Kanye New and Improved…Yes, Kanye even you have room for improvement!


Just ask anyone and you will soon learn that I am a huge fan of Kanye West’s music, and probably the biggest critic of his behavior and personality.  He may be confident, but there is often a risk in being so much that it is seen as cocky.  For such a young man, he seems to think he is deserving of a title greater than the Beatles, and following in their steps, greater than Jesus? Well Kanye has said even more crazy and absurd things, claiming that he deserved the Best New Artist in 2004, and sporting himself as a poor loser and poor winner on more than one occasion.  He cannot seem to go anywhere without making a statement…usually about himself.  For once, though, Kanye made a statement heard across the nation this past month and it was actually about someone else.

I’m speaking, of course, about the VMA (MTV’s Video Music Award) 2009 controversy.  Kanye stood up in the middle of Taylor Swift winning “Best Music Video” and took her microphone away in the middle of her thank you speech.  He literally said that Beyonce should have won.


The crowd was shocked, but then again maybe shocked isn’t the best choice of words seeing as how if I were to predicate from past statements who if anyone would do such a thing, I would guess Kanye.  This is the same man that after Hurricane Katrina had nothing else to address besides the lack of Bush administration action and did so by shouting to the world, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”.  He just does not have the best reputation for being modest by any means nor does he ever admit he is wrong.  He takes pride in causing such scenes, and it makes me wonder if as a fan I should support him and caulk it up to “celebrity” and part of his “image” or, rather, make it a point to no longer encourage such action.  Regardless of what I have done, many others have boycotted his albums and have lost the willpower to excuse such annoying comments and rants.  Because of this, I see Kanye as my first subject in need of an image makeover.

As a public relations professional, first things first I would encourage Kanye to publically apologize to Taylor and the fans.  This apology could not simply be an “I’m sorry” appearing fake and forced, but, rather, a conscious showing of Kanye’s shame in the playback of the scene and that he is actually embarrassed for once.  Humility is the first step in this transformation.


Another attempt to calm things with Taylor and her fans would be reaching out and acknowledging her talent.  He may even reach more fans than before by doing so, with the logic of any friend of Taylor’s is a potential friend of Kanye.  This would strongly deter from the current logic that anyone who likes Taylor Swift now hates Kanye West.  It seems that Kanye should reach out to her by asking her to collaborate in a certain work with him.  This would publicly acknowledge his appreciation for her singing and also encourage fans of both to see how well they could work together.  If Kanye could humble himself to share the stage with someone he once publicly demeaned, there may be a turn in opinions of him.

These would help his cause right now, but my campaign would require more long-term changes in image.  This would involve him no longer making such dramatic and controversial statements.  There would no longer be public comments about politics, but, rather, positive statements of encouragement to citizens.  I don’t want him to lose his edge, but, instead, try to be more marketable to the average person who may not be so liberal.  This is when I would need to focus on what the PRSA encourages.  I do not want Kanye to lie to his fans on his opinions, but just keep his more dramatic and edgy views personal.  He may need to conform to a less vocal individual if he hopes to change his image, but he will most likely find it is better to be loved and appreciated for his talent rather than his outbursts.


He may also speak out just as much as once before, but in a positive manner rather than pointing out the negative aspects.  For example, the two scandals could have been avoided if he had simply mentioned how good Beyonce’s video was and how Obama’s campaign could do a lot to represent the minorities of America instead of his alternative; bashing Taylor Swift at the most horrible timing and previously stating, “Bush does not care about black people”.

Thus, my final attempt to encourage Kanye fans would be to have him promote things and people that he looks up to in such a way.  He could be a celebrity endorser for the Obama campaign and take steps accordingly to get people to vote or help the nation, but only after he improves his character personally because no citizen will want to support an insensitive and immature voice.  He could also collaborate and esteem such fellow artists as Beyonce while he glorifies the fact that he SUPPORTS other people.  Some people may not be fans of the potential “bland” image he may have after my campaign, but, publicly, more people think of Kanye as immature and too outspoken than as an insightful and strong icon currently.


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