By now, everyone (or at least everyone in Toronto) has heard about Kanye West performing at the closing ceremony of the Pan Am Games. West, along with Pitbull and Canadian Serena Ryder are slated to end off the games with a bang. But the city seems to be in dismay about Kanye West. Why isn’t a Canadian headlining? Why Kanye West and not someone wholesome and loveable like Taylor Swift? Wait Serena Ryder is Canadian?
Many people in Toronto are complaining that Kanye West shouldn’t be performing due to his ego, lack of role model qualities, because he isn’t Canadian (we have Drake!)… the eye roll goes on. Some people, like our Mayor, didn’t even know who he was. People are so passionate about replacing him, that a petition with over 40,000 signatures was made. But it seems like it was for naught, as Saad Rafi, the chief executive officer of Toronto 2015 has stated that the lineup won’t be changing. Oh, the glory.
Kanye West petitions aren’t anything new though. A petition was created to have him pulled off the lineup for Ottawas Bluesfest to have him replaced with a better artist. But is this really about Kanye “Ima let you finish” Wests’ ego and “lack of talent” or something else?
Vice writer, Seb FoxAllen believes that the criticisms Kanye West faces is due to an underlying issue. “The persistent, boisterous, very particular type of resistance Kanye West receives is not simply a reaction to him as popular black performer, but rather as a shining embodiment of specific archetypes of blackness that challenge the norms of an enduring cultural status quo: confidence, self-knowledge, assertiveness, defiance, impenitence.”
And I think there’s some real truth there. Kanye West has become a scapegoat for naysayers and “I’m not racist I just don’t like rap” types alike. Would there be this much of a issue if someone like American Taylor Swift headlined the closing ceremony? Two words. Probably not.
Regardless, I think it’s time for Toronto to wake up and smell the roses for once. It’s a celebration after all. Grab a drink, grab a glass.