What the hell just happened to Kanyo West?
After his sexist outbursts, after his comments about slavery; after supporting Trump… to go ahead and convert to Buddhism?
Nobody saw it coming. He toyed with Christianity for a while, and that seemed like the obvious move — the whole Born Again Christian thing, Jesus is our savior and all of that. Islam would have been less surprising as a next step, given Raekwon and Ghostface Killah from the Wu Tang, but Kanyo didn’t seem to acknowledge that tradition much, if ever. The results in any case probably wouldn’t have been this dramatic — but more likely than not would have been equally interesting, given his other sudden turn towards history and the scholastic. One can now almost imagine the kinds of rhymes he could have pulled off while discussing the nuances of the trinity, Thomas Aquinas or even the Zakat. But I guess we’ll never hear those verses.
I have to admit that when I first heard we, humanity, had just found our RPG party included (1) Buddhist Kanyo West, troll and rogue extraordinaire, my initial reaction was of course to wonder how much of it he really meant. But he seems quite serious and… earnest about it. Like he means it; this is not a matter of vacuous spirituality. Of course Buddhism is not really a religion, and Kanyo actually raps about that… but, like all philosophy, it does fill the place that religion would more often use up in many people’s lives. The interest makes the time, and Kanyo sounds like he made the time to get reasonably deep in Buddhist philosophy. Disconcertingly, it feels this might be the best possible move for him, and humanity, at this point in history.
What’s next? What comes after philosopher Kanyo West, shouting to the world at large: “if you are interested in your mind, sit down and watch it”? Telling you to know yourself — and to then use your knowledge to reduce human suffering? Can I dare to dream of him rapping about universal basic income? I can almost see him starting a privately funded program with all his rich friends and society, and the state, just having to catch up with them.
After the apparent downward spiral of the last few years, I wonder if we could suddenly find ourselves, once and for a change, in the best possible timeline; or at least a good time to be in a good enough timeline. With potentially only six more months of Trump to go, it sure feels like the beginning of a respite.