Dear Culture

The One About Kanye

Episode 18

Has Kanye West finally pushed the culture too far? Panama Jackson reunites with his very smart brotha Damon Young to discuss the latest controversial stunt by Kanye Omari West.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 21: Kanye West is seen on October 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)


Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black culture Amplified.

Panama Jackson [00:00:08] What’s going on, everybody and welcome back to Dear Culture, the podcast for, by and about Black culture. And I’m joined today by a special guest, somebody that needs no introduction, especially if you keep up with any work that I’ve ever done in my life. Well, as long as I’ve been a writer, I suppose, and considering the topic, it also makes a lot of sense. We are joined today by the homie, one of my best friends, my brother, the other, a third of and eventually the other half of the Very Smart Brothas team. Damon Young, how are you doing today, bro?

Damon Young [00:00:43] I’m good. I’m good. You know that some really, really good and quick math that you did going from a third to half. Yeah.

Panama Jackson [00:00:52] I had to think about it, too.

Damon Young [00:00:54] So I appreciate whatever school system, you know, taught you how to do that type of math. So thank you for that and I appreciate being here. It’s great. It’s great to see you. You know what I mean? It’s great to be on, you know, Dear Culture. You know, the reason why we’re on is a little complicated, but It’s great. It’s great to be safe.

Panama Jackson [00:01:21] Well, part of the reason why we’re here. But before they let me because I did I did your your bio a brief disservice so everybody knows us as the team from Very Smart Brothers. But since then you are now a Washington Post columnist and advice columnist. You you write both a weekly column and is it a weekly advice column as well?

Damon Young [00:01:43] Yeah.

Panama Jackson [00:01:44] Okay. You have an award winning book, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker. You’re working on more books. You have a podcast, a Spotify exclusive podcast called Stuck with Damon Young. You killing it, bro. You out here doing it. You know what I’m saying. And I’m proud of you.

Damon Young [00:02:02] I just don’t want to be broke again. People offer me opportunities and I’m like, How much is it paying? and I just keep saying yes.

Panama Jackson [00:02:12] Like, I just don’t want to be broke sounds like a good title for a book.

Damon Young [00:02:16] Yeah, I shot like I have no business doing this advice column, but it’s like, you know what? I can do it and offer me some money to do it so you know I can fit under the umbrella. Why not?

Panama Jackson [00:02:27] You know that brutal honesty is a trademark. It’s an admirable skill, and not skill is an admirable trait. And it speaks directly to why we are gathered here today. We are here to talk about one Kanye Omari West, somebody who every couple of years decides to blow up everything he ever seems to have built, test the goodwill and test the loyalties of all of his fans. Maybe, I realize that’s a loaded statement because I don’t know if it’s actually true, but every so often something happens that Kanye is a part of. He becomes the center of. He goes on these social media rants. It’s like it’s like Kanye’s mind opens up for the world to participate in for a while before he gets reined in by somebody. I don’t know who it is, but right now we’re in the midst of this and this is all spurred by things he so he has a deal with Adidas and the Gap that he’s trying to get out of. And he’s fighting with them. And he caps and he’s dealing with with his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and the custody issues with his kids. He’s doing a lot of he’s doing all of this publicly. And he cap this off by going to Paris Fashion Week and debuting his Yeezy Season nine collection.

Panama Jackson [00:03:40] And he included a shirt that had Pope John Paul, I can’t remember which one it is. I apologize I should know that. One of the pope’s on the front, but on the back is the part that everybody’s talking about that says White Lives Matter. Then a picture gets shared of him with Candace Owens, her looking lovingly at Kanye, which is more of a troll to the Black community while he’s face forward. But she’s wearing a white shirt. This is white lives matter. He hasn’t a Black one. This is white lives matter. The Internet erupts. The Kanye West Gaslight Tour commences. He goes on. Tucker Carlson, we are filming this on on the day after he does the first round of interviews on Tucker Carlson, which was insanely interesting and fascinating, bewildering interview in and of itself. So that’s what that’s all we got. We’re getting here to talk about Kanye. There’s so much to unpack. But let me ask you to start this off. Where are you with Kanye West in right now? Like where? Wherever you stand with Kanye musically as a pop culture figure, where are you with Kanye West right now?

Damon Young [00:04:52] I mean, I feel like my my first my my visceral response to everything that he’s doing right now. It’s boredom. Like, this isn’t interesting. Like when you were saying that, it was like I watched it. I watched the interview this morning. To prepare the prep for it is because when it was on last night, I just had I didn’t have any interest and listening to him on Tucker Carlson. So I’ll watch the interview and it’s like, you know, it’s like you’re playing it’s like a pinball and in a ball just going everywhere here and there. I mean, he’s citing Tonya Harding.

Panama Jackson [00:05:33] Very wierd reference.

Damon Young [00:05:34] Harding come up in a conversation.

Kanye West [00:05:36] Because if you ask, like Tonya Harding how she did the the triple flip or the triple spin, she was in so much practice that when it was time for her to skate in a in a competitive format, it just happened like it happened outside of practice. It happened in the real format.

Damon Young [00:05:56] He’s basically subbing his mom, not even subbing his mom.

Panama Jackson [00:05:59] That was direct shots.

Damon Young [00:06:00] The entire interview. And now, you know, with all these bars of praise for his dad, which I never heard before from him, and again, maybe I just haven’t been listening to the interviews and stuff, but it’s it’s this very. It’s predictably unpredictable. It’s like. You know he’s a provocateur. Or he passes himself to be one of those, you know, freethinker. And and, you know, because there’s not, like, a real rigor behind this thought or a real consistency out of thought you could predict where he’s going to go. Right. And I feel like even the reactions that, you know, that have that have that of, you know, that have existed online in the last week or a week and a half about the White Lives Matter shirt and about Kanye, like I don’t think anyone else really gives a shit about him either. Like, I think Kanye a culture right now, if we take a fact from his his music and his clothes, he exists as someone to build social capital off of. Because, again, I don’t think that he’s swaying anybody. I think people who are out on Kanye have been out on Kanye and I think people who are you know the bad faith, you know, the people who are just latching for any sort of, you know, cool person to to vocalize like a certain right wing or certain conservative viewpoint are latching on him as, oh, shit, we finally got someone, right? We finally got someone who is cool and who is relevant and who is on our side. But I don’t think he is moving the zeitgeist. He’s influencing the culture any way with his actions.

Panama Jackson [00:07:59] Now that I agree with.

Damon Young [00:08:00] I think that people are already, people already had their minds made up about them. And so, again, I think now his primary function is okay, I have this hot 120 character bar about Kanye. I say it and I get 3000 retweets.

Panama Jackson [00:08:20] So I agree with you that I don’t think he’s actually none of these actions, I think, are impacting culture. I do think they are. Yeah, you said a lot. So I’m going to try to get to a couple of those things. I do think I think if it’s boring, it’s only boring because it’s Kanye and we in Kanye’s already done this before the script on Kanye already exists because I don’t think any of this is boring on his face, but because it’s Kanye doing it, it’s like, here he goes again, right? Like here he goes. I don’t think this is culturally impactful. I’m not even sure I agree with that it is as dangerous as everybody wants to label it. But I do push back a little bit on the idea that he’s not like, for me, the white lies. It was a bridge too far. I guess I’ll listen to Kanye’s music. We’ve talked about this stuff and that’s part of the reason I wanted to bring you on here, too, is because we talk about Kanye all the time, right? Like whenever Kanye drops an album, we talk about it. Like we have in-depth discussions about it. We talk about how we’re going to write about it and where we’re going to do. You know, we have these conversations. We’ve been doing that for years, right? Because Kanye’s been part of our cultural conversations and part of the cultural zeitgeist for so long that when he releases music, it’s an event. It’s something that happens that everybody has to pay attention to.

[00:09:34] The provocateur end of it. This is this feels like the high end of his provocateur-ness, whatever that whatever. Like this is literally the the N-words in Paris thing. Like what? Like why are you doing this? And watching the Tucker Carlson interview where he basically said, even though he he really didn’t answer the question, but he basically said, I just it felt like the right thing to do at the time was nonsense. Even his dad’s response, like a Black man stating the obvious, I’m like, man, your dad is obtuse too and I don’t want to ask one of his parents, but it just seems it seems like like such an odd thing to use as a way of stealing the spotlight from everything else you’re trying to or getting attention. It’s like the ultimate in an attention seeking behavior.

Kanye West [00:10:19] I did. I do certain things from a feeling I like. I just. I just channeled the energy. It just feels right. It’s using a gut instinct, a connection with God and just brilliance.

Panama Jackson [00:10:34] But it’s like it was a bridge too far for me. Like, I don’t know. Like it puts him in R Kelly territory. For me, it’s like, you know what, I just can’t deal with your music anymore. Like, I just can’t. And you and I had this discussion and this is where I want to go with it. I was like, Does this impact his musical legacy? In a way, or doesn’t impact his musical legacy at all? Because I said it did. I think it impacts his legacy because I don’t think I can engage with his music anymore. But you add a different spot, so we’re gonna take a real quick break right here. We’re going to come back. We’re going to jump into that part of the conversation about Kanye and what he’s doing now, if it impacts the musical legacy. Stay tuned here on Dear Culture.

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Panama Jackson [00:11:44] All right. We’re back here on Dear Culture. I’m joined today by my guest, Damon Young. We’re talking Kanye West, Yeezy or Ye, depending on who’s referring to him, I suppose. And we’re talking about the shenanigans that he’s been going through the past few months, the things that he’s been bringing to the public directly, culminating with his White Lives Matter shirt at the Paris Fashion Week show for the debut of his season on Yeezy Line, a shirt that he put Black models in, including Salon Marly, who is Lauryn Hills daughter. And we’re going to try to get to that eventually, too. But I contend that this impacts his musical legacy, because now I think that people are thinking about his music when I think about Kanye anymore at all. What do you think? Does this impact his musical legacy at all? Does this matter at all, period, for the legacy?

Damon Young [00:12:32] I go back to to the to my first response about, I think people you know, and I think that you’re an exception. I think that you you know, in terms of someone who’s like, you know, this is the last straw. I think people done 200 or last roles already. Well, yeah. I mean, there’s like I don’t consider this to be any more egregious than than, you know, wearing the red cap and, you know, hugging up on Trump and saying that he feels like a superhero when he wears that, you know, make America great again hat or to slavery or to slavery was a choice. Right. I feel like actually, I feel like slavery is a choice is worse than this.

Kanye West [00:13:08] When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years, that’s kind of like a choice. Like you was there for 400 years and it all of ya’ll?

Damon Young [00:13:19] I feel like that if we’re talking in terms of egregiousness, that was the pinnacle. And now this is just some provocateur fuck shit. Right. And so again, I just don’t see this as being something that, again, that moves the needle in any way. It just is a thing that people are going to be able to respond to. To that end, I also disagree with your with your analogy to R. Kelly.

Panama Jackson [00:13:53] Okay.

Damon Young [00:13:54] Just because, you know, when you’re in that territory, I mean, R. Kelly’s a criminal and needs to be in

Panama Jackson [00:14:00] It’s a reach. I’ll admit it.

Damon Young [00:14:01] Prison. Kanye has done and said some really dumb and reckless shit. But he is not at that level of criminality right there. So I think that I think that you could still listen to Kanye’s music and not in that and not feel like you’re go to hell also.

Panama Jackson [00:14:19] But, you know, so I guess.

Damon Young [00:14:23] If hell exist, R. Kelly is going there

Panama Jackson [00:14:24] If there’s a hell below, R. Kelly’s going to go.

Damon Young [00:14:28] But if hell exist R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, I mean, for what we know of the Christian idea of hell, that’s that’s where they will be.

Panama Jackson [00:14:37] Right. So part of my pushback on that is part of the reason I said this. So you’re right, like on his face, I think as an analogy, taking it at face value. I don’t disagree with that. I think I view it in the sense of it kind of makes me wonder who in the world that Kanye was that was releasing all their music before, like this version of Kanye. Like, I guess I don’t I don’t really know. We have gone through like nine lives of Kanye West, right? Like who he is as a human. Like where he started versus where he is now. Seems like a complete 180. But I wonder if that’s even true, because he’s been on this Trump thing since 2016, but he releases like he’s been releasing music. And and so I guess I just when I listen to it, I’m wondering if everything he’s saying is even real to him. Like, so that’s what I mean. Like, I like, I guess what I’m listening to. I’m wondering who I’m actually listening to. But you’re right. It might be it might be a stretch. It might be a bridge too far to compare him to. R. Kelly in that sense.

Damon Young [00:15:34] Well you made a really astute point a couple of years ago when been talking about. Yeah. This might that you might have said this an essay or in a conversation that we had. I forgot which it was. But you said that he’s a legitimately untethered person and that whoever is around him. Whoever is saying yes to him, whoever is give him the validation. That’s who he is going to follow. That’s who he was going to. You know, I don’t know how to break bread with or align himself with. Right. And so, you know, and I, I hate when people come, you know, bring up his mom and, you know, attach her as like some sort of catalyst for for whatever. But I do think there is some truth there to him to her being his tether at some point and then losing her and and then searching for, you know, another another sort of tether and just going wherever there is. It’s crazy because he is, you know, bashing themself to be his provocateur. But he is like saying things and it’s like, you know, whoever agrees with me. Right. He’s got he’s a provocateur who’s following the path of least resistance. Right. Because okay, these people agree what I’m saying. So I’m going to I’m going to lean in. I’m going to follow through with these people. And so, yeah, I think I know there are some parts of Kanye that have remained consistent. Young Kanye was just as hedonistic, perhaps even misogynistic as as like well, the recent Kanye, his music isn’t really that. But some of the just the weirdness about women and about shame and about bodies and about sex has always existed. It’s just kind of transmuted and taken a different form. Like homegirl of mine pointed that out and like 2016, oh no, 2006, 2007. Remember he had that remix Throw Them D’s On it.

Panama Jackson [00:17:47]  Yes.

Kanye West [00:17:48] Cute chick living good. Down here in Hollywood. Upcoming actress but she got a flat chess. Throw some Ds on that bitch. That would give her access.

Damon Young [00:17:57] Yeah I just thought it was really funny, really clever and but she was like, you know what? How come he is always so funny and so clever and so, like, I guess so clowny and dismissive when he’s talking about women. How come he doesn’t have these funny and clever whatever bars about anything else? Right. And now that was a first time I was like, Yeah, you’re right. And that has been a consistent thing throughout his career. The only one of the main difference is that his music was a bit more fun back then, you know, and now you know, particularly, you know, with Would, with Yeezus and the things that come after that, there’s been a bit more bite to it, a bit more untethered is to it. And so the misogyny and the hedonism, you know,  and those things are separate. You know, I don’t want to conflate hedonism with misogyny, but I think he kind of has both of those things.

Panama Jackson [00:18:57] I mean, for him, they’re kind of they do go I agree with that. They do kind of go hand in hand.

Damon Young [00:19:01] Yeah. And so and so that part of. Yeah. Has always kind of been there. And again, I think that, you know, just to just to go back to what you were saying, whoever plants the biggest flag for him is where he’s going to go.

Panama Jackson [00:19:31] He releases Donda. Was last year? Was that earlier this year.?

Damon Young [00:19:36]  I think it was last year.

Panama Jackson [00:19:38] Okay.

Damon Young [00:19:40] 2021.

Panama Jackson [00:19:42] He releases Donda. He does it in the way that requires you to pay attention where it’s not just a straight up release, it’s done in these. Like, he creates one thing I’ll give him credit for. And I think you have to like his his ideas when it comes to his art in the the delivering of his art tend to be very interesting, evocative, like he makes you pay attention. He was. He’s an event artist like that. So you don’t think this stuff impacts that at all? Like you think basically he’s weeded out all of the all of the people who are already like, I can’t deal with this dude anymore, aside from me who’s now like who’s upset because I’m looking at my shoes, I’m looking at my Yeezys and I can’t even wear these now. Like, I can’t I can’t even wear my Yeezys anymore, which is the same as a very comfortable that boost technology in them Yeezys is exceedingly comfortable. So they’re like perfect for people who are getting older and you want to be on your feet a lot. But it’s like, I don’t even want to wear my shoes anymore right now.

Panama Jackson [00:20:43] I actually went back and listen to I love Kanye because the whole like old Kanye thing, I was like. I like the person that made this doesn’t even seem like the same person that I watched on Tucker Carlson yesterday. Like he seems like a complete he’s like a completely different human being, almost like that. That other Kanye doesn’t exist anymore. I think that’s the struggle I’m having with this and why I’m just like, this is a bridge too far. It’s like the person that I see now I don’t recognize. Like there. Even when Kanye made the slavery’s a choice thing, I almost feel like. He made the statement, but I don’t think he realized what he was saying. Like, I genuinely don’t think he understood what he was saying because I feel like Kanye says and does a lot of things. He doesn’t get it. I feel like this White Lives Matter thing was intentional. It was like, I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m about to throw this in everybody’s face. Nobody can constrain me to their thoughts. Nobody, you know, I hate and I hate when people do that, right. I won’t be controlled by the masses and the media and all this nonsense like. It’s basically an excuse to say something ridiculous or say or do something that flies in the face of convention or whatever. I feel like there’s probably more people like me out there, but maybe, maybe I’m overblowing it. And in which case, then what happens after this? Does it all just die out? Like, does all of this. Whatever. Just die out as soon as. I don’t know, like. If something big happens next week if Cardi B and and who she before we run our Cardi B and Nicki happen to run into each other, somebody gets punched in the face. Do we forget the whole Kanye thing and just move on?

Damon Young [00:22:27] I think that’s already starting to happen. Like and again, I think this is just part of the Kanye news cycle where he, you know, every every like five or six months, he has these, as, you know, like a week and a half, two week span of just okay what did Kanye say, what did Kanye do? And then once that’s done, once people are done reacting to it, you just go back to your corner, go back to your life and continue doing whatever you were doing. And again, I just I just don’t see this recent iteration being that distinct from everything else or distinct enough for everything else to have, like a a real tangible impact on how people feel about it. Because I think that how people feel about him has already been settled mostly. And again, I get where you’re coming from to which you’re, you know, and everyone has a everyone has a everyone has a point where you’re like, you know, this is it. But I think I think this is it point has been reached or and I think that there are also people who are like, you know what? I don’t fuck with anything he has to say, but I will still listen to his music. And that’s where I am.

Damon Young [00:23:46] Like, I don’t I don’t bother defending him at all. Like, it’s indefensible. Like, I don’t I don’t do that to say I mean it. I probably need to unpack this pack what’s happening in my brain. It’s the same thing I go through a Kyrie Irving. I am not jumping out and defending him for anything anymore, but he is still my favorite basketball player to watch. So I think it’s a bit of a mercenary sort of fandom where I just, you know, I compartmentalize and, you know, but, you know, if if each of them were to do something like a R. Kelly level egregious then I’ll make a change then. But even before both of them went off their deep ends, you know, they were my favorite, Kanye is my favorite artist, Kyrie is my favorite athlete. And so I’ve asked myself, what is it in me that drew me to these men who are both eventually, you know, had similar sort of trajectories. Is it just a coincidence? Or is there something, you know, that I saw in both of them ten years ago?

Panama Jackson [00:25:07] But you didn’t think Kanye, You didn’t think Kyrie was going to go this direction?

Damon Young [00:25:10] I didn’t know. And I didn’t think Kanye would either. But they both did. Yeah, so was there something that I saw? Something about me or something about them that I saw that I latched on to? And I shared this. You know, I did the Love It or Leave It show a couple days ago. And afterwards I hung out with with John and Morgan. Morgan came through and a couple producers from their show. And we were talking about this particular thing. And John made a point that, you know, maybe you are attracted to naturally subversive people. Right. You know, and Kanye music, you know, for a while was considered somewhat subversive in the way Kyrie plays, the way he handles the ball. Some of the things he does on the basketball court are subversive. But, you know, it’s the problem is when they they shift that subversion to other places that they have no business being in. Right. So they believe that, okay, I’ve had success being subversive in music and and then and then in, in fashion or I had success being subversive in basketball. So that means I can have success being subversive in politics or I can have success being subversive and I don’t know. And medical and vaccines or whatever. So. Right. And so when he said that, it’s like, oh, you know, that that could be that. Where were these people who, you know, have a genius and and I appreciate that genius. But the problem is that genius is untethered and they try to apply it to other parts where they are not genius. It, you know, and I think, you know, the the mark of someone who is truly, truly smart, truly intelligent, is that they realize there are limitations.

Panama Jackson [00:27:03] Well, let me. We’re going to take a quick look take a quick break there, because we’re going to I want to actually get into that specific topic on the other side of this break. So stay tuned here on Dear Culture. You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified.

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Panama Jackson [00:27:48] All right, we’re back here. And Dear culture guest today is Damon Young. We’re talking Kanye West and everything that’s been going on with him specifically this past week with his White Lives Matter shirt, his continued support and uplifting of Candace Owens. But you were talking before the break a bit about like the Kanye Kyrie thing, like him the kind of the kind of people that they are. And how that like translates into who they become, like where they started and how when they start to when they’re privileged, when their their fame and their access to money. And, you know, one of the things that Tucker said was that Kanye said he’s he’s one of the richest people on the planet, but you still can’t say what he wants. And yet he continues to do so. So and Kyrie has done that to these people. Hop on and get thousands and thousands of people on IG and all these other places and speak their mind.

Panama Jackson [00:28:42] And I guess I’m curious what you think about how like how they use their platforms. You know, we’re talking about Kanye, but Kyrie, I think fits into this using their platforms. Like, that’s part of the thing that everybody keeps getting all like these people have all these followers and all these people that actually care about what they say and are doing. They’re using it to spread dangerous rhetoric or to be irresponsible, what we deem irresponsible because of the access to people that they have, like. How do you feel about what, Pete, when people say that, like, do you think that’s actually true? Like, is Kyrie Irving presenting a danger? Is Kanye West dangerous for the masses when he does stuff like this? I mean, you think it doesn’t really matter, but, you know, this fool ends up on Tucker Carlson yesterday like he didn’t. You know, he I don’t even know how that happened. But he gets off the plane from Fashion Week, apparently goes straight to Tucker Carlson. Like I don’t know who made the call first, Tucker or Kanye. You know what I’m saying? Like and it didn’t even seem like a crazy idea that he would be a Tucker Carlson. Now, right now, Kyrie would never come. He would never. But, you know, I guess you wouldn’t put it past them.

Damon Young [00:29:50] I mean, he’s used you know.

Panama Jackson [00:29:52] You think he’s on that on that trajectory.

Damon Young [00:29:55] You share Alex Jones’ IG stories.

Panama Jackson [00:29:58] Oh yeah.

Damon Young [00:29:59] Yeah.

Panama Jackson [00:30:00] So how do we get here? So as I’m saying, do you think they’re the the use of their platforms presents a danger of any sort the way they’re doing it?

Damon Young [00:30:11] My, my my answer is no. Right. And and I think that I have to and I think that could be my own blindspots speaking or answering that, because I, I just don’t see how anyone who has any sort of rigor to their thinking and understanding of the world will be influenced by Kanye West or Kyrie Irving in 2022. Like, I think that if they do have influence, it is other unthethered people. And it’s also, you know, someone like a Ted Cruz who is just fucking diametrically uncool. Right. Seeing Oh, shit. Kanye West, Kyrie Irving two of the coolest, you know, quote unquote, coolest, really relevant people in American culture. They’re saying the same things I’m saying. So I’m going to retweet him. I’m going to do this. I’m gonna do that. And so, yeah, I just I don’t see them. I just don’t think either of them have that much power.

Damon Young [00:31:17] I think that most people most most people even you know, people talk about, you know, what about the kids? Kids are we don’t give kids enough credit for being able to discern, you know, when coming out with some fuck shit too. right. And so, you know, the irony one of the ironies with all of this is that, you know, they they both fashion themselves as like provocateurs and radical and freethinking and whatever. And they’re just being white men and like they are being the most standard, the most wrote, the most mundane, motherfucking shit that they could be. And they’re just acting like white men who, you know, don’t, don’t, don’t take any accountability, you know, you know, say the most reckless thing without any sort of historical understanding and believe that they are the smartest person in every room that they’re in.

Panama Jackson [00:32:13] See, that’s the problem, though. I, I don’t think most people are that smart. Right? So I think that like people like you and I and all of the people who work in these spaces where we’re constantly sharing our opinions and writing about and arguing about amongest ourselves, like, you could be right? It could be just kind of a sort of an echo chamber of this group of people. That’s a large group of people who are always arguing about Kanye West. And the rest of people don’t care that much. Right. Like most people, probably, you know, they’re going to still wear their Yeezys. They’re going to continue to buy them. You know, there was just a Yeezy drop, I think, two days ago and I’m guessing it probably sold out like usual. There will continue to be drops, though. Though it’s kind of confusing as to who even makes money off yeezy anymore because I don’t know if I don’t even know if Kanye is getting any money off of his yeezy stuff anymore. Like I genuinely am confused by that, but I guess that’s a different talk show. But I think the people that don’t care that much but are paying attention to them because they’re either their favorite rapper or they keep the cool that they’re attached to is something that they ascribe to personally in their lives. Right? Like Kanye is a king of cool. Whether we like it or not in because of the inroads he’s made in fashion and shoes, like he’s literally that guy, right? Like he is. He’s that guy. Like something you pay attention to what Kanye is doing fashion wise. Like, there’s no reason for anybody to wear any of that Balenciaga by Gap. Not that it’s atrocious and yet terrible. People like Antonio Brown, we’re seeing head and toe and you know what I mean? Like, people were doing this because of like, oh, that’s what’s fashionable now. And I think that stuff transfers into other areas. So I guess I don’t know if I think it’s dangerous. I don’t I don’t know that I agree. Like not doesn’t matter. I don’t know if it matters a ton, but I do think there are people who could be there are people who watch Tucker Carlson who don’t pay attention to Kanye. Kanye gets on their last night and starts talking very conservative Christian type things, even though it is very muddled and very nonsensical and the substantial amount of things he was I mean, he even did oddly, there were things that he said that were very like anti-white. At the same time. Right. You know, he’s like, you know, English. The white man’s language is like we’re sitting here like he was saying the things we say about him, about other people talk about people, you know, people look for validation for the white man. We don’t speak English properly. You know, we’re looking for validation on speaking the white man’s English, which is not something I haven’t said myself on occasion. So it’s it’s very confusing, but I feel like perhaps there is a bunch of people who might see that interview like, you know, Kanye West is all right now. I don’t think they’re going to vote for him for president. But, you know, I don’t know that he becomes persona non grata. Maybe he got maybe he opens a whole new market for his products. And I don’t know I don’t know if that means anything either. Like I don’t know if that matters.

Damon Young [00:35:01] Well, he I mean, and that’s a that’s an important distinction. You know, like maybe he has some sway or some influence over the sort of person who would be watching Tucker Carlson anyway. So maybe maybe it’s that, you know.

Panama Jackson [00:35:15] And that’s because Tucker does. Right. Tucker Carlson has sway. And we categorically point out all the nonsense that he says, but he matters.

Damon Young [00:35:23] But, you know, and I guess when I’m thinking of influence, I’m thinking of people who are who are right minded and not necessarily right wing minded, but like right and and conscious and all of that. And. And I just I just don’t see either of them either of them have any sort of sway on people like that or people who are surrounded by people like that. I think that, again, they they are swaying the untethered. Right. And people who who are just going to go whichever way the wind blows, whoever whoever has the most charisma, whoever sounds, you know, whoever who whoever seems like they’re making the most sense.

Panama Jackson [00:36:01] That’s a lot of people, man. And that’s I mean, I that’s a that’s a huge segment of the people. And so and I have to make a distinction between untethered and just people who can be swayed, right? Because untethered kind of speaks to a bit of, like, chaotic, perhaps like unstable. Type thing, like Kanye. I feel like he’s unstable. Right. But a lot of people look, people go and vote for a name they’ve heard without thinking about what it is that they stand for. Like most, I think I think, a, I never have any stats to back this up, but I feel like I’m not wrong when I say that a not insignificant amount of people are easily swayed by charm and charisma. And you say that one thing that I liked and I’m on your side. Right. Like it doesn’t take it doesn’t take a whole platform. You know, we tend to view ourselves and people like like minded folks as those who are willing to do the research into understanding the people that we’re paying attention to. And that’s probably even a reach because, I mean, sometimes, you know, I like somebody simple enough, like, you know what? I like that that works for me. So, you know, I, I guess I feel like that sway has a bigger reach because I don’t think everybody is that discerning about the information that they that they process or consume.

Damon Young [00:37:18] Well, I’m glad you brought up the voting thing, because I actually wanted to make that point and it lost my train of thought. But so I remember when he I don’t know, I don’t even remember if he actually ran for office or if he threatened running for office or if he.

Panama Jackson [00:37:31] He was on the ballot in a couple of states.

Damon Young [00:37:34] Ok, he was on the ballot and and there was all this fucking handwringing about how this is going to hurt Biden and, you know, how this was going to, you know be something that stood in the way and also, you know, made a clearer path to the White House for for Trump. And it’s like, yo, there’s was no one who was thinking, I’m going to vote for Joe Biden or Kanye West.

Panama Jackson [00:37:57] Fair, facts.

Damon Young [00:37:57] So the people who are voting who people who had in their mind to vote for Kanye were either thinking, oh, I’m going to vote for like. Trump or Kanye or I’m not voting at all. Right.

Panama Jackson [00:38:11] Right. I agree.

Panama Jackson [00:38:12] He didn’t take votes away from mother fucking Joe Biden. Right. And again, I keep. I just again, I feel like. And this and it feels like a it even as I say it people that I think that feels like a cop out. Right. But I think that I honestly feel like this is one of them circumstances we’re talking about him gives them more power. Then he actually then he actually has been the actually would have, you know, let people like us talking about him, people like us tweeting about and people like us writing essays about him gives him more power then he will get in the other way.

Panama Jackson [00:38:56] All right. You said to me the other day that when we first started talking about this, that you thought a mea culpa moment could, like could fix all of this or something to that effect that you basically, Kanye, could he went on Tucker Carlson. So I don’t know. I guess he goes on Oprah like he you know, he appealed to the White Lives Matter folks by going on Tucker Carlson, who now like, look at that Kanye guy. He’s all right. But if he I don’t I don’t know where he goes from here. Like a couple. I mean, just a couple weeks ago or like last week, he was on Good Morning America talking about Sway did have the answer, you know, like he was he’s not averse to making a media round to to speak on something because he did that to speak directly about the Adidas gap situation in, you know, those relationships that are servering, which seems to be Kanye with every significant relationship that he has, they all seem to sever in some way, shape or form, corporately or whatever. But oh, yeah.

Damon Young [00:39:47] And personally, romantically. I mean, his his boys, his wife. You know, this is this is a trend with Kanye.

Panama Jackson [00:39:55] Yes, like they all fall apart.

Damon Young [00:39:57] Every relationship eventually falls apart. And so I just want to say something really quickly. Go out with when I said the mea culpa thing, it was more I was making the distinction between Kanye and R. Kelly. Right.

Panama Jackson [00:40:11] Okay. All right.

Damon Young [00:40:12] R. Kelly can’t apo…there’s nothing he can do. Right? Right. Right now that. Yeah. He’s he’s going to be like, it’s fuck R. Kelly forever. And I think for some people it’s still fuck Kanye forever. But but if he were to be like, you know, I was I was really fucked up these last ten years, just left ten years into me and then for the next ten years, he was like the most conscientious, the most, you know, progressive, the most like sincere integrity field person he could possibly be. And but again, I that would not like ah, ah, R. Kelly could never do that. Bill Cosby can never do that. Like it’s gone. They’re gone. Right. Right. And so I don’t think that that’s going to happen with Kanye but we were just it was just a hypothetical exercise.

Panama Jackson [00:41:02] But do you think there’s a road for him like where do so two questions.

Damon Young [00:41:06] A realistic road? No.

Panama Jackson [00:41:07] So. Well let’s let’s I mean listen we’re on a podcast we just talking. I mean, is there is there a path, a hypothetical path where he could get back into the good graces of whoever’s graces he’s fallen out of? Right. I don’t know exactly what that demographic looks like. I think it looks a lot like us. But I mean, is there a a realistic path and. So that’s the hypothetical. But also like from here, like what next is I’ll just peter out and it’s just a rap until the next time Kanye. Kanye decides to go Kanye.

Damon Young [00:41:43] So my, my, I have two answers. The first answer is no. Like, I just think he has too much. He just has too much problematic fuck shit happening and also too much mental illness happening. And those two things combining to create like this, this, this, this fuck shit smoothie that that we’re all fortunate and right now, right.

Panama Jackson [00:42:06] You know, we have to bleep all these all these f bombs out. But that was hilarious. The the the the the smoothie is hilarious.

Damon Young [00:42:14] But oh, but yeah, the mental illness part is something that we haven’t, we haven’t really touched. Yeah. It’s it, you know, I know that there are people who are like, yeah, that’s, that’s an excuse. He’s not really. So he is legitimately… but that doesn’t excuse his behavior, but that is a reality.

Panama Jackson [00:42:31] Right. Right.

Damon Young [00:42:31] And so what you what we’re seeing is a person who is mentally ill, who has all of this, you know, wrong headed, problematic shit existing inside of them who has unlimited capital. Right. And he has unlimited platforms. And so you have that combination all together. And I just realistically, I don’t see a way for for, for, for this. You know, I was about to say for the ship to turn around. It’s like a like an ocean liner. For is Titanic. The turnaround is just out of it. Just don’t think that’s happening. I think it any I think if anything, it will maybe peter out where his albums will get progressively worse and maybe his fashion, you know, will get progressively more rel, progressively less relevant. And so he has progressively less eyes on him I think.

Panama Jackson [00:43:28] I don’t think his fashion’s that relevant now honestly. I think it’s his shoes that keep them afloat because. Well, I’ve never seen.

Damon Young [00:43:34] Shoes are fashion.

Panama Jackson [00:43:35] No, no they are. But what I mean is. I outside of his shoes. Like nobody’s everywhere in his clothes right now. I don’t in unless Kanye just becomes uncool like I think I think that’s the problem. Like the shoes are going to be here forever. Like he changed the shoe game entirely. And you can’t undo that, right? Like, I have one of every kind of design of the shoes that he has. And like, I’m still amazed like one that these are a real thing, but that they took off. But then I also get it right. So, you know, I don’t I don’t I don’t ever see that actually changing. And I guess that’s. That leads some the question I was going to ask about, like, could he just drop? Another. My beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy?

Damon Young [00:44:21] Well, that’s the way I was going. And that’s what I was going to say, as my first answer was no. But if he were to drop another classic album. I think that you would have more people trying to, you know, get back into those leases on Kanye Island. Right. But but his music has got progressively worse over the past ten years. Like each album, you know, he you know, we’ve listened to all of this all of this music since then. And, you know, he’s had some really good moments. You know, I still think that Kids See Ghosts was one of the best albums of the last like five or six years that he’s also had some like what the fuck was that moments to.

Panama Jackson [00:45:06] The album before that that he released the one in that that in that oeuvre whatever you call it, that Kids See Ghosts was a part of, his personal album was horrible.

Damon Young [00:45:11] Yea and and so and again that we talk about, you know, the old Kanye, the musical Kanye I mean in that summer he dropped Kids See Ghosts he produced Pusha T’s album, which was a really good album. Right. He produced Nas album, which was. Oh, okay. But, you know, he’s he’s he still has that part in him that that musicality, if he can access it, that hasn’t been completely lost, I don’t think. But he’s just been over overwhelmed by all this other shit that is happening inside of him. But but, yeah, I, you know, and even even your point about the fashions, I mean, I don’t own a pair, Yeezys, and it is not for like any, fuck Kanye reason. I just haven’t. I’ve never bought any. But. You’re right. The shoes are everywhere and in and in the clothes thing, I mean, I don’t know if that Balenciaga gap Kanye line has been released yet. I don’t know if it’s if has actually gone on sale yet. I haven’t kept up. But I know that when it does, it’s going to sell out in like 30 seconds. You know what I mean? Yeah, well. It might not be us buying it, but all the hypeies, all of all, all of the cool kids, all all of them are going to be buying those clothes.

Panama Jackson [00:46:40] Well, one of the cool kid arguments has always been that the clothes are terrible. So even in the hypies community, there’s not a lot of there’s not a tremendous amount of love for.

Damon Young [00:46:50] But that is he them find them ugly bubble jackets.

Panama Jackson [00:46:55] Yeah, but they all not made like. Yeah. I mean. Right. And part of that was the exclusivity though. They only made like a certain number of those things, like it was the release of all that was a mess. But but, yes, I mean, you’re you’re not you’re not you’re not wrong about that. I mean, I don’t I don’t disagree. I thought and I’m one of the people that thought the Gap partnership was was a great one. I thought it was going to basically change everything, like Kanye stamping Gap clothing, which I thought at the time was kind of out of fashion any way. Like, you know, I didn’t I didn’t view it as a cool, cool kid attire anymore. That completely changed. The trajectory of gap is part is part of the cool kid stuff. But as you know, that’s falling apart. You know, he’s nobody nobody at Gap is a big fan of Kanye right now. Same with Adidas, who he’s accused of raping and raping his ideas and stealing his ideas in and creating fashions and items that look just like his stuff to sell. And, you know, I mean, look, there’s an argument to be made there, but I’m wondering what his contract look like. Do you think did did the contract say we cannot create anything that resembles even a little bit anything? So I don’t know.

Damon Young [00:48:10] I mean, I feel like at some point, you know, we’ve talked about this before. He has to make the connection between I don’t read and I hate every contract that I’ve ever signed like that. Those two things like maybe you should read and you know, we both, you know, we both have had to sign like contract that they’re filled with like legal leaves and no regular person to understand any of that shit. But it is I feel like just almost like a perfect allegory for him, for his behavior. You know, I don’t read. But all these things that are required to have been read, I, I am upset with them after a year because I did not know what was in them. Right? Yeah. So.

Panama Jackson [00:48:59] Yeah, well, I. I’m pretty much. I don’t know, like, I just. I’m. Maybe it’s a short break. I don’t know. I’m kind of out of this Kanye right now. The like I said, the cert for me was just a bridge too far. Like, it’s something about that. Seeing him wearing that stuff or creating it in the first place for a presentation to. To kind of mock and gaslight. And then the things he’s posted about which show that he does more with. He doesn’t read like, you know, it’s been proven that Black Lives Matter was a scam and all it’s like, you know, if you want to argue about the organizational end of it, that’s fine. The statement itself, I think holds up, bro. Like, so you you putting this shirt on a you putting the statement on the shirt flies directly to that. It’s not you’re not fighting the organization or lack thereof of Black Lives Matter and all of that. You are literally giving you’re literally printing the shirt for white supremacists to wear when they need, you know, formal wear. Like you’re literally providing, you know, an outfit.

Damon Young [00:50:04] Some high fashion.

Panama Jackson [00:50:05] Some like like you literally just gave. Right. You know, you and you you created a space where idiots like yourself who think they’re free thinking are going to be like, I’m going to rock this because I’m provocative, too, and I can’t be constrained to put it in a box. But then if you’re wearing the same shirt that the KKK might also approve, like who won? You know what I’m saying? Like when when you it’s it’s a it’s a weird. I don’t know. It’s, uh.

Damon Young [00:50:31] I, I. I might be wrong, but I doubt you’re going to see anyone outside of hype beastie mother fuckers wearing those shirts.

Panama Jackson [00:50:40] You’re probably right. I mean, who knows how much it would cost anyway?

Damon Young [00:50:43] Yeah, I think that the right wing maga crowd uniform, you know, they have the under armor. Like under armor. I don’t know if under armor like if that was a decision to they made it to corporate level or if, if there was a meeting with all of the right wing, like if they had their little happy hour or whatever and decided, you know, maybe, maybe under armor sponsored it. And they were like, you know what these are people are some cool folks like places where order apparel but there’s there is I feel like there is no more. I guess accurate way of like just just profiling someone who has that sort of political ideology, then then under armor apparel and like under armor has all the flag motifs and all the American flag colors and all that. And when you go to the gym, the white boys who are decked head to toe in under armor are usually the aggro white boys who are, you know, capital Stormers. Like, it’s, it’s uncanny.

Panama Jackson [00:51:45] Just as a point of note, Steph Curry is also signed to Under Armor along with a very substantial number of Black athletes of all stripes.

Damon Young [00:51:53] And that does probably you know what? Why? Draymond punched Jordan Peele. He saw that Jordan was like, Oh.

Panama Jackson [00:52:02] I can’t wait til we find out what was behind that.

Damon Young [00:52:04] He hit him. He hit him.

Panama Jackson [00:52:08] He did, he took off on him.

Damon Young [00:52:09]  Teammates fight.Teammates fight but he was like, Yo, I’m trying to hurt this.

Panama Jackson [00:52:14] Yeah, I was surprised.

Damon Young [00:52:14] That was I mean, that’s a sucker punch, too, because when you’re in a shoving match with a teammate, you’re not expecting them to sock the shit out of you. Yeah, like.

Panama Jackson [00:52:25] I’m surprised.

Damon Young [00:52:27] Maybe elbow you. But he, like, hit him like you would hit someone that you’re trying to, like, injure.

Panama Jackson [00:52:33] Yeah, I’m surprised the full brawl didn’t break out, and it just makes. Andre Iguodala statement nonsensical that this was just some in-house stuff like nah. But anyway, so. We’re going to take a quick break here and we’re going to come back with my favorite segment see here, Dear Culture. We’re going to do a Blackfession, which I hope you have and a Blackommendation. And then we’re going to let you talk about where everybody can find everything that you’re doing right here on Dear Culture.

Speaker 4 [00:53:03] theGrio Black Podcast Network is here. Everything you’ve been waiting for, Black Culture Amplify. Find your voice on the Black Podcast Network. Listen today on theGrio Mobile App and tune in everywhere. Great podcast are heard.

Panama Jackson [00:53:18] All right. We’re back here on Dear Culture. We just got finished talking. Kanye West still joined by Damon Young. We’re discussing we were discussing all things Kanye the past few weeks and all that. But to close the show out every week, we do an interesting, fun discussion with our guests that we bring up Blackfessions, which is a confession about some part of your Blackness that people might be surprised to know. But we also top that off of the Blackommeditation to bring it all back home. So we’re going to start with the Blackfession. Damon, do you have a Blackfession?

Damon Young [00:53:47] I do and it’s embarassing. I’ve I actually maybe I’ve written about this before, but I haven’t actually said this out loud I don’t think on on any. On anything. But there is a very popular word that Black people use that particularly Black people who are connected to the church use it to use it sometimes in a church contact, sometimes in just a regular. Regular, mundane, everyday contexts. It starts with Halle. And then it has a second part of that word.

Panama Jackson [00:54:23] Okay.

Damon Young [00:54:23] I literally cannot pronounce that word.

Panama Jackson [00:54:26] You can’t say hallelujah.

Damon Young [00:54:27] I cannot. I’m not even going to try.

Panama Jackson [00:54:36] You’re going to give us that. You going to take a shot? Are we going to get to hear this?

Damon Young [00:54:39] Halle? I like when I have my tongue that my tongue does something. When after the halle. And my tongue just stops. And it’s like, yo, what the fuck are you doing to me? Right.

Panama Jackson [00:54:53] It’s like my tongue is being tased whenever I try to say that word. Like I have said it before. But after like 20 tries. Like Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

Panama Jackson [00:55:06] Hallelujah, hallelujah.

Damon Young [00:55:08] Hallelujah.

Panama Jackson [00:55:10] There you go. Nailed it.

Damon Young [00:55:12] Okay. And that took five tries.

Panama Jackson [00:55:15] It took some work.

Damon Young [00:55:17] So it’s not a word that I’m ever, ever going to just pull up a regular conversation for any reason because I can’t, my mouth just won’t let me say it. And again whenever I think about this, I feel like 7.2% less Black. I just feel like I might be the only person on earth who cannot say that word.

Panama Jackson [00:55:35] Well, that is an interesting Blackfession and I’ve had some interesting ones here, but that is an interesting one. So I appreciate that. I appreciate you sharing that. That struggle of yours must make church real interesting.

Damon Young [00:55:49] I have felt less Christian like. I felt like, you know, is this a sign that God is telling me I don’t need to be here or I need to be here more often if I can’t?

Panama Jackson [00:55:57] I hear you made church, not.

Damon Young [00:55:59] The place, which it’s not like Earth. But that’s okay. You don’t need to be in my house if you have it. Because, you know, if you can’t say the password.

Panama Jackson [00:56:11] Fair enough. Well, it’s a counter that we like to do. We like to let let our guests bring a Blackommendation, which is a recommendation about something by a foreign about Blackness, Black culture. Do you have a Blackommendation for the people?

Damon Young [00:56:24] Yeah. Yeah, my Black commendation, definitely. And, you know, it’s it’s Love Life season two, I do not feel like enough people are talking about or talked about that show on. And I think that, you know, a show like that maybe doesn’t get as many critical lives because it’s a relatively light lift. It’s like, okay, we’re just showing these two people who fall in love and, you know, they have friends and they have trials and tribulations and they live in New York City and they’re both like youngish and attractiveish and whatever. But that has been tried a lot. Right. That same formula has been tried a lot and tinkered with a lot. But this was the best version I’ve ever seen of it because it’s a secretly, subtly heavy lift. Because when you want it to pick something that is so mundane, there’s a high bar for reality, right? Right. There’s a high bar for for for a natural chemistry, for a natural, you know, conversation for natural events and progression of behavior. And so, you know, very often when this sort of thing is is attempted to be depicted on film, it doesn’t feel natural like you’re watching it. You’re thinking, okay, this character or this, this doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t feel real. This person would have done this in this circumstance. These two people don’t belong together. Right. But with this show, everything felt natural. Right. And that’s a testamant to the writing, that’s a testamant to the writing. You know that Sam Boyd and, you know, two Black woman who are Rachel and what is her I can’t believe because we’re friends on it now, playing on her name or Rachel Williams. Rachel Williams. Right. And it’s a testament to her writing that they were able to create something that was so authentic and funny and sweet and and it just just felt this felt real. It like the moments when you were supposed to cringe. I cringe the moments you’re supposed to, you know, feel something you got tell something in my gut. The moment the things that were supposed to be funny were funny. They weren’t even like mean funny where it’s like the, you know, you’re you’re you’re it’s a performance of humor, sort of actual humor. These things were actually funny. And so, yeah, my strongest Blackommendation is for people who haven’t seen season two of Love Life. And also just to clarify. Each season of that show has a completely different theme, right? And so I’ve recommended this show to people before, and they naturally started at season one thinking that’s.

Panama Jackson [00:59:18] Not the same show. Yeah, it is not. It’s not.

Damon Young [00:59:21] You can’t do that, but you don’t have to start one at all. You could just start season two, episode one when you start watching it. So, so, yeah.

Panama Jackson [00:59:30] Yeah. Okay. That’s a good Blackommendation. I too. I really enjoyed that show. I think you enjoyed it more than I did, but I entirely understand. We talked about it at nauseum when when you started watching it, because I think I watched it first. I think because I was I remember I came when I came across it. A friend of mine told me about it because of Jessica Williams. He was in love with Mia, is it Mia Jones? I think. I think you.

Damon Young [00:59:55] I think you I actually think you told me about it. And I heard from other people. And then I decided to watch it. And Jessica Williams, I, I, I’ve never been a huge fan. I’ve never like disliked her or anything like that, but I’ve never been like this Jessica Williams person. But I thought she was perfect. And yeah, she was she was great in this.

Panama Jackson [01:00:18] She was great. She did a really good job. She was also great in Entergalactic, The Kid Cudi, the recently released Kid Cudi film, which I loved, but I’m also a huge Kid Cudi fan. So, you know, there’s. He can do no wrong. And it turns out he can’t do he can’t even do wrong making an animated film because that joint was awesome. But all right. So, Damon, we want to thank you for coming here on Dear Culture and talking Kanye. Talking Kanye with me. You know, when I thought about doing a discussion about Kanye, I was like, well, you and I talk about them all the time. Probably one of the most constant conversations we have, both as writers and just as people talking about artists that we love and the music and stuff that we love. So, you know, I appreciate you tell people where they can find everything that you’re doing now because it’s all over the place. But go ahead. Like, where can people find the Damon Young experience?

Damon Young [01:01:11] And one Thing, too, really quickly, one last thing about Kanye and and I think this is one of the things that is disappointing for for us is that he’s one of, he’s like he’s one of like the artists who is like our age. You know what I mean? Like he’s a what, a year, two years older?

Panama Jackson [01:01:30] Yeah. And he’s like a year older than we are.

Damon Young [01:01:32] But you have you have Kanye, you ahve Beyonce, you have Usher, you know, in terms of like the people who are like, oh, shit, they are our age. And to see one of them just have this, you know, to fall off like this in this manner is just really just, I don’t know, you know, because. Because, yeah, we don’t we don’t really I mean, who else, who else is there that that.

Panama Jackson [01:01:55] I think we we took him on like even though he was the college dropout that was he was the college one of us of the rappers before before rappers became suburban kids who just were really talented. He was one of the few who seemed like he was outside the mold, but he genuinely represented the life that I think a lot of us were familiar with or could at least understand. Like, you know, all of us weren’t selling drugs or or on the block. We weren’t we all, you know, we could all spit all the verses on only built for Cuban Linx. But I can’t say that I was you know, I can’t say that I was moving weight as Raekwon and Ghost were doing, you know, I didn’t have that history.

Damon Young [01:02:37] I’m sure about that. You sure about that?

Panama Jackson [01:02:40] I’m just saying.

Damon Young [01:02:42] I’m just saying.

Panama Jackson [01:02:43] And we it just seemed like Kanye was more for us then than he was an artist that was in our lane, like the young professional lane, and it felt like the music that spoke to us. So for him to make such a 180 or to go to what seems to be a 180, just feels so I think disappointing is the right word. I haven’t used that word yet at all, but I think that’s probably what it is for me. It’s like the disappointment of it all that I think keeps rearing its head. He finds new way to just new ways to disappoint me. Like I’m a parent who keeps giving the kid an opportunity over and over again, and then he finds a new way to do it. And at some point he the kid is actually 21 years old and you got to let him go.

Damon Young [01:03:27] So I was thinking the other way. I was thinking he’s like, Will’s dad on Fresh Prince. He’s been Vereen just just finding new ways. And then and then it’s me and you just huggin.

Panama Jackson [01:03:39] Why don’t he want me man?

Panama Jackson [01:03:44] There’s an article why don’t Kanye love us man? Why doesn’t Kanye love us? That is an article waiting to be written. There’s a chapter there’s a chapter in your your next book. Anyway. So tell people, can they find everything you’re doing?

Damon Young [01:04:00] Okay, you. I have two weekly columns in The Washington Post right now, a weekly magazine column where I riff on whatever. Anything from, like, spot a flies to my experience crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. And I also have an advice column that drops every Friday where, you know, people write in and ask me stuff and I answer them. And that’s I guess that’s what I do. Also have a podcast, you know, Stuck with Damon Young. We completed season one in the spring, and we actually later today are going to sit in on a meeting to discuss season two, which will be coming. I’m not sure exactly when, but is coming soon. You could also, you know, Damon Young VSB on IG on Twitter and you know What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Blacker is still in stores. You know, let me move. You can see you can see the cover right there. Yeah. All right. So, you know, go wherever they sell, wherever they sell books, go cope it, read it, you know, the tragicomic exploration of the angst, anxieties and and insecurities about existing while Black in America. Right. It’s a funny book. It’s also like a deeply vulnerable, deepy self-conscious, deeply anxious, deeply neurotic. But all the things that make me, me, I guess, and you will find in that and I think you’ll find in all the rest of my work who because I just I’m a nasal gaval mother fucker right now to talk about what is happening in here and I try to figure out a way to put it on the page. So well.

Panama Jackson [01:05:46] I can cosign the book, you know, all the work that you’ve done, not only your friend, but I’m a fan of your work. Obviously, I don’t think we’ve been working together for as long as we did if we weren’t fans of one another. So I think that goes without saying. So my brother appreciates you. Thank you for joining me here, dear. Your culture, the first of what will be presumably many more times as the things that we’ve talked about for years, keep rearing their heads in interesting ways and thanks to everybody for listening to their culture and make sure you check us out wherever you get your podcasts. Make sure you download theGrio app where you can get all the content from theGrio, especially this podcast and all the other amazing podcasts that are part of our Grio Black Podcast Network. If you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, email scams, money that you’d like to send, make sure you send that makes you put my name on it at podcast at Dear Culture is an original podcast of theGrio Black Podcast Network. The show is produced by Sasha Armstrong. It is edited by Jessie Vargas. And Regina Griffin is our managing editor of podcasts. Thanks for listening. Have a Black one.