Kanye West has been his own biggest cheerleader for some time now, calling himself one of the greatest artists of our generation. While many laugh off the “Father Stretch My Hands” rapper’s boastful nature, others — like “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chance the Rapper — think he may be onto something.
The question, posed by Complex magazine’s Nadeska Alexis, stemmed from a line in “Hamilton” — the wildly popular Broadway musical — about kick-starting one’s legacy. Alexis asked if it was acceptable for artists to boast about their work or if they should leave the praise to others, which sparked an interesting dialogue between Miranda and Chance. New York City native Miranda said that throughout history there have been artists who have chosen both paths and that neither is more acceptable than the other. Miranda added, however, that if you’re going to call yourself one of the greats, you better be able to back it up.
“We have great examples of both. There are artists who take over the world and remain humble, but then I think of Muhammad Ali, who was the greatest of all time and said, ‘I’m the greatest of all time,’ and he was,” Miranda said. “He backed it up in the ring every time and really was the first method boxer.”
— Complex (@ComplexMag) May 11, 2016
Chance echoed Miranda’s sentiments about having the chops to back up your boasting, telling Complex that West has more than earned the right to brag. The Chicago-born musician reminded readers that West has been looked down on and ignored for years, despite his award-winning music and successful fashion and footwear lines. Chance said if he were “in Kanye’s situation,” he’d be behaving similarly.
“There’s not really a responsibility to tell people of your accomplishments, but I think in Kanye’s situation ... it’s Kanye West. If I was the greatest artist of this generation, and the few past generations, and a few generations going forward, I’d probably say it all the time, especially if I was black and people didn’t really like me. I’d be like, ‘Let me remind you all the f---ing time,’ ” he said.
They’re not the only ones praising West’s musical genius. In a May 8 episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” it was revealed that Lamar Odom, who nearly died due to an accidental overdose in October, credits the “Life of Pablo” rapper with getting him through recovery. In Season 12, episode 2, Kim Kardashian opened up about her husband’s many visits to the hospital to see Odom. She explained that West believed he could cure the former Los Angeles Lakers player with music. While there is no scientific proof that the album pushed Odom to get better, he, too, believes “The Life of Pablo” saved him.