Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Yeezus tour with my boyfriend at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. I’m a medium-to-hardcore fan of Kanye, but can admit I don’t know the words to all of the songs on the newest album. Anyway, I don’t know why I expected the crowd to be any different than the L-train platform on Bedford ave in Williamsburg, but suffice it to say that the consumption of hip hop has never been more… ahem…mainstream.
Case in point, I encountered a plethora of white girls at the show, and I’d like to tell you about the ones you will no doubt encounter at any stop on the Yeezus tour:
1. The Chain-Smoking Miscreant
Quote: “SANG KANYE!”
In high school, this girl had a tongue ring and tattoos and you wondered what kind of parent or guardian would sign off on something like that. In the days of removable nokia phone faceplates, she had 10 including at least one with Betty Boop on it, and she painted some with nail polish in her own strange pre-etsy DIY phase. This girl—while smoking inside an arena and shamelessly giving everyone cancer—also stays close to on beat and proudly knows all the words (even the more obscure songs stuff).
2. The Interracial Relationship Validator
Quote: “Jay-Z would be cool, but I hope Kim and North are coming out!”
I’m not hating on blonde girls with black boyfriends. Why should I? I myself am happily in an interracial relationship. Love who you love, shoot for the stars, live your dreams, etc., I do, however, acknowledge that awkward moment when Kanye performs Blood on the Leaves and she doesn’t realize/care that it’s about the systematic lynching of black men in the south who were accused of glancing at women like her. Maybe I projected the visible cringing her beau exhibited every time she forgot to censor the N-word in her sing-along version of New Slaves, but it would be warranted nonetheless. Keep singing, Jessica. If your relationship can survive his cognitive dissonance or the conversation it is Bound 2 create, it can survive anything.
3. The Cultural-Experience Craving Hipster
Quote: “I really REALLY studied Yeezus as a full piece of art.”
The flannel shirt, cardigan, skinny jeans and oversized beanie/glasses* gives her away. She nods at half-intensity the entire concert and wishes it was just a tad quieter so she can present her dissertation on what Kanye must really mean when he says, “F*ck you and your Hamptons House, I’ll f*ck your Hamptons spouse.” —You recognize this by her starting to explain “codes of sexism” to her disinterested friends in between songs. She also fondly recalls that summer she worked at Wet Seal and “OMG, “Stronger” was EVERYWHERE that summer, and the Daft Punk influence solidified Kanye as a crossover artist.” There’s no doubt that she will be telling everyone about how she saw Kanye for the next 17 years, so now’s the time to remove her from your Facebook newsfeed.
4. The Sex-Tape Ambitionist
Quote: “He’s engaged to Kim, but he’s not THAT engaged to Kim.”
They have nosebleed seats like everyone else that didn’t get upgraded, but they will discuss in particularly loud and slurred voices how hot they look and how if Kanye sees their stilettos, they will definitely meet him backstage. Their stick straight platinum blonde extensions and raccoon smudged eyeliner is a telltale sign that they are only here because Kanye smells like a fat ass check. If only he didn’t look so happy earlier today in his brand new music video, perhaps one of them could become baby North’s new mommy. This duo will cause you to briefly but seriously consider alcoholism as a viable way to restore minimal faith in society.
5. The Actual Fan
Quote: “I get why they initially canceled the tour, this LCD screen is EVERYTHING.”
This person has no super defining traits save for simply being a caucasian woman. You believe that she probably received College Dropout as a gift a few years back and her mind was totally opened after listening to the tracks(including the unreleased singles). She gets that Kanye has important things to say, but she doesn’t proudly boast about her Intro to Race 101 knowledge about it, and certainly doesn’t try to pass as Kunta Kinte. She just enjoys the show. She feels the vibe of the music, she has favorite songs and favorite lyrics and she leaves feeling like she got more than her money’s worth. You Go, Actual Fan!
6. The Begrudgingly in Attendance
Quote: *unintelligible mumbling* “Taylor Swift” *unintelligible mumbling*
She paid for these tickets. Like, she went online, found tickets, and bought them. She probably had to log into her Paypal account to do so. Why on Earth, then, is she ruining the show for everyone else? I do not doubt that there are reasons to dislike Kanye West, just like there are reasons to dislike any human walking on the planet. At the same time, it makes zero sense to pay to see people you dislike. Perhaps she found an extra roll of money paper that she didn’t need to wipe her ass with this month so rather than stay at home photographing her cat on her artisanal couch, she thought she’d spare a pence and see something oh-so below her. Yes, we get it, you’d rather listen to songs about high school bleachers and how hard it is to date someone in a boy band— I just wish I had the money to help you realize that dream, preferably the hell away from everyone here trying to have a good time….
*Why are oversized glasses still a thing? They’ve been a thing long enough to stop counting as ironic and to just counting as bad taste.
xo - Akilah