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I’mma let you finish, but ‘Kanye West is Not Picasso,’ says Leonard Cohen poem

Kanye West during visit with Trump at White House: ‘I love this guy’

Rapper Kanye West met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on October 11, 2018. He was wearing his MAGA hat and spoke about his support for the commander-in-chief.
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Rapper Kanye West met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on October 11, 2018. He was wearing his MAGA hat and spoke about his support for the commander-in-chief.

Somewhere along the way, Kanye West invaded the mind of the late, great songwriter Leonard Cohen, because tucked inside a posthumous collection of his poems and lyrics is one about the rapper.

It is called, quite pointedly, “Kanye West is Not Picasso.”

The poem was included in “The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings,” released last week, and was written more than a year before Cohen died in November 2016, according to Consequence of Sound.

Singer-songwriter Amanda Shires tweeted the entire poem in Thursday’s wee hours, inspiring several music websites to print it, too — timely, given West’s high-profile visit to the White House on Thursday.

“If I’m reading it right, the poem is not flattering toward Kanye,” wrote Chris DeVille, senior news editor for Stereogum.

The top of the poem reads:

Kanye West is not Picasso

I am Picasso

Kanye West is not Edison

I am Edison

I am Tesla

Jay-Z is not the Dylan of Anything

I am the Dylan of anything

I am the Kanye West of Kanye West

The Kanye West

Of the great bogus shift of bullshit culture

From one boutique to another


The poem bears the date of March 15, 2015, “a day before the UK’s Glastonbury festival announced Kanye as its headliner and Cohen’s album Popular Problems was named Album Of The Year at Canada’s Juno Awards,” DeVille writes.

And yet, three years later, Stereogum writes, “on a day when Kanye West is set to visit Donald Trump’s White House with Kid Rock by his side, Cohen’s sentiment seems even more appropriate.”

The responses to Shires’ tweet and the poem have been largely unflattering ... to West.

The poem, wrote LiveForLiveMusic.com, is “more-or-less like Cohen releasing a Yeezy dis track from the grave.”

Warning: Video includes offensive language. During his Sacramento show at Golden 1 Center, Kanye West made a rambling speech before walking offstage.

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