Kanye Hasn’t Changed

In the beginning

I get down for my grandfather who took my mama
Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain’t want us to eat
At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins
And with that in my blood I was born to be different
Now niggas can’t make it to the ballots to choose leadership
But we can make it to Jacob’s and to the dealership
Swear I hear new music and I just don’t be feelin’ it
Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it

From “Never Let Me Down” of “The College Dropout” 2004

And then 10 years later…

My momma was raised in the era when
Clean water was only served to the fairer skin
Doin’ clothes you would have thought I had help
But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself
You see it’s broke nigga racism
That’s that “Don’t touch anything in the store”
And it’s rich nigga racism
That’s that “Come in, please buy more”
"What you want, a Bentley? Fur coat? A diamond chain?
All you blacks want all the same things”

From “New Slaves” off “Yeezus” 2013

Yeezus, Haute Couture Rap & Why J Cole Does Not Belong Near a Grammy

This is a very random rant.

Some people have ‘decried’ the absence of J Cole’s “Born Sinner” from the Grammy nomination list as well as wondered at the inclusion of Kanye West’s “Yeezus”.  These people are illiterates and should not be allowed near an internet connection except for the purpose of receiving an education.  It is not just that Born Sinner, while accessible, is thoroughly mediocre; it’s also that it says nothing new.

Born Sinner does not advance the cause of rap as a genre.  It does not teach us anything new.  It has no lyrical content for us to ponder on.  It’s just there - another decent rap album. 

Enter Yeezus.  After Kanye West introduced the world to ‘designer rap’ with “Watch the Throne”, he retreated to Paris to recreate how we experienced the genre.  No one can claim that Yeezus is accessible; instead, it feels like watching the runway from a John Galliano show.  You see exaggerated lines and stark contrasts and you immediately know two things:

  1. No one is wearing this to work on Monday
  2. This will inspire what we will wear to work a year from now

This isn’t the first time Kanye has done this.  When he released 808s & Heartbreaks, people complained too.  Weird. Inaccessible. Not classic rap.  

No matter.

Today, we listen to Kid Cudi, Drake & Lil’ Wayne singing and very few realise how much they owe to 808.  My suspicion is that Yeezus will start off a few trends that will trickle down to mainstream rap in a few years, and who knows, maybe to a J Cole album in 2017.

humansofnewyork
humansofnewyork:





"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?""Enjoy it while it lasts.""What’s something you wish you’d enjoyed more while it lasted?""Raising my kids. I mean, they turned out well. So I raised them well in that sense. But I was always working. Even on a lot of weekends, I was working. When I was coming up, that’s what the man was expected to do.”"If you had spent more time with your family, do you think you’d regret not having progressed as far in your career?""…. no."


 

humansofnewyork:

"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
"Enjoy it while it lasts."
"What’s something you wish you’d enjoyed more while it lasted?"
"Raising my kids. I mean, they turned out well. So I raised them well in that sense. But I was always working. Even on a lot of weekends, I was working. When I was coming up, that’s what the man was expected to do.”
"If you had spent more time with your family, do you think you’d regret not having progressed as far in your career?"
"…. no."
 

10 Things Henry Okelue (and Others) Don’t Understand About Education Today

There’s really not enough space to tweet all of this so I just thought that a post would make a little more sense.  Besides, it won’t be lost in the tweet stream 20 minutes from now.

Earlier today, I tweeted this:

Mostly tongue-in-cheek but my big quarrel with ASUU is that I think it’s an organisation stuck in the past.  I may be wrong, but here are the things I think a lot of people don’t realise about [tertiary] education… Henry Okelue included.

  1. It is expensive.  Ridiculously so.  So expensive that there is an entire industry dedicated to figuring out how to cut education costs using technology.  The ed tech space isn’t really driven by the altruism of “getting education to the underserved”, it’s also being driven by “getting quality education cheaper”.  And why is that such a problem?  I suggest you take a look at this infographic that shows you how much student debt there is in the United States.
  2. Nigeria doesn’t have enough tertiary institutions.  And the simple way to check that out is to find out what %age of people that sit for JAMB/UTME will get in.  The answer is less than 10%.  This has nothing to do with cut-off marks.  This is more to do with available school spaces.  There’s a big gap in the market - many Nigerians WILL NOT go to any tertiary institution through no fault of their own.
  3. Nigeria’s tertiary institutions suck. Generally. The quality of instruction isn’t great.  The content isn’t keeping up with the times and the students aren’t being trained in a manner that would make them valuable additions to the workplace.
  4. We have a teacher problem.  One of the big issues we have today is that the bright and brightest don’t stay in the university system.  There’s simply no motivation to.  Universities are no longer a place to exercise your intellectual curiosity and the financial reward really isn’t there.  The other problem is that there aren’t enough great teachers to go round.  
  5. The Nigerian Government Can’t Afford to Fund Education Properly.  This one would probably get me lynched but please hear me out.  Even if we got the most honest government in history today, we would still have a funding problem.  Stanford’s budget was almost twice Nigeria’s education budget this year.  Now, some would say that this proves that the Nigerian government doesn’t spend enough on education but I think it also says something else. If you consider that Stanford’s budget is 8% of the entire Nigerian budget, you’d have to wonder if the Nigerian government can ever truly fund education “properly”, except of course that’s the only thing it spends money on.  That being said…
  6. The Nigerian Government needs to spend a lot more on education.  But not because ASUU said so.  It needs to do it to help create a future in which we compete, to build a better workforce and, in a very roundabout way, truncate some of the silly issues Nigeria deals with today.
  7. Fund-raising rules for schools need to be liberalized.  They are pretty strict right now but schools need to be able to create trusts where their wealthy alumni can put their money in and funding can come from other sources.  Of course when you start collecting people’s money, you have to be more transparent and that’s always a good thing.
  8. Nigeria needs to take online education VERY seriously.  We have a nasty education deficit.  On our current capacity, we cannot educate our population properly at any level.  We do have to figure out how to “scale” great teachers - can we take Editi’s stellar math teacher and provide his expertise to thousands of children?  (Thank you, Feyi). 
  9. There is no reason not to have online-only universities.  The alternative is dreadfully expensive.  It’s knowledge we’re trying to pass across right?
  10. I’m sure there’s a third thing but I’m tired.

5 Things to Learn from the Tiketmobile Fiasco (Yes, I’m calling it a fiasco)

1. Hindsight is 20/20. And Not Even Then.

image

We don’t know the terms Jason offered for his $25,000 and I won’t speculate.  What I do know is that for some reason (arrogance, optimism, stupidity, fear, all of the above), Cele & the team were convinced that not taking $25,000 from Jason was a good idea.  Before we rush out and say, “you SHOULD have taken that money because you could have died!”, remember that life is littered with people who were about to take one deal when a better one was around the corner.

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On the other hand, Pitchfork looooves Yeezus. 9.5 they say. I agree.