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Kanye West trying to walk in Chief Keefe’s image: Mitchell

Updated: November 14, 2013 6:36AM



I know Kanye West can be a hothead and an egomaniac.

But a lot of what he said on the Jimmy Kimmel show last Wednesday night was ridiculous, especially his comments about Chicago.

Besides taking some strange twists and turns to make his points, the 34-year-old rapper behaved like a spoiled brat.

For instance, because he hasn’t been able to dominate the fashion world, West dissed all the other black male designers who have made it.

“[C] urrently in fashion, there’s no black guy at the end of the runway in Paris, in all honesty, and that’s what I meant when I said, “The Truman Show” hit the boat,” he told Kimmel, explaining remarks he made during the BBC interview that prompted Kimmel to spoof the rapper.

“Who is known more for clothes than me?” he asked at one point? “When I’m in Paris and I’m sitting in fashion week for nine years and ‘South Park’ makes fun of our outfits…at some point it’s like Michael Jackson trying to get his videos on,” he said.

What about Ozwald Boateng, the English fashion designer?

Boateng was the first tailor to stage a catwalk during Paris Fashion Week.

Patrick Kelly, who died in 1990, was the first American member of the Chambre Syndicate du Pret-a-Porter — the governing body of the French ready-to-wear industry.

He also issued a weird warning to paparazzi:

“[I]t’s not safe for you in this zoo, you know? Never think that I’m not from Chicago for one second,” he said.

It’s bad enough that the rest of the country thinks our city is a hellhole because of violence, but the Chicago-bred rapper who now lives in an $11 million Bel Air Mansion has the gall to exploit the negativity in order to project a bogus bad guy image.

West was on late night TV whining about his girlfriend Kim Kardashian not getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

How tough could he be?

Additionally, part of West’s appeal was his clean background.

Because his talent took him to the top of an industry crowded with by real life thugs, former drug dealers, and gang-members, West is proof that black youth don’t have to sling drugs, get shot, or go to jail to land a lucrative music deal.

For him to now suggest that he was ever in the same boat with the misguided youth who are trying to break into the hip-hop industry today is insulting.

West grew up in a middle-class home and attended good suburban schools in safe communities. His mother, the late Donda C. Williams, made sure of it. Williams quit her job as chair of the English Department at Chicago State University to become her son’s manager.

Instead of dodging bullets on the South and West Sides in his youth, West was traveling to exotic places with a parent who exposed her son to a world filled with possibility.

Yet, West talked like he came up in the housing projects.

“[T]here was moments I stood up to drug dealers in Chicago,” he said. “I said you can’t have my publishing, come and kill me, do what you’re gonna do, but you’re not gonna bully me, you’re not gonna stop me, because my mother made me believe in myself.”

What? Now West wants us to believe he’s tangled with the Chief Keef types?

Keef, 18, whose real name is Keith Cozart, grew up in Englewood. Already, the teen has had several run-ins with the law, including aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated assault on a police officer. After videotape surfaced of Keef holding a firearm at a gun range, a judge sent him to a juvenile detention center for two months on a parole violation.

After signing with Interscope Records, Chief Keef became the new face of successful Chicago rappers.

Frankly, it was the last thing the city needed.

Now, it looks like West is trying to walk in Chief Keef’s image.

That’s unfortunate.

I was always proud it was the conventional West who put Chicago on the hip-hop map.

Email: marym@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MaryMitchellCST



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