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The Assimilation of the Black Man: Kanye West’s White Voice Rebuttal

The internet has annoyed me over the past 24 hours with the circulation of numerous posts that imply that African-American people are losing their originality in an effort to be accepted by the white population and or mainstream. I was absolutely fed up when I woke up this morning to a headline from theGRIO that eluded that Kanye West and his “white voice” is unnecessary and trumped-up the concept of him and his “assimilation” as an African-American man. I was enraged by the notion that there is a “white voice” syndrome and he’s over utilizing it within his recent Time Magazine interview.

How could such an idea be an acceptable opinion posted on a website that’s considered to house respectable points of view for the intellectual population of professionals that read it. I was well aware of its “click appeal” which is probably why the author decided to go with such an awkward approach to the shocking news that Mr. West was named Time Magazine’s most influential person of the year. An extreme upgrade from his previous years of boasting to be a college dropout cradled by his mother to utilize his gifts as a creative artist.

Kanye West has come a long way. Kanye has worked hard researching and studying the skills necessary to hone his craft. He’s been bashed by the media for recent years for having a temper and not being mindful of what he has to say and how it can affect society and the image of him and his family consequently, so, now that he speaks in a manner that makes it clear that he is doing what society has asked of him time and time again which is “think about what you say Kanye before you say it”-  he is accused of having a white voice?

How on earth is this ok? The blogger mentions that she is not saying that a white voice is the end product of the dialect of an educated person with fine tuned articulation skills but she is more so disappointed by the lack of bass in his voice. Maybe he doesn’t need bass in his voice at this point in time. Maybe, he was sick. I’m sorry that Kanye is missing bass in his voice to get you off and make you fall in love with the words he has associated with such a groundbreaking platform and lifetime accomplishment. Get over yourself and realize that his base has nothing to do with you and your post on the Grio. Martin Luther King never had base in his voice but we are all ok with that. I’m not comparing Kanye to MLK, I’m just comparing how people utilize their oratory skills to match their goals in reaching an audience. I lack any respect for an opinion that makes me feel like they’d prefer Kanye sound like James Earl Jones in order to remain black, respectable and manly. Lets allow him to bask in the moment of glory for such a wonderful moment and stop being petty with ridiculous notions. Yeah I said it!

The blogger that posted the story is a well-respected woman whom I adore by the name of Demetria Lucas D’Oyley and I actually read her blog. I still feel that we as black women should take what we say seriously on the internet and avoid things like this just for clicks. We are going to remain paid honey no need to throw shade.  I just hate when people take advantage of the internet to bring people down during a pivotal moment within their lives just to point out an infinitesimal and completely irrelevant aspect of the overall situation. I have a white voice too and I use it show that I have superb speaking abilities, I’m articulate and able to communicate exceptionally well. I should be since I was classically trained in the art of public speaking. Have you ever thought about the notion that maybe Kanye took his speaking power seriously and decided to get an interview coach? Huh? I’m waiting on a reply. We are the only demographic that does this to our own people . Assimilation is real. I won’t deny that, however, don’t shame a man for doing what he has to do to keep the money rolling in and remain relevant so that he can feed his family.


May the Lord Watch Between Me and Thee While We Are Absent One From The Other





Comments (30)

  1. I am just burnt out on Kanye period. However, the white voice topic is pure trash. How about speaking like a person who grasp the concept of perfection diction and enunciation of the English language?! I am sick to death of people using race to justify or vilify certain groups of people.

  2. Girl you’re just as bad as her for transitioning your new blog platform to even pay attention to that foolery.

  3. Explain to me how his voice or lack of bass has anything to do with him receiving an award such as this? The thought of demeaning such an accomplishment to concentrate on his voice is pathetic.

  4. Stop being so uppity and watch that video. dude sound high as hell and he looks slow. I agree with ol girl and his white voice. yall just mad cuz yal use that wack ass white voice too

  5. A Facebook user shared this on my page :

    Read her article and I totally agree. She stated that Kanye has always spoke with correct diction in an intelligent and articulate manner; however his range of vocality has changed from tenor to falsetto when he speaks. I have always been a HUGE Kanye supporter because he is a visionary, but I recognize the difference.

  6. Another Facebook user shared this on my page:

    I disagree. To make the assumption that the raised tone of Kanye’s voice from tenor to falsetto is somehow racially superior is incorrect as is the writer of the piece. It sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous….

  7. My reply:
    I get that part as well but she does highlight that he is “talking in a white voice” and she refers it to being LESS manly because it lacks BASS. I was floored. I noticed the growth in his interview but didn’t see it as an attribute of assimilation as the article suggests.

  8. Facebook Comment :
    Kanye’s voice has indeed changed. That’s an undeniable fact. I didn’t really have a problem with her post. I can see her points and I can see yours, but as one commenter mentioned earlier. I’m just burnt out on ye. I do think the new voice is annoying though.

  9. Facebook User:
    Kanye is annoying in general so I guess the change in his voice went unnoticed to me because the very core of his persona has irked me for some time now. Jessica to know I used to love me some Kanye but ever since his mom passed away that boy has gone let field with his antics and he doesn’t have to go big at route because god-filled with talent.

  10. FB Comment :
    Great rebuttal! … As someone who works with at risk youth I really appreciate your response. How I talk to my friends and how I talk in a meeting, at a speaking engagement or an interview is extremely different. Not because I’m selling out, but because I was trained to do so. Believe or not even white people have their “Relaxed voice” and there “Professional voice”. I know this because from 4th – 10th grade I went to school with more Irish, Polish and Italians than anyone other demographic. Great Read, Thanks!

  11. That is a amazing point of view. I must admit that we often forget that there are different sides to an individual. Their temperament depends on their mood and environment. This “white voice” argument lacks depth and understanding for the human psyche

  12. Facebook Comment:
    WOW!!! That was a awesome read, I love the way you ended it too. But I just want to speak on this subject as a Black Man with many hats. I watched the breakfast club interview and they were playfully clowning Kanye as well as complimenting him on his new found way of speaking and the way he answered questions. I thought the new him was a great improvement BUT! If I remember correctly he talk about how bass in a black mans voice scares people. I thought that was funny as ever! Sadly I agreed with him.. Because most black men when we talk are so passionate and some like myself move our hands when we talk it can be taken as a threatening manner. Chris Rock also spoke on this as well and he said in Hollywood a black man with bass in his voice and hair on his face is a threat, not good, and unemployed. If we want to better ourselves we should better ourselves for us! Not for others… as for me im going to continue talking with bass in my voice in growing my beard.

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