I recently saw a wonderful film called The Trials Of Muhammad Ali. The film documents Ali’s fall from grace as he joined an obscure religious cult called the Nation Of Islam. The Loud Mouth Egotistical athlete once named Cassius Clay, had the audacity to legally change his name to something people of that time in America never heard. In the movie Ali’s own mother appealed to the media to help her son and she alluded to the opinion that he was crazy and brainwashed by this cult.
When Ali decided not to go to Vietnam partly because in his words “no Vietnamese ever called me Nigger”, the whole country turned on him. He maintained a few fans but by and large Muhammad Ali was ostracized from mainstream society, imprisoned and stripped of his heavy weight title. The experience Ali had is historically similar to many visionaries, revolutionaries and misunderstood geniuses. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could barely find black churches that would accept him in their doors let alone host him to march in their cities. King’s opposition to the Vietnam War made him a pariah in this country, and especially in large parts of the black community.
As I listen to the recent interviews Kanye West is giving I hear a man talking about how we deserve a seat at the table of “power”, not that fake “they gave me a great job” nonsense. I hear a man saying how hard he’s worked and personally invested in a dream only to be thwarted by the corporations that clutch to their power like cold corpses.
I hear 2Pac saying “they can’t take us out until we decide to leave” (white manz world).
I hear Malcolm X saying “enough singin, time for some swinging.”
I hear Jack Johnson saying “I’m a man and can be with whoever I choose”.
If you listen to Kanye West and all you hear is ego, and whining I submit that as with all of the aforementioned heroes I named, we had to wait for the world to mature in order to understand their message. Kanye is from the future, and the earth must rotate to allow you time to catch up.