop up shop. But the concert reminded me of the reason I love Kanye so much!