So earlier last week, a friend of mine shot me a flurry of texts that basically ended in “I have Yeezus tickets, I wanna go with someone who actually likes it….” I originally had plans with my DOG, KWAME but I got his blessing. He already saw Yeezus, knows how I feel about Ye’ and knew I needed to go. So I squared that away and I was on board.
Now mind you, I’ve been to Glow In the Dark. GITD changed my life. This was my first big concert and I was maybe 21-22. I paid damn near 300 for my seats (as if I had that, who was I fooling) cringed, and went after my spring semester ended. I vividly remember watching the whole thing thinking “Holy shit, why can’t I feel like this every day?” GITD was a culmination of Ye’s ego, imagination, and talent, all in one cohesive story that felt like a child’s well developed day dream. He has an IMAGINATION. Around this time I noticed that my own imagination was dying, and so was everyone else’s. He was “free” more or less. Kanye’s energy that whole show told me he wanted to be there, and there’s nothing else he’d rather do with his time. That was deep to me. At that age, I had only begun to understand passion and how it fuels you. Ye was operating off of passion and love, and I wanted that. The technology at the show was also out of this world, and directly affected what I wanted to do with my life.
So needless to say, seeing Kanye’ perform is kind of a different thing for me. I saw him at Watch The Throne but that’s a different type of experience from a Kanye’ solo show. I had to take part in this.
I get to Nassau Coliseum , we get the tickets (just happened to be GA floor, YES!), we linger a little bit, then we go in. First off, to get to the floor in NC, you have to go down like 6 -7 ramps, deep into the basement of the building. It’s basically like a bomb shelter, with tight ass hallways. We get down there, give in our tickets and walk in. (sidenote: My ticket number was “143” aka shorthand for “I Love You”. I wanted to keep it but they wouldn’t let me. I’m just into symbolism, from little things like that to the more grandiose.)
The show starts about 40 minutes later and I’m pretty into it from the get go. I’m really not the wild out at a show type unless its just that kinda night. I like to digest what I’m seeing, rap/sing along, and just enjoy the show. New Slaves/Clique/Black Skinhead….I’m engaged. Then something happened.
When it come’s to Kanye songs, Coldest Winter (and Streetlights) are somewhere in my top 10. These two songs are just honest, poignant, the kind of things anyone who’s ever had to deal with loss or feelings of inadequacy can relate to. He walks out to the edge of the mountain built onto the stage. It raises into the air, and he lays flat on his back and goes into Coldest Winter.
Right before he starts singing it, he tells us it’s about his mother (which I’ve heard before and always wondered if it was true). My heart sank a little, because I could never imagine losing my mother and feel for everyone who has had to deal with that. I only have one living grandparent, so, it’s affected those amongst me.
During this whole performance I’m staring up there, thinking how lucky we are to have someone willing to make music like this. We’ve had Kanye for too long; it’s to the point where we write off what he does. If we’re gonna be honest, from the gate, he was a talented guy making honest music. He was so self confident that we couldn’t tell if it was arrogance or someone willing themselves to the top (which he did). He has Grammy’s, sales, notoriety, fame, but I don’t totally really think that’s enough. His…”talent” for falling in and out of public favor has somewhat affected how people view him. He’s said shit I found corny (ie his reactions to Kris Humphries/ lyrics about Amber Rose post break up), but I’ve kinda got over it all. Sometimes he loses himself in interviews, but I’ve never felt that he meant any harm. He’s been coming off to me as someone trying to find themselves, and last night made me feel like he’s progressing.Once he took his mask off, he was….happy. Last hour of the show was pure glee; you could feel how positive the energy was from every in the house that night. He was at ease; anyone who has lost that knows how vital it is to have.
With all of that said, Kanye always makes me feel motivated when I see him perform. Kanye gives his all, every time. A lot of things have happened to me fairly recently that make me feel like I should try harder …with everything. I’ve become somewhat concerned about not using what I have to the best of my abilities. I don’t really feel like I lacked talent (you can be modest if you want), but I do know I lack drive and motivation, sometimes. My life did not improve until I continuously pushed myself to the edge, and I think that’s the “secret”. I’m uncomfortable; shit is weird….but that’s fine. I’m becoming better and I see and feel it. If you don’t squeeze every drop out of what you have, can you really complain about your results?
Life isn’t something you just stumble through. YOU control your reality. Just try to grow daily and keep stretching as far as you can. I get that in order to reach a point that you can only imagine, you have to prepare yourself for that and be disciplined. Kanye always worked, no matter what went on around him. He saw who he wanted to become, and he believed it enough for all of us. Is that not what success is?