In a lengthy chat with Zach Baron of GQ Magazine, Kanye was asked about dialing back his social media engagement with fans in recent years. His response:
Both me and Kim had to learn how to communicate as a team. These are two LeBrons, you know? Meaning she could do shit that a girlfriend in a relationship could never do. Obviously. And I could do stuff that a guy in a relationship could never do. So if you look at half my tweets back then, they were always, like, funny tweets that I wouldn’t be able to say now. It wouldn’t be respectful to my relationship.
The statement is as abstract and confusing as you’d expect from Kanye. From what we can decipher, though, he recognizes that both he and wife Kim Kardashian are placed on such a lofty public pedestal that they’ll always be prone to criticism – no matter how much they try and keep their lives private. LeBron, obviously, has endured a similar limelight since he was in high school.
It’s easy to see why Kanye might see similarities in his narrative and LeBron’s. Kanye has been cast as public villain due to several infamous incidents, including cutting off Taylor Swift during an MTV award show speech and declaring “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on national television.
He must have empathized with LeBron after noting the criticism he received after “The Decision” in 2010, which, coincidentally, Kanye attended. But the Yeezus rapper reportedly fell asleep before LeBron revealed his choice.
Kanye’s respect and acknowledgment of LeBron’s career arc goes beyond just the GQ interview quote. In an original version of “Black Skinhead” that he performed on “Saturday Night Live” last year, he included the line, “my homey was number one draft pick, they still burned his jersey in Akron.” In the retail version of the song, he excluded those lyrics.
On “New God Flow”, he rapped, “went from most hated to the champion god flow, I guess that’s a feeling only me and LeBron know.” It’s clear Kanye has kept close tabs on LeBron’s narrative shift in recent years, and his respect for the four-time MVP makes sense when you consider Kanye’s elitist approach while acknowledging people in different fields.
Earlier this year, he told an interviewer that he married Kim K because she was the “number one woman” in the world. He further elaborated on the idea of number ones, saying he can’t work with anyone but Jay-Z because he’s reached the peak of his craft.
The entire idea that Kanye only wants to connect and relate to number one influencers in different fields really explains why he has gravitated towards LeBron’s story.
Kanye has an album due out this fall, and if history tells us anything, we should definitely expect a “LeBron returns to Cleveland” reference on a track or two.
What do you think?
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