Is Kanye West a Picasso? An Edison? Is Jay-Z the Bob Dylan of anything? Lauded artist Leonard Cohen tackled these important artistic matters and more in a poem before his death. Read “Kanye West Is Not Picasso” below.
Recently published in posthumous writing collection The Flame, as dug up by singer-songwriter Amanda Shires and noted by Consequence of Sound, the poem was written in the months prior to Cohen’s death at 82 in November 2016.
In it, the “Hallelujah” icon ruminates on “the great bogus shift of bullshit culture,” the late performer seemingly telegraphing West’s deep dive into bat-shittery years before the rapper starter wearing a Donald Trump-endorsing MAGA hat:
Kanye West is not Picasso
I am Picasso
Kanye West is not Edison
I am Edison
I am Tesla
Jay-Z is not the Dylan of Anything
I am the Dylan of anything
I am the Kanye West of Kanye West
The Kanye West
Of the great bogus shift of bullshit culture
From one boutique to another
I am Tesla
I am his coil
The coil that made electricity soft as a bed
I am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is
When he shoves your ass off the stage
I am the real Kanye West
I don’t get around much anymore
I never have
I only come alive after a war
And we have not had it yet
The poem’s dated March 15, 2015, and was seemingly written in response to comments West made at Oxford University that month. “If I, Kanye West, can remove my ego,” he dubiously said at the time, “I think there’s hope for everyone.”
Ironically, West is scheduled to meet with the President Trump again today, continuing his public parade of insanity that caused wife Kim Kardashian West to come to the rapper’s defense after his tweets started showing signs of nuttiness.
In his poem, Cohen writes of a culture war purportedly precipitated by West’s “shov[ing] your ass off the stage.” And the late singer and songwriter scrawls that he “only come[s] alive after a war.” We just haven’t had the war yet.
Perhaps Cohen really was the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.