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The Tragic Demise of a Genius, or… Maybe Kanye is a F**kboy

I’m old, so I remember when Arthur Fonzarelli was the coolest man who walked the earth. He wore a black leather jacket, hair slicked back and bitches loved him (And when I say “bitches,” I mean it in the barbershop meaning of the word: skinny white girls in miniskirts on the sets of 70’s sitcoms.) He was the one who made the “thumbs up” a hip thing to do. “The Fonz” didn’t even need pocket change because he could just punch the jukebox with his fist and it would automatically play The Beatles or whatever song white kids wanted to dance off beat to. He was an entire generation’s definition of what it meant to be “cool,” but he started getting lamer and lamer as his popularity grew.

Then one night I was watching Happy Days with my sisters and they had The Fonz on the beach waterskiing in Beyonce booty shorts and a leather jacket (no bullshit). With Potzi and Ralph Malph watching, The Fonz water-skied up a ramp and soared over a man-eating shark . It was so white-people lame I immediately thought “this is some bullshit.”

I didn’t fuck with The Fonz too much after that. I didn’t know it then, but the phrase “jump the shark” would go on to be used whenever a tv series or person does something so crazy just to get people to watch it, that it can never be taken seriously again.

jump the shark 

1.informal (of a television series or movie) reach a point at which far-fetched events are included merely for the sake of novelty, indicative of a decline in quality.

Kanye West jumped the shark yesterday.

Kanye used to be magical. I’ve loved and listened to hip hop since the Sugar Hill Gang, so I know it has evolved slowly over time, but there are three times where I remember it leaping forward:

  1. When I heard “The Chronic
  2. When I heard “ATLiens”
  3. When I heard “The College Dropout”

The difference with Kanye was that it was all him. Kanye was Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Kanye was Big Boi, Andre and Organized Noize. Kanye was the first prodigy of hip hop and no one felt that calling him a genius was premature or an exaggeration. Then he did it again with Jay-Z. Then he did it again with Late Registration. Sure, he displayed a few narcissistic tendencies, he started trading in girlfriends for successively bigger booties and lighter skin, but we were willing to overlook that because he was giving us banging music, and he even called out George Bush (although I’ve always discounted the bravery of this. I mean, before Kanye’s statement, did you think George Bush cared about Black people?)

Now I’m beginning to wonder: Was Kanye a “fuckboy” all along?

Kanye’s slow descent into the depths of assholery started on the MTV Music Awards stage when he grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift. We thought it was cool then, but looking back, it was exactly the kind of thing a fuckboy would do: Flexing on a little white girl who can’t kick his ass so he could impress his big homey Jigga. In hindsight we know that Beyonce stole the whole idea and routine of that video, but here is the larger question: Why was he so passionate about a girl-anthem dance song? Here is an even better question: What kind of man risks his career and livelihood for his love of a Beyonce video?

A Fuckboy, that’s who.

But then he tried to redeem himself by allowing Jay Leno to lecture him live on The Tonight Show while he quietly wept in the guest chair. Now I am not one to advocate false ideals of masculinity nor do I think that all Black people are a monolith who must abide by certain rules, but I was taught by my uncles that there are two things a Black man should never do:

  1. Engage in a conversation about your bootyhole (we’ll get to that later)
  2. Cry in front of white people.


I know this was during a period right after the death of his mother, and his sympathizers have blamed all of his subsequent shenanigans on the Donda’s sudden demise, but c’mon son. That was damn near nine years ago. That was way back in the days when white men were President and Black men were dominating golf. Shit, we dropped an atomic bomb on Japan and they were back making Toyotas three weeks later.

Even after his mother’s death, Kanye’s music was still thoughtful, and grew increasingly revolutionary, but his douchebaggery grew to epic proportions. Because we are a sympathetic people, we ascribed all of his tomfoolery to the grieving process, but it might have been Fuckboy-ology all along. I don’t even think Kim Kardashian should catch any shrapnel in this debate, because we know what she is, but after Kanye hooked up with her, his “bitch-ass nigga” powers became superhero-like. Like when he tweeted that Kim made him take 100 showers after Amber Rose. Or when he went off on Sway. Or when he flipped out for not winning an MTV award. Or when he said his biggest regret is that he will never be able to see himself perform live. I’m sure there is an intergalactic confederation of jackasses looking down on him like Darth Vader, smiling and saying, “The Fuckboy is strong with this one.”

Perhaps you’re wondering what a fuckboy is. When we consult the Urban dictionary, it explains the technical, precise definition of fuckboy as: “A person who is a weak ass-pussy that ain’t about shit.”

There are many more definitions (you should really check it out) but they all seem to fit Kanye, including the one that says fuckboys look like “they just read one of Jaden Smith’s tweets in their selfies” and that fuckboys “can’t find the clitoris”.

So yesterday we could excuse Kanye’s brashness and he braggadocio in the way he went of on Wiz Khalifa, (Wiz Khalifa though? Wiz looks like he doesn’t do anything but smoke weed and eat Teddy Grahams. It’s like me going to pick a fight at a preschool… For girls) but bringing Wiz’s girlfriend into the argument was some fuckboy shit. Especially when she is Kanye’s ex-girlfriend. Calling her a stripper was some epic fuckboiletry. Then dragging her child into it was the fuckboyest fuck shit of them all. Especially when you have a child with a woman who is ostensibly a porn star. As a matter of fact, whose titties and ass have you seen more of — Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose? (By the way, if Kanye says he “owns” Wiz’s child because he is responsible for its existence because he broke up with her, then isn’t Ray-J responsible for Kanye’s child? Would that make the baby’s name North Norwood, or North-J? These are questions we need answers for!)

Even Amber Rose’s clap back was a response perfectly tailored to fuckboy sensibilities, initiating a twitter storm of discussion about Kanye’s bootyhole, and thus violating the first rule of Black manhood.

The dilemma is  — in which box do we place Kanye? I have long been an advocate of the principle that simplicity equals unintelligence. Two things can be true at once. A man can be both an extraordinary talent and have overwhelming bitchlike tendencies. Which is Kanye? Is he a misunderstood genius who won’t allow himself to be defined by our pedestrian thinking? Or is he a petty, insolent, entitled celebrity who wears his immaturity on his sleeve?

I have the answer, Sway.

Kanye is one of the most sensitive, forward-thinking creative artists we have ever seen.

But maybe he’s a fuckboy too.

About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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