• Footnotes For Kanye

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    "Footnotes for Kanye"

    You look hungry,
    like that girl don't make you no fried chicken
    or macaroni & cheese

    like she don't feel you on the inside,
    like you haven't had a home-cooked-meal
    since your momma died.

    You look like
    you lost the Psalm in your own song--
    like you want to talk to God
    but you're afraid
    because ya'll ain't spoke in so long .*

    Do you tell you daughter about me, *
    how we were bittersweet, *
    "to never mess with entertainers because they always leave?
    He'll get on and he'll leave your ass for a white girl" *
    and he'll give her your style, your language, your waist
    damn near try to give her your face,

    and somewhere in his Post Traumatic Twisted Fantasy *
    he'll make it all okay
    but what's the worth in loving a man
    whose lost his smile anyway?

    When Kim fucks up the lyrics to the College Dropout *
    like them white folks used to fuck up your name, *
    do you pretend not to notice?

    Do you regret the Marilyn Monroe in your decision,
    and wish you could've taken Billie Holiday as your bride?
    Do you ever want to run back to your wedding day
    and have it all over on the South-side?

    Do you wake up in the middle of the night and think
    that she wasn't the right girl
    like you should've found
    one of them "i like art type girls." *

    Can you hear all the black kids calling your name
    wondering why the boy who rapped
    about his momma getting arrested for the sit-ins
    didn't sit-in---
    why he traded in his Nat Turner for Ralph Lauren.

    Do you know how many kids
    at the protest had your sneakers on?--
    None of them.

    Do you know how many of your songs
    were played at the protest?
    All of them.

    Could your hear all of the lights,
    the flashing lights,
    the new slaves,
    the runaways--

    on their road to redemption
    waiting for Malcolm West
    to have the whole world at attention.

    Nigga they got you quiet!
    Like how come only at awards shows-- he riots.

    Maybe Yeezus was all talk.
    Jesus never needed Adidas to walk.
    Why is he outlining sneakers
    when the South-side is outlined in chalk?

    Can someone go and find the man
    who could make a diamond with his own b(e)ar(e) hands, *
    we are looking for you.

    Because these kids still want to be-- just like you *
    they want to rap and make soul beats-- just like you *
    even though you just not you.

    Even though you traded in your spaceship *
    to buy back your 40 acres in a mull,
    purchased the plantation and master's daughters too.

    Nigga why you got these white folks claiming you
    like they built you,
    like they made you,
    like they polished you,
    like the readied them a good nigga for the picking,
    like they got you for sale,--

    oh how they love Kanye
    lets put him all in front of the store *
    like you their black boy,
    you forgot you black boy? *

    They got you lost in this world? *
    You getting black-mailed for that white girl? *

    You don't see how your lies is effecting me,
    you don't see how our lives were supposed to be? *

    And I never let a nigga get the close to me,
    and you ain't cracked up to what you were supposed to be.*

    I guess its bitter sweet poetry. *

    Written by Jasmine Mans // jasminemans.com

    Director Editor: Jolade Olusanya // jolade.com

    Artwork by Folasade Adeoso // lovefola.com

    @kingjasminemans / @roninsteps_ / @lovefola

    Jasmine Mans is not simply a poet. Jasmine Mans is a pressure point, a discomforting pressure point necessary for hip-hop, Black Arts, and our generation of young scholars.

    Today we release Mans' poem "FootNotes for Kanye". This isn't just one poet's interpretation of Kanye West, this isn't just one opinionated babble, it's... Show less
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