‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ singer David Crosby has been undeniably vocal when it comes to his intense hatred for Kanye West, his music, and his attitude. Crosby, as some would say, an icon of the days past, made sure to keep coming back to expressing his distaste for West on every chance he got, and with his reputation as a popular figure and the social media at his fingertips, one can bet that the opportunities have been aplenty. Still, the question remains; Why does David Crosby hate Kanye West so much? Well, there are more than a couple of reasons, as Crosby would himself lay out, but we’ll go into that later. First, let’s delve a little into the stature of the man in question, Kanye West.
Over the span of his career, West has been a contentious figure, spurring controversy left and right in his wake. He is not a figure who holds back on speaking his mind even if that has the potential to be a subject of dispute. While some admire his straightforward approach, others find it hard to digest – his untamable tendency to be too aggressive in his speech and often forgetting to be humble or introspective has been a cause of disdain for too many people to count. However, West’s reputation in the industry and among the audience has been quite dichotomic. While his music has been some of the highest-selling hits of our time, multiple artists and the public alike have also voiced their distaste for Kanye West, his actions and his words. West’s reputation continues to go downhill for his demeaning and somewhat ridiculous comments that he continues to come up with afresh every time you ask yourself – what else could he possibly say or do that would be worse. Trust in Kanye West to surprise you.
But coming back to David Crosby now. Crosby’s dislike for Kanye West has been more than a little palpable, and it is something that Crosby keeps coming back to over and over again. In all honesty, he had his own convictions, too. The root of it all was probably when Crosby, a founding member of bands like the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, opined that “rap isn’t music”. It turned personal from there.
Crosby, when asked in a tweet what he thought of “Kanye’s music [and] impact as an artist”, replied: “Music? He’s an idiot and a poser. Has no talent at all.” Crosby’s opinions didn’t end there. In another one of his tweets, Crosby not only called West an egomaniac but that “he is dumb as a post. He creates nothing. Helps no one.” In an interview, Crosby further stated rather plainly, “[Kanye West] can neither sing nor write nor play”.
We know you’re tired of hearing Crosby’s rants about Kanye West, but there’s more. As it turns out, Crosby could’ve still dealt with the music (or the lack of it, according to him), the writing and even the playing. What he cannot deal with and what, as he says, “bugs me about him is the: ‘I’m the greatest living rock star’”. A quick reference to the time West made the claims of being the greatest living rock star and how he is “50% more influential than any other human being” and is “God’s vessel”. However, to Crosby, the paragon of the rock star personality remains the iconic Stevie Wonder. “Somebody needs to drive [West] over to Stevie Wonder’s house right now so he understands what a real [rock star] is.” Anything else, Mr. Crosby? Yes. “Send him all of Ray Charles’ catalogue so he can learn how to sing.”
Some interpretations regarding why Crosby hated West took a political turn. There he was, a white man, a rock persona, throwing shade at a Black rapper. Crosby’s comments fueled a deluge of counter-remarks from politically-conscious people as to how his aversion to West stemmed from his mindset of glorifying the orthodox nature of musical genres and criticising anything that challenged it, rap music being one of them. However, Kanye West’s attitude is also a big part of why Crosby loathes him, as he himself mentioned.
To sum it all up, tension amongst musical personalities isn’t something that has been unheard of. Moreover, with social media at their disposal, things have unsurprisingly escalated. Crosby and Kanye are no exception. Both, in their own places, have made some hefty remarks about things that they feel strongly about, and both have been perhaps a little too aggressive and stubborn in doing so. Honestly, it’s a big mess. But that’s just the way it goes, and it certainly doesn’t look like the snide assertions are going to stop anytime soon.