Kanye West is a brilliant artist and producer who deserves to have won an album of the year Grammy, but he's made it virtually impossible to remain a fan.
At a time when Donald Trump is on a presidential run acting the bully, Kanye is wreaking a similar havoc across the music world.
You know the history with Taylor Swift, from the MTV Video Music Awards to his misogynistic attack on "Life of Pablo": "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous."
January brought the brutal 17-point Twitter rant against Wiz Khalifa, along with the fighting words, "I own your child!!!!" His tweets were so rapid-fire it was as if he had them ready to go on Google Docs. Wiz has always been a peaceful cat who doesn't pick fights with anyone, and this was all over a stupid misunderstanding. Kanye never directly apologized other than to tweet, "God's dream ... Never speak on kids again ... all love ... all blessings."
So much for "God's dream." Now he's attacked Bob Ezrin on Twitter the same way: "Your kids are ashamed of their dad... Sorry for speaking about kids... but could you imagine if you were Bob Ezrin's kids..."
"Sorry" doesn't cut it. And yeah, I can imagine Bob Ezrin's kids working up a good deal of pride for their father's brilliant career, which includes production on most of the Alice Cooper albums, Pink Floyd's "The Wall," Lou Reed's "Berlin," Kiss' "Destroyer," the first Peter Gabriel solo album, Aerosmith's "Get Your Wings" and, more recently, work with Thirty Seconds to Mars, U2, Green Day and Taylor.
Ezrin's crime was to vent about Kanye's social media madness in a note to music insider Bob Lefsetz's newsletter. Ezrin notes, "Sure, he made some great music for himself and others. But in spite of what the aspirationally-cool media keeps saying about him, unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer for that matter, it's unlikely that we'll be quoting too many of Kanye's songs 20 years from now. He didn't open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick. In my opinion, his productions are his best work - and I admit I'm jealous of several of them - but I don't think he's on quite the same level as Timbaland and Rick Rubin among several others. His songwriting - meaning the stuff with melodies - is sophomoric at best. I was embarrassed for Sir Paul - one of the greatest Artists of our era by their collaboration, though it was pointed out to me that this got him his highest chart position in decades. So I guess he didn't mind. But I kind of did!"
He goes on to say, "Instead Kanye's greatest achievements have been in the form of excessive behavior, egomaniacal tantrums and tasteless grandstanding."
Kanye went to Twitter late Tuesday night to ask, "Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???" The short answer is "yes," for anybody with a working knowledge of rock. But producers didn't make a fuss about themselves in Bob Ezrin's heyday. They didn't have Twitter. They didn't go on stage. They worked behind the scenes and allowed the artists to get the glory.
Two tweets later, Kanye, who recently declared that he didn't want white publications like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork to review his work (despite their positive reviews of his new album), offered new conditions on who can address him: "I'm tired of old people that have no connection with anything trying to comment on music!" and "Bob please never speak in public again... you are everything that is wrong with the old guard ..."
Yeah, it's too bad Bob Ezrin doesn't have any connection with anything.
After the family attack, Kanye wrapped it up with "God bless the fools ... all positive vibes!"
Yeah, he's a fool all right.
Being a fan often requires having to separate the art from the artist. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. As much as I respect Kanye the artist, I can't imagine wanting to listen to anything he's connected to right now.