“Hello my Only One.”

Many words have been used to describe Kanye Omari West: Visionary, god, polarizing, jackass, (etc.) One adjective I rarely hear though is “relatable.” Honestly, that’s not hard to believe… the man is hard to relate to. Have you ever told your girl to “Get the Porsche out the d*** garage?” Have you ever said to yourself, “One day I’m gonna marry a porn star?” Over the past decade the most relatable Kanye West has ever been to the average person was on his debut, The College Dropout where he rapped about his life as it was before getting a deal. Some of the realest things he ever said were on that record. I’m getting off track here so don’t get it twisted but how many people can say they relate to who Kanye West is today? How many people can really say they relate to someone of that magnitude, making the case that they share a deeper connection than just appreciating music with him or her. I can.

At 12:00 AM on January 1, 2015, West dropped “Only One.” featuring Paul McCartney of The Beatles. I listened to it over and over again until I was shedding tears. I had to regain my composure quickly but this song literally shook me to my very core. Not like the stadium-status of Graduation, the grandiose My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, or the hellish Yeezus, but in a way that literally felt like the words spoken were spoken directly to me.When asked about the track West said that his late mother, Donda West actually spoke through him and to him on this song as he was recording it. Here’s the crazy part… I heard my mother speaking to me too.

Hello ‘Mari, how you doin’? I think the storm ran out of rain, the clouds are movin’.”

I lost my beautiful mother, Rachael, when I was three months old to complications from Cystic Fibrosis and double pneumonia. She was 21. I have went my entire life listening to stories of the strong, powerful, courageous and wonderful woman that she was. I have a list of questions I would ask her if I only had the chance. But the worst thing is I’ve went my entire life wondering if she would truly be proud of who I’ve been and who I’m going to be.

Hello my only one. Just like the morning sun, you’ll keep on rising until the sky knows your name.
Hello my only one. Remember who you are, no you’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes.”

When I heard “Only One” I immediately had answers I’ve been asking for years. I heard my mother’s voice in my heart, singing this to me. I’m shedding tears now as I write just knowing how much she truly loves me. It brings me a joy I’ve never known until now. At the time I’m writing this I am five days from turning 21. She gave birth to a happy baby, fulfilled her biggest goal in life, having a family, and is watching that boy grow into a successful man.

And if you knew how proud I was, you’d never shed a tear, have a fear, no you wouldn’t do that.
And though I didn’t pick the day to turn the page, I know it’s not the end.”

I wish I could have known my mother better, made amazing memories with her, visited her in her old age and brought her cookies, given her everything like every son should, but I can’t. I’m envious of the men who know their mothers and have that opportunity. But every time I hear this song I see her smiling face and hear her beautiful voice in my heart, singing along with me.

So hear me out, I won’t go. No goodbyes, just hellos.
And when you cry, I will cry. And when you smile, I will smile.
And next time when I look in your eyes, we’ll have wings and we’ll fly.”

It’s an understatement to say I’m looking forward to the day I finally get to say hello to my mom. When I visit some beautiful new place I always jokingly say “Hey mom, I made it.” A part of me knows she’s smiling and saying “I know son, I’m proud.” “Only One” is confirmation of that, confirmation I’ve desperately needed for so very long. Don’t get me wrong, I love living, but I’d be lying if I said this hadn’t crossed my mind a thousand times.

So say what you will about Kanye West. All adjectives used to describe him may or may not be true based on the opinion of the person speaking them, that’s one of the beautiful things about words. I’ve been a longtime fan and will continue to be supportive of his mission to spread a message of self-confidence, achieving your biggest goals and never letting anyone silence your ambitions. But on top of all that, it’s amazing seeing an introspective piece of art like this make such a connection to you in a way you never knew art could.

Only One” is literally the soundtrack, the anthem, to my relationship with my mom. It brought me to a point of peace with the question “What would mom think of me?” And for that I am so very thankful.

I love you mommy. Thinking of you tonight.

image via @kanyewest on twitter.

image via @kanyewest on twitter.

Association of French Bakers Sends Open Letter to Kanye West Regarding His “Damn Croissants”

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Image via Tumblr

A couple days ago the Association of French Bakers wrote an open letter to Kanye West regarding some lyrics from his song “I am a God” from his recently released album “Yeezus”. Let’s just say they were not too happy with his remarks about the amount of time it takes to prepare a certain buttery flaky viennoiserie bread roll. Read the open letter in its entirety below.

To Monsieur Kanye West:

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, Nord! This is a truly auspicious time for you — and so it is with great sadness that we must lodge a formal complaint against the song “I am a God” from your new album Yeezus.

Our organization represents bakers across France, many of whom have taken great offense at this particular rhyming couplet:

“In a french-ass restaurant
Hurry up with my damn croissants

Assuming you, as a man of means, dine exclusively at high-end restaurants and boulangeries during your voyages to Paris, it could not be possible that the delay of your “damn” croissants originated from slow service. And certainly, you are not a man to be satisfied with pre-made croissants from the baked goods case reheated and tossed out on a small platter. No — you had demanded your croissants freshly baked, to be delivered to your table straight out of the oven piping hot.

And it was with great joy you ordered croissants — not crêpes or brioches — because only croissants can proudly claim that exquisite combination of flaky crust and a succulent center. The croissant is dignified — not vulgar like a piece of toast, simply popped into a mechanical device to be browned. No — the croissant is born of tender care and craftsmanship. Bakers must carefully layer the dough, paint on perfect proportions of butter, and then roll and fold this trembling croissant embryo with the precision of a Japanese origami master.

This process, as you can understand, takes much time. And we implore the patience of all those who order croissants. You may be familiar with the famous French expression, “A great croissant is worth waiting a lifetime for.” We know you are a busy man, M. West, but we believe that your patience for croissants will always be rewarded.

We could easily let this water pass under the bridge, as they say, but we take your lyrics very seriously. From the other lines in the song, we have come to understand that you may in fact be a “God.” Yet if this were the case — and we, of course, take you at your word — we wonder why you do not more frequently employ your omnipotence to change time and space to better suit your own personal whims. For us mere mortals, we must wait the time required for the croissant to come to perfect fruition, but as a deity, you can surely alter the bread’s molecular structure faster than the speed of light, no? And with your omniscience, perhaps you have something to teach us about the perfect croissant. We await your guidance and insights.

We appreciate your continued patronage of French culture. (Your frequent references to menage perhaps speak an interest in the structure of the French household?) We hope from the deepest recesses of our hearts, however, that in the future you give croissants the time they need to fully mature before you partake. With that, we say, adieu. And our member Louis Malpass from Le Havre wants you to know that he loves “Black Skinhead.”

Salutations cordiales

Bernard Aydelotte
Association of French Bakers

Pusha T – “My Name Is My Name” Cover Art

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Image via DONDA / Good Music / Def Jam

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Image via DONDA / Good Music / Def Jam

Kanye West’s artistic venture “DONDA” continues to make minimalism hip again with the release of the album artwork for Pusha T’s solo debut “My Name Is My Name“. The G.O.O.D. Music record label founder unveiled the edited and explicit version covers earlier today on his Twitter account.

This unveiling comes just under a day after the release of Pusha T’s new single Sweet Serenade” (feat. Chris Brown) which continued with the minimalistic theme seen in the menacing “Numbers On The Boards” which simply featured a parental advisory note and the text “NO ARTWORK”.

The explicit version of the album artwork depicts a UPC Barcode, which, if scanned with Amazon‘s app barcode reader will allow you to pre-order the album. The edited version depicts a blacked out shot of Pusha T from the chest up.

Watch out for “My Name Is My Name” dropping October 8th.