Dollars Make Sense.

Yo They Love Giving Black Mens They Due Way Late Tho.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on September 3, 2015


When news broke that MTV was to award Kanye West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the Video Music Awards this year something didn’t feel quite right. It wasn’t until Sunday night’s ceremony when Big Sean won a Moonman for his “One Man Can Change The Wold” that I was able to put a finger on it. With Kanye and John Legend standing behind him, Mr. Supa Dupa gave thanks and noted that it was his and John Legend’s first win at the award show but it was probably like Kanye’s 30th.

But wait.. was it tho?

Kanye West has been an institution propelling creative, cultural innovation for the past decade. While pushing boundaries musically, his lifelong pledge to artistic perfection demands his visuals rival the dopiness of his sonic output. His music videos serve testament. From “Jesus Walks” to “Stonger” to “Runaway” it feels as if Big Sean is right, right? 30 is hyperbole sure, but still at least double digits, yah?


After quickly scanning Wikipedia days of carefully mulling over footage, fact-checking records, and cross-examining data I’ve discovered that while Kanye has reinvade 35 VMA nomination, he’s only won four times inducing his win with Sean and his Vanguard. So before last Sunday before being presented with the honor, if my trigonometry is correct, Yeezy had only won 2 of 33 awards he was up for since 2004 or 6%. In this respect Vanguard honor is like being given an honorary Phd after flunking Biology 101 for eleven years straight.

Don’t get it twisted. Kanye very much deserves the Vanguard. Institution, propelling creative, cultural, innovation, remember? What I’m saying is that something mighty suspect is afoot. How are to going to systemically curb the man’s shine for years and then turn around on a dime and be like “you know what homie, you aight” without inadvernlinglt admitting yawl fucked up all those years in the first place?

This incident actually marked my second time within a week of being taken aback by a black artist being given his props way after the fact when it was announced Spike Lee will receive and honarary Oscar for lifetime achievement over two decades after his masterpiece “Do The Right Thing” received negative love from the Academy.

While stories have popped up recently about the VMAs non-support of black artists in particular, I can’t help but to cringe at what I’ve noticed to be lowkey insidious, visceral reactions to displays of unapologetic blackness in the media. As a fan in general and as a young black man in specific, it’s seeing hard such beautiful displays of art I engage with and am impacted by deeply not receive the recognition they deserves because their authors’s views touch nerves. Is that not wha the best art is supposed to do? These achievement awards only serve as vindication of the feelings I’ve been harboring for a minute. While I’m glad that Lee and West are finally getting their much deserved shine I believe it says a lot about our cultural that we still have to wait so long to do so.

The honorarys are great but the actuals would be better.


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