My first exposure to Kanye West was through an old episode of MTV Cribs, during which he showed off a 9 x 10 ft Ernie Barnes painting that depicted West being lifted from the wreckage of his 2002 near fatal car accident by a powerful angel as other angels look on and bow in his direction. The painting, commissioned by West, was so full of hubris, so self-aggrandizing that it was easy to write him off immediately. Then, of course, I actually listened to College Dropout and realized that Kanye West is actually pretty amazing.
My Cribs/College Dropout experience can be applied to how a lot of us relate to Kanye's entire career. Let's face it — Yeezy can be a little insufferable. He gets drunk in public, he couples off with Kim Kardashian and consistently comes off as overwhelmingly conceited. He partnered up with a rapper who nicknamed himself "Hova" and he still managed to be the least humble of the two. It's easy to roll your eyes at Kanye West, but then — lo and behold —he'll come out with some inspired piece of music that forces you to re-realize that, yes, this guy is famous for a reason. His Clique freestyle rant from a December 30th concert is one of those inspired pieces.
Sorry to have doubted you, Kanye.