Kanye had conquered every single thing in this world – girls and sex, drugs and alcohol, fame and wealth. He took pursuing his passions to his heart, making a life out of rap. These passions are the exact things that society tells us will bring us endless joy and satisfy us.
Kanye married Kim Kardashian, the archetype sexual symbol in this modern day and age. He had conquered the Freudian mountain of the id. He topped the Billboard charts and won Grammys. Of all people, he had the greatest resumé to back his ego. He took a moral upper ground with the entire MAGA thing, and succeeded with Trump’s election win. He attained the superego. To Sigmund Freud, Kanye had all the pleasures of mankind. He stood on the peaks of the world. He had everything that was valued in the eyes of others, yet in his own, he had nothing.
Kanye is a perfect public figure for psychological observations. Most other people hide their internal struggles and changes under multiple layers of pride. But Kanye wears the emperor’s clothing into the limelight, baring it all and letting the light shine through to his core. His personality of extraness does little to hide these traits. We see the core shifts in his life beyond actions on the public stage in the lyrics of Kanye’s music.
In Hell of a Life Kanye writes “Make her knees shake, make a priest faint/ Make a nun come, make her cremate.” His disregard for sanctity and purity, shifts to a recognition that women are more than objects in Violent Crimes – ‘”Til niggas have daughters, now they precautious… ‘Cause now I see women as somethin’ to nurture.” He faces his past wrongs and realizes the saving grace of the Lord in Use This Gospel – “A lot of damaged souls, I done damaged those… Use this gospel for protection. It’s a hard road to Heaven.”
Kanye’s shifts reveal that the human heart is not stagnant. Hope is never lost, and can be re-discovered. Change doesn’t depend on age and life stage. Even for those that are not spiritually inclined, Kanye’s life offers a glimpse of the rewards of spiritual revival. For those that are, his new album offers a confounding moment of introspection.
My own introspection revealed that I haven’t surrendered fully to the Lord because I still hold onto the things of the world. I think that if I can have both what the world values and what the Lord values, I have more than if I just seek the treasures in the Lord. My heart still seeks out the treasures of the world – approval from others, satisfaction from girls, and success in a career. I pray to God that if He could, He would allow me to find the things that matter without suffering the loss of everything in the world. But if I’m praying this prayer, then I know that my heart is in the wrong place holding onto the worldly things.
The things of the world drown out the treasures that matter the most – the treasures in heaven.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:19-21