Today I got asked, and this is an exact quote, What do your mothers think of your podcast? Do they find it odd that their child hosts a program about one specific person?
Thats a hard question for two reasons. One is that our podcast is about one of the most polarizing artists in the world. The second is because my mothers are , not to be dramatic, dead. My dad passed away when I was 20. My mom when I was 25. And here I am at 30 years old, co-host of the No. 1 Kanye West podcast in the world. What would they think?
My dad was a blue-collar worker for 33 years who would sometimes expend a Saturday morning drinking Budweiser, while solving a crossword puzzle and watching a Pink Floyd concert on VHS. My mom had a Ph.D in animal behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, taught at Kent State for over 20 years, was a well-known home cat expert, and had a working theory on the vocabulary of chuckling gulls. My papa would be more interested in what I thought about the Cleveland Browns house a competitive football team. My mom would have sent me text messages saying, I heard Kanye. Why?
So they probably wouldnt have guessed much about it. Butwould I even have a Kanye podcast if my mothers were alive?
Up until 2008, I wasnt a Kanye fan. I thought he was overplayed. Nothing more than an artist to throw on when youre having a party and want to get people going. But 16 months after my papas lungs had filled with cancer, in the middle of a bleak final year of college, when I wanted to be anywhere other than ClevelandKanye released 808s& Heartbreak . It was his fourth album, and it hurled the world for a bit of a loop-the-loop: Why is he singing on, like, every way? Is this even rap? Why is this so sad?
Knowing that Kanyes mom had passed the year before, I felt a connection to him. So, for the first time, I truly listened to Kanye.
There were no clever tales of gold digger. No workout plans to help girls get NBA players or at least a dude with a auto. There was no triumphant call for everyone to touch the sky. Instead, Kanye opined about love thats lost touch. He reflected on his friends having kids and him merely having crib. An entire way about street lights managed to arrive at the conclusion that lifes simply not fair. That was the kind of darknes, depressing shit I wanted to hear.
During that time, I was haunted by an inability to describe any part of my heartbreak and bitterness; how things I had cherished were now superficial, indulgent, stupid. It mattered to me that Kanye had expressed what I didnt know how. The most important question might be what I think about having a podcast about one specific person.
Travis and I have 108 episodes of Watching the Throne , over 175 hours of content, beyond 300 hours simply in preparation for shows.
If Yeezus is 40 minutes and Ive listened to it 500 times … I guess that means that I think nothings ever promised tomorrow, today. That Jesus walks. That street lights glowing happens to be just like moments passing. That its the last call for alcohol. That they need to set some goddamn roadblocks up on Mulholland Drive. That the things we buy cover up whats inside. That the way you look should be a sin. That balding Donald Trumpis taking dollars from you all. That no one human should have all that power. That this is the good life. That the wave is here. That its time for us to have a toast. That theres no Gepetto to guide me. That, hey momma, I wanna scream so loud for you. That lifes simply not fair, but we on an ultralight beam.
Watching the Throne is doing a live indicate Friday, as part ofSXSW and theTuneIn Radio Podcast Stage. Disclosure: The Daily Dot is a presenting sponsor of this taping.
The podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.