Albert Okagbue explores Kanye’s favorite topic: Kanye.
Recently Kanye West has been in the news a lot. He had a so-called Twitter Beef with Jimmy Kimmel, and made some comments about President Obama. His rants seem to be about the fact that he has not been given an opportunity to work in the top echelons of the fashion world. He claims that he can achieve in fashion what he achieved in music, but nobody seems convinced.
So what’s the problem here? Is this about Kanye West being a jackass…or him having a sense of entitlement? Maybe he’s just loud and should shut up. Maybe he should be satisfied with being a successful Rapper, Hip-Hop producer, and Mr. Kim Kardashian? Personally, I think his struggles draw attention to a question I have.
What does it take to prove yourself? What does it take to get a chance to do something great?
When I first started my financial planning practice at age 26, I was tormented with this question. I had a stellar education and the requisite credentials, but few clients bit. I wanted opportunities to prove myself, but ultimately found that they were not being given to people like me. I have too many hair follicles, and clients prefer older, more experienced professionals even though they might pay more and receive less personal service. Few people are bold enough to take a chance on a “new guy”. I have my own firm, and no household brand behind me.
The idea that I am too young to be in this business connects well with Kanye West’s notion of “classism”. He feels he is expected to stick to rapping, and stay out of fashion. But does not having 10 years experience in something mean I am no good at it? What about my ability to deliver on promises made, especially in other career or non-career activities? Maybe I should call it “ageism”, besides half of unemployed people in the U.S. today are under 34.
I think when the smoke clears and we look past his fame, we may find that Kanye West is asking the same questions young men are asking – albeit in a less socially acceptable way. It makes me reflect about my own challenges, and I am curious to find out who will ultimately take a chance on him. It makes me grateful for the clients that have taken a chance on me.
Do you think Kanye West’s questions are different from yours? What advice would you give to someone who feels like he feels?
— photo SOCIALisBETTER / Flickr