Kanye West is Crazy.

Kanye West is crazy.

 So there I was, sitting in a room in LA, listening to all
the major and indie record companies pitch their new artist projects for the
current year.  Heads of companies came out,
played parts of songs and introduced sizzle reel after sizzle real in hopes
that the room would fall in love with a project and look for me, and others
like me. to support that artist on the radio. 
Lives are often changed in meetings like this and fans are created.  An artist can go from Starbucks Barista to
chart topping pop star in just one catchy song hook.  It’s an amazing event and it’s a blessing to
be able to experience it.

 Then it happens. Kanye West walks in wearing skinny
jeans, boots, a heavy winter jacket and carrying a laptop.  Yes, that Kanye West.  The “George Bush hates black people” Kanye West.  In case you were wondering, yes Kanye West is
crazy.  There was a rumor he was given 10
minutes to talk.  Kanye West went for
almost an hour and what an amazing hour it was. 

 Kanye is rich, famous, controversial and pretty much a
household name.  Even old people know who
he is!  Maybe from his music?  Maybe from his polarizing statements on
politics and pop culture?  Or like my
father who knows him as the guy married to the girl with the big ass that did
that porno movie.  Kanye West, care for
him or not, is an interesting person and if Kanye is going to speak for an
hour, I’m going to listen to every crazy thing he has to say!  

He began by setting down the microphone he was
handed.  He wanted to address the room in
a very informal manner and felt that talking into a microphone, something he
does for a living and people pay tons of money to see him do, wasn’t the proper
way to address the audience.  Again,
Kanye West is crazy.  He started with his
background and how he become who he is today. 
As he explained, he weaved in and out of different stories, jumping
timelines while sometimes staying on point and often taking a trip to left
field in an effort to share something random, but to him, very
interesting.  If anyone else delivered
this message, you would look for security to grab them or at least a huge Gong
Show hook to pull them backstage, but you have to remember this is Kanye West
and before he opened his mouth or entered the room, you knew he was crazy.  Have a seat security and grab some popcorn.

Kanye is also a genius and as we all know, most geniuses
are also crazy.  The two basically go
hand in hand and we all pretty much accept it. 
When you create for a living, it’s understandable.  The point he was making and the basis of his
speech was that he wanted us to understand that he is an innovator.  He has a responsibility to his fans and to
his industry to innovate and lead change. 
To start a movement.  With one
song, Kanye West feels he can alter the musical landscape and force producers
and artists to change their sound to match his. 
Like every professional athlete that thinks they can make a game
changing play, Kanye West believes he can change the entire sound of today’s
music.  Why shouldn’t he feel that way?

At about the halfway point Kanye compared himself to
Steve Jobs.  That he and Steve are
innovators and responsible for shouldering the weight of the industry.  We all know you don’t give yourself a
nickname and you should wait for someone else to compare you to someone before
you attempt to make that comparison yourself. It’s like me calling myself a “young
Brad Pitt”. We look nothing alike, but why the hell not?  Well, Kanye can say whatever he wants and
even though it’s an odd comparison, at the end of the day, Kanye is right.  Does saying that make me crazy or did he
rightfully convert me into a believer? 
Regardless of his approach, Kanye believes in Kanye and you need that in
order to be successful.  In order to get
fans and followers, you have to start with being a fan of yourself.  With taking ownership of leading a cause or
banging the drum of change, there is a healthy bit of ego and self-love
involved.  Kanye certainly has that.  Because Kanye is a crazy genius.

 I never said crazy was bad.  I just said that Kanye West is crazy.  In order to be truly invested in an idea, art
or movement, you need to be at least a little crazy.  You need to be committed.  You need to believe and not be pulled away
from that conviction.  Crazy people are
the most followed and believed in people. 
Most leaders have some level of crazy. 
Cult leaders are crazy, but masses follow them. Presidential candidates
may not be crazy, but they are so committed to their platform (and they need to
be in order to be taken seriously) that it comes across as crazy to anyone that
doesn’t agree with their stance. 
Musicians are crazy and they have tons of fans.  In order for me or anyone to be taken
seriously, we need to risk being considered crazy.

 When it comes to the #Tryharder movement and how it was
conceived, people thought I was crazy or at least a little obsessed, with
pictures of failed parking attempts. 
Starting anything with the intention of it becoming a movement or
suggestion starts with a bunch of conviction and hope that others feel the same
as you do about something.  The needs
that fuel the planting of seeds of consideration are passion and belief. There
is a hope that others share my same ideas and feelings.  There is also a hope that they don’t discount
me because they don’t feel the same way or if they are totally apathetic to the
whole idea. You can’t and won’t get belief or buy-in from others if you don’t
believe it yourself.

I believe that there is a need for better parking
attempts, but as you’ve read, my belief and message is deeper than backing up
and trying it again.  #Tryharder is a
cause and it is important I treat it as such. 
The message is clear and encouraging. Yes, I believe that I can change
the world, one bad parking job at a time.

Kanye is crazy, amazing and convicted. He believes that
he is responsible for the sound today’s music. 
Right or wrong, he feels that he carries that responsibility and
sometimes burden on his shoulders.  So if
you are unsuccessful in getting others to follow and believe you, you might
have to get crazier. You are going to have to show your potential audience,
followers and future fans just how committed you are to your cause. Nothing is
truly accomplished in life by being wishy-washy in your convictions. Nobody
follows anyone that “kind of wants to do some stuff”. People want to
be moved. They want to be motivated. 
They want to be inspired. They want some crazy validation. If they are
going to be crazy enough to follow the cause then they at least need someone to
show them the appropriate level of crazy it’s going to take. Again, crazy isn’t
a bad thing. It just means you want it more than others.

Go be crazy.


Radio Imagineer and host. Texan, Blogger, Author, Father of 2 awesome kids, husband to Christal and driver of a 1965 Chevy truck. Author of Pull The Trigger and #Tryharder.

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