When some people hear the name Kanye West, they think of descriptive phrases like musical genius or superstar. Others think of him as a self-entitled twit and a delusional bully.
I fall into the latter category.
When I look at the music I’ve listened to and liked over the years, I can’t find a single song of his that I actually listened to, let alone put into one of my playlists. Yet supposedly he’s the greatest icon of the music world, in his all-too-public opinion.
News recently broke that the hip-hop icon is $53 million in debt. Most of us can’t even imagine seeing $53 million in our lifetime, but this guy went and spent the money he didn’t have. While it’s hard not to have sympathy for anyone who is down on his luck, the fact that he went into this much debt makes one realize that turning a golden goose into a golden gopher on a steroid craze really takes a special talent.
Stupidity, too. Lots and lots of stupidity.
Now, most of us would try to come up with a plan—either on our own or with the help of others—to pay our debt and get solvent again. Kanye’s solution: Use the media to beg Mark Zuckerberg for a $1 billion loan.
Thankfully, the founder of Facebook has proven he didn’t get to where he is by being a fool and has not given the hip-hop star his funding request. That hasn’t stopped some of his dedicated fans from starting crowdfunding campaigns to save the “destitute” Kanye from having to end up on the streets.
Here’s part of a description for one campaign on GoFundMe:
“Recently, Kanye let us in on his personal struggle. He is 53 million dollars in debt and it doesn’t look like he’s going to get Mark Zuckerberg’s help that he desperately needs. We must open our hearts and wallets for Kanye today. Sure he is personally rich and can buy furs and houses for his family, but without our help, the true genius of Kanye West can’t be realized.”
Using the “poor little rich boy” line. Oh, yeah. Let me get my checkbook right now.
I think of all the people living in poverty, and it infuriates me that this spoiled man believes he should get philanthropy at a time when millions are struggling to figure out where their next meal is going to come from. It really caused my eyes to roll when I read a Business Insider story that points out Kanye West’s earning potential allows him to pay off that debt in a year or so, on his own without the help of Facebook’s CEO or the legion of fans who would sooner fork over their cash to him than their community soup kitchen.
“For Kanye, $53 million in debt is basically equivalent to the median American household, which earns $53,000 a year, carrying $127,000 in debt — or, you know, a mortgage,” according to Jordan Weissman of Slate. When you consider the man has a net worth of $145 million, according to Wikipedia and Celebrity Net Worth, his attempt to clothe himself in poor man’s rags is enough to make anyone gag. If this is the kind of one-note strategy he applies to his music, I fail to see how he made his fortune.
If people are going to give money, they should give it something worthwhile, something where there is a need. Giving it to someone who is just trying to keep up with Kardashians is like taking a winning lottery ticket and setting it on fire. Kanye West dug himself into the hole; don’t give him an escalator to get out.