Kanye West has been in the news quite a bit lately. Someone of his caliber of fame is rarely out of the news, sure. But West has been the topic of many a conversation recently, after some bizarre and controversial statements and behavior. West made headlines when he called slavery a choice, was photographed wearing a MAGA hat (in an apparent show of solidarity with President Donald Trump), and most recently came under fire for using a photograph of the late Whitney Houston's bathroom as album art for Pusha T. People speculated that West was attempting to get his name back on the front pages because he had an album coming, and sure enough, his new album "Ye" is scheduled for release on June 7. However, it looks like some of the lyrics on West's 8th studio album would have gotten him the news, anyway.
Kanye West held a late night listening party in Wyoming last Thursday, and not long after, discussions about some of the lyrics on the album started popping up on social media and media websites.
The album contains references to a lot of what's happening in the news lately. West talks about slavery, mental illness, North Korea, and even name drops Stormy Daniels. But one song in particular is raising some eyebrows, and not in a good way.
"Violent Crimes" is the seventh and final song on the album, and features Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla $ign, and DeJ Loaf. In the song, West talks about his children with Kim Kardashian West. Specifically, he raps about his daughters, North and Chicago. While he doesn't mention them by name, the song is clearly talking about his female children, and makes it apparent that West is pretty focused on that distinction.
The first verse that Kanye West raps on in the song touches on how men treat women and what they think about them, himself included. West raps, "N*ggas is savage, n*ggas is monsters / N*ggas is pimps, n*ggas is players / 'Til n*ggas have daughters, now they precautious / Father forgive me, I'm scared of the karma / 'Cause now I see women as somethin' to nurture / Not somethin' to conquer."
This lyric touches on a common perception, that women and girls are only considered people of value when men themselves have daughters. We saw this mentioned time and time again during the #MeToo movement; "As a father of daughters..." opened up many a speech or statement when a powerful man was accused in the media.
Kanye just before making "Violent Crimes": pic.twitter.com/fW060vijQC— Andrew Gruttadaro (@andrewgrutt) June 1, 2018
Now, it's hard to say if Kanye West's feelings about ALL women have changed, or just those he's fathered. But other songs on the album, he raps about women in a demeaning or derogatory way. On the track "All Mine", he apparently references the Khloe Kardashian/Tristan Thompson cheating scandal, saying "All these thots on Christian Mingle / Almost what got Tristan single / If you don't ball like him or Kobe / Guarantee that b*tch gonna leave you". In the song "Yikes", he says he feel bad for Russell Simmons for getting "#MeToo'd", after the producer faced rape accusations.
Kanye West has always stirred the pot, and this album is no different. But some of the lyrics in "Violent Crimes" might take it a bit too far. In addition to the "women are people now that I have daughters" trope, West says he hopes his daughters dress more like him than their mom (who he has admitted to styling), hopes they don't ever start doing yoga, and would commit crimes against any man who came to take them out on a date. It's over-protective dad gone way too far, and turned into entertainment for his fans.