Is it really cheesy and (given my pretty obvious “stan4Yeezy” reputation) rather predictable to say that Kanye West may have helped me break through my writer’s block?
Here’s the thing: Earlier this week I actually began to put together a blog post about how I’ve been struggling to find the confidence to write lately. I’ve stopped and started and stopped numerous blog posts in the last few months because I didn’t think they were good enough or I didn’t think anyone would care to read them and unsurprisingly, I didn’t finish the one about writer’s block either.
But after giving up on yet another post and reassuring myself that I’d try again soon (translation: probably in a couple of months), the next day I found myself being contacted by a fellow journalist asking me to write a short piece about Kanye’s performance at the BRIT Awards. And the words just flowed.
Granted, I was only asked to write a 250 word letter (even though I could have written an entire dissertation on this particular subject) and anyone that knows me, or follows me on Twitter, is aware that I have no problem talking… and talking… and talking… about Mr. West. BUT my confidence was well and truly present this time and the short letter I wrote was published in today’s London Evening Standard. Yay.
It’s safe to say that as short as the letter was and as fleeting as the opportunity was, it came at the right time. It was the confidence boost I needed. I suppose you could call it a Yeezy Boost, ha!
Since switching careers last year to focus on social media strategy, my journalism has unfortunately fallen to the side a little and freelancing has been tough. I definitely have a new found respect for anyone that can make a living from freelancing because the unpredictability of it, coupled with the rejections from editors, can take its toll and make you doubt your ability.
Maybe the cure for that consuming, full-of-self-doubt hurdle is to simply watch Kanye’s performance of “All Day” at the BRITs and to let yourself feel empowered once more. Because if flame throwers don’t make you feel powerful I don’t know what will.
You can read my letter on the London Evening Standard here (scroll down to the third letter). However it has been slightly edited, so I have included my original version below:
ALL HAIL ALL DAY: Kanye West facilitated a huge step forward for UK Grime at the BRITs last night
Honestly, I’m still recovering from the monumental moment that was Kanye West storming the stage at the BRIT Awards last night with a gaggle of Grime artists behind him, including Boy Better Know, Stormzy and Novelist.
Here we had one of the biggest rappers on the planet openly giving the best co-sign he could have possible given to our UK talent, inviting them to be a part of his hugely-anticipated performance at the BRITs. A stellar performance, which he quite rightly could have kept all to himself in order to promote his new material. But he chose not to.
Some have argued that we only ever seem to feel proud of our British-born boys of Grime when they are acknowledged by a giant star from the States and, while there may be some truth in that, is it really such a bad thing?
It’s moments like last night that remind us to recognise the talent we have on our side of the pond (because it is often forgotten about – just look at all the credit Wiley never receives) and to appreciate it. These US co-signs offer encouragement to many established and up and coming UK urban artists and they bring the culture together, championing each other and waving our union jacks in total support.
ITV may have (unfairly and haphazardly) muted parts of Kanye’s performance, but they could not dim the sound of thousands of grime fans across the country roaring with pride. And I was definitely one of them.
I would definitely love to hear your opinion on this highly-debated topic so leave a comment below or send me a tweet: @natashananner !