Let’s face it, the city of Chicago is going through some tough times when it comes to gun violence. Many residents believe Mayor Rahm Emanuel could be doing a lot more fore the city than he actrually is. This is proven by the fact his approval rating has dropped to a dismal 29. When it comes time to elect a new mayor in the Windy City, one resident is endorsing Chicago’s most popular native son Kanye West.
That’s right! A 29-year-old man named Ben Shepard has started a website endorsing the “Yeezus” artist as the next Moyor of Chicago. Our friends at The Smoking Section put us on to the new movement. They scored an exclusive interview with Sghepard. Check out an excerpt:
TSS: So you believe Kanye West would win if he ran for Chicago mayor?
Shepard: Kanye West would certainly win.
TSS: Well let me offer up this: when I think about Kanye and his politics, within the context of his lyrics and what he does, they seem to be more abstractions than they are at directly highlighting specific issues.
Shepard: Hmm. Well I think there are two things about his politics that play into his overall persona: one is the persistent anti-racism aspect. It’s interesting because since official racist language went out of being okay over the last 20 years, you have a weird situation where racism takes the form of social conditions and where people are at within society. I think “New Slaves” is probably where it’s most intense where he’s just directing very intense rage at the condition and a country we think of as a democracy, but is locking up two million people in prison and systematically treats aspects of its population as a disposable service class.
I think he’s abstract in the sense that he’s now an extremely wealthy artist who’s now a member of the elite. So he’s not an actual victim and he embraces it. There’s also a sense of him trying to express what the situation he and his family encountered. There are the lyrics about the murder rate in Chicago, and especially a specific murder that happened on Ashland ["Everything I Am"]. So there is a local thing to the politics that’s there that cuts against the abstraction.
And then the other thing would be the interest he has in design. He’s giving speeches to Harvard’s graduate school, he’s obsessed with the fashion industry, design, art and contemporary art, and that’s inspiring because one of the worst parts of the way Chicago’s being built now is all the design decisions are being made by conservative, suburban dads. So it’s just turning the city into a very large shopping mall, basically, and it’s very ugly.
You can read the full interview over at The Smoking Section.
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