Most people’s recent memories of Kanye West probably include him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat or talking about how slavery was a choice. Some, however, still like to remember West for his earlier influences on music with his soulful and culturally forward lyrics.
The Live Playlist will host "I Miss the Old Kanye" (named after a lyric from his song "I Love Kanye"), an event celebrating the early stages of West’s music career, Friday at RBC, a music venue on the outskirts of Deep Ellum. Initially, says Lamont Leak, a manager with The Live Playlist, he wanted to organize an event for up-and-coming artists to shine.
At artist showcases, Leak says, a lot of people do not come out for acts they do not know, so he wanted to find a fun and meaningful theme to back his events. At "I Miss The Old Kanye," a DJ will play West's songs before local acts perform their music.
“The notion for the ‘I Miss the Old Kanye’ came up because I just really love the old Kanye,” Leak says. “Really, the first four albums are some of my favorite pieces of work.”
The timing for the first "Old Kanye" event was impeccable. Leak says it was around the same time West had his tour-cancelling breakdown in November 2016. In light of the cancelation, Leak says, the first event was like a spiritual joining.
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“It was more so people [and artists] coming together to say like, ‘We love Kanye. We’re prayin’ for him,’ because at that point we didn’t know what his mental health was or what his physical health was,” Leak says. “It was a little different tone.”
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Leak says this tone has changed significantly since the recent controversy Kanye has sparked.
“When people first said, ‘I miss the old Kanye,’ it was a hopeful chant,” Leak says. “Now it’s like where people are fed up with this Kanye. There’s a total disassociation with who he is now. There’s a disassociation with the new.”
Doors will open at 9 p.m. for this event, which showcases genres ranging from hip-hop to folk music. Acts include Pat Ron, Sirron Reid, Projext and Van Gommon. Presale tickets are $12, and pricing increases to $15-$20 the day of the show.