Don’t Overthink KimYe, It’s Easy

My first print piece was commissioned by Essence in 2010. It was a response to the choice of then-Kim bae Reggie Bush as a cover model—via a stock photo—- for the mag’s February “Black love” issue. I talked about how even sisters who aren’t anti-interracial dating can be made to feel some type of way by the overindexing of brothers who choose others, in the spotlight and out. I regrettably bio-ed myself as “freelance writer/social media personality,” haha. (Worked out okay for me in the end, but no one should ever call themselves that again.) Demetria Lucas was my editor, she was very kind and easy to work with. There were a few small changes that I would be able to push back on now that I stayed quiet on then. I got my first good-ass writing check. I hate this article now, it’s kinda boring and I set aside much of my voice because I didn’t think older Black ladies would dig my snark. But I think it gets to the point.

"When (Black women) comment on Black men’s choices, we are labled haters. Really? The ESPY Awards resemble an interracial couples’ convention and I can’t comment on the lack (Jamilah 2014 would have phrased this part differently-J’14) of Black wives and girlfriends in the room?…when Black women are more often than note the ones who washed the jerseys, polished the trophies and sacrificed to get these men to where they are (I meant their mothers-J’14)…Why aren’t we good enough to be there when they have it all? Why isn’t our love a prize?

Unfortunately, many brothers have different standards for non-Black women than they do us. Kobe Bryant…(married) a video model, a job that’s largely frowned upon when a Black woman occupies it. Black women are constantly told that being a “baby mama” will make it hard for us to find a husband (FML-J’14) (J/K, I’m still the ish-J’14) Yet, Heidi Klum was able to snag Seal while she was pregnant with another man’s baby. And do you honestly think a sister with a sex tape made public could bag an eligible millionaire like Reggie Bush? Yet Kim Kardashian, a socialite and reality TV star…had no problem doing just that.

For a great number of the sisters who are/were annoyed by Kim, ReggiKim (retroactive nickname game wavy) and KimYe, I believe that last part sums it all up.

To be the stereotypical pretty, yet dense girl on the arm of a football player is one thing, but Kim ended up with this extremely talented musician who seems to think of himself as a ‘race man’ revolutionary sort. A man who many of the couple’s detractors came to know via his outburst on that Hurricane Katrina telethon. Someone who’s dad was a Black Panther, his mother, a professor. Kim’s TV persona is shallow, whiny and boring and because said persona is on a reality show about her life, it’s easy to believe that is the real her. She seems nice, but she also seems to be the human equivalent of a walking Instagram photo. Hashtag lots of filters, hashtag thirst trap.

And we’re also watching Kanye play out this strange seeming fascination with Whiteness. Running with these high post, Vogue-ass White folks, posing with lithe, lifeless-looking White women, championing European aesthetics loudly and awkwardly (A kilt, my dude? That’s how we combat hyper-hetromasculinity?), screaming about the Medici family, looking perpetually unhappy and ending up with the seemingly vapid and rather White girl with the big ole butt that is seemingly fake. It’s a lot.

Sotto Voce: Someone has to do the definitive look at race men/”race men” who end up with non-Black women. There are a lot of them. This does not mean that they are frauds or unable to love Black people (or even Black women), but there’s enough of them to make you say, “Huh.” (Some of them are trash, though.) I’m not writing it. I don’t want to think about it too much.

SV, Con’t :This is one of the many things I hate about this alleged ‘tan’ America that Steve Stoute and others praise so. Is the goal to get make a left on Nostrand Ave, a right on 79th and get the fuck away from Black people? To join the Rat Pack, like Puff in them Ciroc commercials? To be niggas in Paris with Gweneth, as opposed to with some niggas?TOM FORD!

Bush-years Kanye was a lot more likeable than Obama-years Kanye. And I’m not saying that just because he went from doing songs with the Dialated Peoples and dating Deltas, to en Vogue and “I woulda married Kate and Ashley.” (That was gross though, those girls look like they’ve been dead since 2006. What happened to you, Yeezus? IS IT THE OTHER WHITE GIRL IN THE ROOM THAT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT?) And it’s bigger than him giving himself the props he feels he doesn’t get from others. 

Lest we not forget that publicly suggested that Kim Kardashian was more worthy of the cover of Vogue than First Lady Michelle Obama, a Black woman from the South Side of Chicago. This is not the sort of statement that inspires folks to just look past politics or personal taste and say, “But what a lovely couple!” 

Using Chief Keef on Yeezus bothers me a lot more than KimYe, for the record. One is corny, the other is nihilistic. Mr. West. is a ball of confusion and contradictions, and it used to make for really great music. Now, it makes for a headache. Perhaps I’m getting old. I’m significantly younger than Kanye, though.

"When he get on, he leave your ass for a White girl" seemed like a snarky bit of cultural commentary at the time, but perhaps ‘Ye always saw this coming. Or not. Maybe it just happened and she’s a kind girl who he just happened to fall in love with and cheat on his last girl with (or switch that order.) Whatever. Something happened and now here they are and they have a really cute baby and hopefully, they are all happy. Race aside, they don’t make for a terribly likeable couple and homeboy campaigned for that cover and that’s corny AF. Fin.