When Kanye started bugging out I was mortified. He not only soundtracked my life but was someone who inspired me and spoke to my core values. I even got a chance to meet him once. But his recent antics destroyed that for me, made me reconsider a lot of things.
I couldn't separate the art from the man because much of what he inspired in me didn't come from his music it came from his spirit.
Realizing that Kanye no longer aligned with my personal ideologies also made me understand that I was quite too old to herald a new idol. I began to wonder if idolization is necessary at all. Kanye’s progression wasn't an aspiration of mine, it was his spirit that I admired and wanted to emulate within myself. But what was I to do after seeing his spirit become riddled with hypocrisy? The very thing I should’ve done in the first place, empower my damn self.
I realized that there were three people more deserving of my admiration than any ’genius’ level artist or celebrity could ever be.
Those three people were the old me, the present me and my future self. Each has the power to inspire, teach and guide me toward a better me. Each knows me on a personal level. Each of them is invested in my goals. Each cares for my family. We understand where we come from, who we want to be, who we are. I no longer needed some outside source of power, I decided to be self-sustaining.
My former self has eternal lessons learned through experience. Endless tales of failure and triumph. Wise words from old acquaintances and elders appearing as apparitions leading me toward righteousness. My present self is waging a war against time management and self-loathing. He’s harnessing the love and support his family gives him and using it as a weapon against the odds. My future self has the notoriety, he’s well traveled, has ample savings, trusts for his children, multiple properties, a few books published and projects in development that I'm not even dreaming of yet. He looks down upon me from his seat of cultural relevance and tells me to keep pushing forward.
So yeah, Kanye can live his life, have his politics and become someone I no longer recognize. It doesn’t matter. The reality is, he (despite meeting me once) doesn't even know I exist. How can we allow people that are unaware of our existence affect our lives so much?
Why do we worship these celebrities? Fuck that.
If your three selves aren't strong enough to empower your spirit yet. If you find it hard to look inside yourself to ignite your spirit. I'm sure there's someone around you that you can touch and actually talk to that can give you the inspiration you're looking for. And if those people aren't currently in your life, look for them. An old professor, an aunt or uncle, your parents, a co-worker, your boss, a local politician or even a peer who’s having major success. These are the best candidates for mentors. People who you personally know you, understand where you're coming from and quite possibly have success in your field. These are the people who have the blueprint you may need to follow.
Your favorite celebrity can continue to entertain you, but they’ll never know you, and they'll never be invested in your success.
-Earl 'Wolf' Davis