If there’s one thing that unifies most of the “great” philosophers of history, it’s that most of them couldn’t rap for shit. Socrates, Kierkegaard, Kant; they all had weak flow, and next-to-no grasp of production or meter. (Or, to put it another way, there was nothing sick about The Sickness Unto Death.)
Luckily, Kanye West exists (a sentence we find ourselves saying each day, more often than not) to finally give a modern genius’ take on the big, deep conundrums of the day. West recently revealed—as part of a recent interview he did of designer Axel Vervoordt for The Hollywood Reporter—that he’s started writing a philosophy book of his own, titled Break The Simulation. An excerpt from his thoughts:
And I’ve got this philosophy—or let’s say it’s just a concept because sometimes philosophy sounds too heavy-handed. I’ve got a concept about photographs, and I’m on the fence about photographs—about human beings being obsessed with photographs—because it takes you out of the now and transports you into the past or transports you into the future. It can be used to document, but a lot of times it overtakes [people]. People dwell too much in the memories.
And, as one of the most aggressively photographed human beings on the planet, we have to assume West would have the inside track on these sorts of ideas. Meanwhile—and outside a strictly philosophical framework—West also had some poetic thoughts on his continuing aspirations as a fashion designer, noting that it’s no longer enough for him to simply sell the most stuff at this point. “I don’t wish to be number one anymore, I wish to be water,” he told Vervoordt. “I wish to be closer to UNICEF or something where I can take the information that I have and help as many people as possible, not to just shove it into a brand.”
We’re not entirely sure what that last bit means, unless it’s West’s way of saying he wants to move on from making cool shoes and good music and into the realm of being an actual, life-sustaining necessity. But, hell, it’s not like we understand most of the other philosophical texts we’ve ever read, either, and none of those guys ever wrote “Jesus Walks.” Bring it on, Yeezy: Fill up our brains with your life-giving thoughts.