On Independence, Art, & Kanye West

by Jessica Brookman in


The other day, you were pissed. I've been trying to understand why. 

On Sundays, I consider a public figure exercise my ability to be concise about the lasting impact of their work and ethos as I see it. I call it Sunday Short.The function is not to be the final word on the subject (obviously), but to link together a theme and a figure in a demonstrative way.

Last sunday, I used Kanye west to talk about self-reliance and independence.


From where I stand, Kanye West’s contribution to the world sits at the nexus of his powerful self-confidence (which some people boringly attribute to narcissism) and his expansively experimental body of work that has evolved at his own hands.

You need only spend a few days in LA  to understand the significance of his particular brand of audacity.

Show business and the media occupy a place where aspirings sell the rights to their own viewpoints, images, and/or souls daily in exchange for a fame shower. You do not need to agree with his viewpoints, or even his manner of expressing them, to find this distinction compelling.

His commitment to creating work that is meaningful to him -- and representing his viewpoint whether or not you like it -- is what makes Kanye revolutionary. And while he is unquestionably talented, his impact won't be measured in the strength of any single piece of work.

All transformative artists have this in common: They were able to gain mainstream viability without compromising their vision

So on Sunday, I realized I may not have been clear: I was hoping for commentary on the theme of the post, which was independenceMy connection to the subject is simple: The driving force in everything I do is independence.  

This space is free of commercial influence.   I don’t talk about what I do (in the LA sense of the word). Because one, I do a lot of things. And, frankly, discussing it would largely prohibit me from doing several of those things. I collect and assimilate specialized information and assets in different capacities. (Mostly, I just like making you wonder if I'm an escort. ) Even if I were, this site is not about that stuff. 

This is a place for unpopular opinions.

My writing is informed by all of my experience and observations. Much like yourself, I am in possession of freely-functioning mental faculties as well as the time, desire, and ability to string together words in intelligible fucking sequences. What i do not  possess is an interest in debating my past career incarnations, my appearance, or my pedigree. That is all a distraction from the things I actually give a fuck about.  

And, I believe that brings us back to where we started, no?

xo. Brookman