In spite of his awards show gaffes and public outbursts in the face of unjust circumstances, we all can’t help but love the man who claimed that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” More important than his verbal slips is his contribution to hip hop. It is safe to say that Mr. West has helped lead hip hop away from it’s tired “gangster rap” phase into a new era where it’s okay to be a rapper and not have a criminal record. At the helm of “conscious rap,” and challenging the image of masculinity in hip hop, Kanye West has made it possible for rappers like Drake and Kid Cudi to become popular in spite of the fact that (misogynistic lyrics aside), they’re just regular guys who like music.
Kanye, the unapologetic fashionisto, has also placed himself at the forefront of hip-hop fashion, aiding the move away from oversized throwback jerseys and baggy jeans. Remember ten years ago when you would never see a rapper in a video with a nicely tailored suit (and maybe a woman’s blouse)? You can thank Yeezy for that.
So here’s to Kanye West, designer, artist, and musician!
Happy 34th and many more!
Birthday Bomb is a section celebrating the borndays of some of fashion’s foremost faces.