Kanye West has become quite the controversial character in hip hop ever since his debut in 2004. Taylor Swift’s career depended on him, he’s called out President Bush for not caring about black people and undoubtedly played a part in getting Monster-in-Chief elected as our 45th president. Hence, I think it’s appropriate we celebrate Graduation (2007) turning 10 years old with a song that is essentially about remembering where you come from and who was there with you: “Homecoming” ft. Chris Martin of Coldplay. It can be found on all available streaming platforms.
Most of us can relate to being proud of the cities that bred us. We find comfort in the nostalgia of our childhoods in our hometowns; the scars, the lessons, the innocence of memory. In “Homecoming,” Kanye raps about a woman named “Wendy” (as in, the Windy City aka Chicago) and all of the things she taught him growing up. Chris Martin sings repeatedly “Do you think about me now and then?” Yeezy confesses that he left Wendy to pursue his dreams and wonders if she’s forgiven him, only to find that he’s not the first one to leave. However, she is who made him the man he is today and for that he is grateful. Genius, this man is:
Every interview, I’m representing you, making you proud/ Reach for the stars, so if you fall you land on a cloud.
Any disapproval you have of Kanye is valid, but I’m gonna take a risk and play devil’s advocate for a moment. He’s a musical genius. A creative force that cannot be matched. His views are iffy, but his artistic influence and the way it has forever shifted hip hop cannot be denied. And don’t get me started on how many breaks he’s given people from Big Sean to Teyana Taylor. So, thank you Kanye, for reminding us that there is no one form of hip hop and that it, too, can be a wonderfully-crafted masterpiece.