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FADER 20: Pop Life with Kanye West and The Stills Party

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One college professor wants to do a complex analysis of Kanye West’s life. The professor is Dr. Jeffrey McCune and he teaches at St. Louis’ Washington University. He will be teaching a lecture called “Name One Genius That Ain’t Crazy: Kanye West and the Politics of Self-Diagnosis,” in an attempt to unpack labels such as “crazy” vs. “genius,” especially when it comes to the various erratic incidents of Kanye West.

This is the third and final lecture in a series of lectures on The College Dropout rapper. McCune will argue that West is labeled crazy because he acts outside of the box. McCune explains, “Ultimately what I’m getting at in this lecture is not just about Kanye, it’s also about the larger notion of ‘crazy’ and how we utilize it.” McCune will also delineate how the term “crazy” can be used to describe some type of mental illness, but also be used to describe genius.

McCune explained, “I want to give people permission to be enraged. Give people permission to be upset, to be angry, to be frustrated. Give people permission to have moments where they break. Give people permission to have moments where they experience depression. I want to give them permission to have those moments without being characterized as being some type of deviant figure in the community. I don’t want to take away that experience and call it crazy. It’s reasonable. And it must be addressed with love, compassion, care, generosity.”

This seems like a much needed conversation, especially when our favorite music stars are at stake. If you’re in the St. Louis area and want to attend the lecture, it is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.