SHIAVON’S JAWN: No, I haven’t listened to the new Kanye

You shouldn’t separate the art from the artist


Robbie Pierce

Photo illustration

A jawn. Pronounced jôn. Noun. A person, place, thing, or event that doesn’t need a specific name. An indescribable, but memorable entity.

I’m Shiavon and this is Shiavon’s Jawn. (If these two words don’t rhyme, then you’re saying my name wrong.)

Kanye West is a sellout to his people and to hip-hop. The fall of Kanye is the greatest disappointment this decade. And it breaks my heart. 

The first CD I ever bought was “College Dropout.” 

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I was on Long Island with my dad, driving all day to find a copy. And there it was. On Park Boulevard. Bear mascot and all. 

It took Kanye four years to record the album and I was ready to analyze and study every bar and note. At 9 years old, I knew more about hip-hop than grown men dancing in Dipset music videos

I listened to “Spaceship” an ungodly amount of times. The memory of watching all 5 feet and 2 inches of my Nana gig to “Jesus Walks” is still fresh in my mind. 

RELATED: SHIAVON’S JAWN: I was raised by a village that didn’t talk about feelings

New York gave Kanye mad, well-deserved respect for that album. He preached about self-consciousness, religion, racism and our heavy reliance on materialistic items we can’t afford to impress people we don’t even like. 

Kanye was for the children. Kanye was for the culture. Kanye was for Black folks. Kanye was for everyone. 

He spoke to my soul. Biggie would’ve loved to hear his sound develop.

The man who made “We Don’t Care” is now a denim-on-denim wearing Republican who supports a certain vagina-grabbing politician. He’s no longer concerned with buying back his 40 acres

He’s too busy policing what his wife wears and holding cultish choir practices in the middle of Calabasas to worry about the kids being murdered in his old backyard of South Side Chicago.

The man who said on live television that “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” is the same man who said on television that slavery was a choice. 

To be fair, I don’t hate him. I just don’t care anymore. My disinterest in Kanye isn’t just from his poor fashion taste and his inability to form a coherent thought. He’s remained consistently inconsistent for over 10 years.

His 2008 album “808s and Heartbreak” was boring and fell flat. I still bought it though. 

“My Beautiful, Dark Twisted Fantasy” in 2010 was an exception to the mediocre albums he’s produced since 2007. The “Blame Game,” was a masterpiece. 

Damn, can Amber Rose inspire a classic or what? 

But Kanye capitalizing on Black people being so forgiving is a white man’s move if I ever saw one. He’s learned a lot from his wife.

He turned his back on the people who bought his music and defended him. He started talking like that white kid in the back of your history class who wants to “just play devil’s advocate” during the Jim Crow chapters. 

He knows how important gospel music is to Black people. We find solace in our religion, which is ironic considering Black Americans are only Christians because of slavery and colonization. And the reliance on God is one of Black people’s greatest undoings. 

He came out with a gospel album because he knows there are Black people who feel like they’re turning their backs on their God if they turn their backs on him. 

My God and I don’t have that issue. 

Kanye came to Sacramento a couple years ago and gave the worst and shortest concert I’ve ever been to. He spewed out garbage like “Make America Great Again” and his annoyance with Beyoncé (how dare he?) and her husband, Jay-Z. He was booed, he left and never came back. This was all in the span of 20 minutes. 

I felt cheated. I knew I couldn’t defend him anymore — something I was already embarrassed for doing for this long. My love for Kanye was my longest one-sided relationship and I could no longer half-ass it. 

No, I haven’t listened to the new Kanye album. I’m a retired fan who’s still listening to “Graduation.” That good devil music. 

This is my weekly column where I’ll keep you updated on my straight-to-DVD life, my hip-hop snob opinions, being uncomfortable in this political climate and being a Black woman in predominantly white spaces.