Kanye West - Photo via Complex
Dear Mr. West,
You probably won’t remember me, but I remember the day I met you as if it were yesterday. It was 2004, I was 10 years old. We met in my grandmother’s 2 bedroom apartment in Atlantic City. You probably won’t remember our conversation but I remember listening to every word you spoke and being inspired with every sentence. That conversation lasted almost an hour and a half but that’s all it took to change my life for the better.
You taught me that the drug dealers weren’t the bad guys. Drug dealers just try to get by because the system isn’t designed for the black man to win. You taught me not to care what people said about me because my future was my own. You taught me it’s okay to be a self-conscious individual and that it’s okay to splurge for self-satisfaction. Shit, just last week I spent $400 on an Apple Watch, just to show nigga’s they weren’t up on it. You taught me God never forgets about his children, no matter how long it’s been.
At that point I thought I knew it all but then Hov stepped into the room and I was starstruck. Y’all schooled me on how we need to focus more on actually winning, rather than looking like we’re winning. Y’all SHOWED me racism was still alive, they’ve just been concealing it. Y’all never let me down when it came to that. Then we had discussions on family and for the first time, I felt like somebody knew what I was going through. You taught me keep the family close, that no family is ever perfect, and if my brother said he didn’t do it... then he didn’t do it. You taught me minor setbacks only set you up for major comebacks and I understood every gem you dropped through that wired jaw.
Kanye you taught me how to be a man at such a young age. You made me feel like I had someone to relate to personally. Over the next three years, I knew I could count on you to know the right thing to say in my time of need. I knew I could rely on you to help lessen the load. You made me proud to call you a friend.
Kanye West - Photo Via Blickers
In 2005, you were there when my great-grandmother passed, and once again, you showed just how much we had in common. By the way, I never got a chance to thank you for those roses you sent us, they were greatly appreciated. I don’t think I could ever repay you for what you did for me in those troubling years. You taught me how to reach for the sky and that message uplifted me. You reminded me to keep moving forward and I took heed to it. You taught me that even though they’ll try to bring me down, I have to keep pushing past them. I remember these words vividly as well, “There’ll always be haters, that’s the way it is, hater niggas marry hater bitches & have hater kids”. That quote alone got me through a lot.
Long story short, you’ve always been there. You’ve walked me through depression by teaching me that failure is more of a lesson than a mistake. Kanye you’ve done more things for me emotionally and mentally than my own father. But this letter is more than a walk down memory lane, I want to know how’ve you been. I see photographs of you online and you don’t look happy. I see you being awarded for the accomplishments you’ve made and you don’t look proud. I hear the music you’ve been making lately, I haven’t missed a song, and you don’t sound at peace. Kanye, with all due respect… What happened? Why are you so angry now? Where has your smile gone? What is it that’s changed? Your music used to make me feel warm. But now I don’t know what to feel anymore. It makes me sad literally watching my idol fall to his death mentally. I’ve been praying for you. Hoping for a paradigm shift in your life. I pray you find the happiness your soul so desperately needs. I want to see you blossom from this dark place that you’re in and become a beacon of hope once again.
You’re a genius, there is no doubt. You’ve earned that. But I’d sacrifice never hearing another Kanye record ever again if it meant I could read a tabloid about you and see a picture of that genuine smile. Kanye, you’re the voice of an entire generation but you’re also human. I hope this letter reaches you… for everything you’ve done for me, for all the times you’ve been there in my time of need, I just want to say, Thank You. Thank you for being a role model, thank you for being a hero, but more importantly, thank you for being a friend.
Be well Kanye, I wish you the best,
DeShawn Carson / @KNGCRSN