RESPECT. The Archive: College Dropout Era Kanye Gets Contextualized
With all of the Kanye talk out there in response to Yeezus, it’s easy to lose track of history, especially as it relates to Kanye’s ego. Both fans and critics alike have claimed that Kanye has radically changed since the days of popped collars, teddy bears and backpacks. Those claims certainly have some merit, especially musically and stylistically, but in regard to Kanye’s ego, things have been relatively stable. Back in 2010, we interviewed photographer Matt Salacuse (RESPECT. Vol. 1 Issue 4) and referring to this photograph, he told us of his experience shooting Kanye back in 2004 during the promotion for College Dropout:
“This was for promotion of his first album, and even then he was egotistical. I shot this in seven frames, and this was the first frame. After I took it he was like, ‘What are you doing? I wasn’t ready!’ And unfortunately, during the other six frames, he wasn’t doing anything. They were just bland. And the record company used this one.”
And there you have it. Kanye’s undergone a lot of change in 10 years, but his huge ego has been there since the beginning. Hell, on “Last Call,” Kanye brings it up himself: “They say you bougie, you big-headed/ Would you please stop talking’ bout how big my dickhead is.”
If you’re still not convinced, read the late Donda West’s book, Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar. She dedicates an entire chapter to Kanye’s ego! So the next time someone laments (or praises) Kanye’s allegedly growing ego, tell them, “Shut the fuck up when you talk to me before Matt Salacuse embarrass you.”
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