COMMENTARY: It's Time for Kanye West to Man Up

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I’m not always up-to-date on the latest men’s fashions, but I do know where to draw the line: Kanye West’s skirt.

Yes, a skirt.

During last week’s 12-12-12 concert at Madison Square Garden benefiting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, West, 35, performed wearing a black leather skirt and leggings.

I realize that some artists are a bit eccentric and are often over-the-top, but West, dressing like a lady, just looked ridiculous, outrageous and silly.

Perhaps it was actually trendy and I just overlooked his brilliance. But I don’t think so.

What’s next: A tutu?

West’s outfit certainly got loads of reaction, mostly in the form of jokes, especially since West is dating the highly over-exposed Kim Kardashian.

“Maybe a new item from the Kardashian collection?” one Twitter user joked.

“Kanye must have swapped suitcases with Kim Kardashian,” another person commented.

Here are a few more wisecracks posted on USA Today’s website:

- “Kanye must have swapped suitcases with Kim Kardashian.”

- “‘Wear this black trash bag as a skirt. Then, just kinda run around the stage scaring white people’ – Kanye West’s manager before the show”

- “Kanye West looks like the episode when Steve Urkel became a cheerleader!!!!”

This wasn’t the first time that West has performed in clothing that looked like it was designed for women. He once appeared on stage wearing a paisley silk blouse.

C’mon West. Really?

I agree with President Barack Obama’s assessment of West.

“He is a jackass,” Obama said in a magazine article this summer. “But he’s talented.”

For young black boys who are easily blinded by bling, West is the worst kind of role model.

Yes, he is a talented musical artist, but that’s not enough. He doesn’t use his celebrity status to uplift black boys who have lost their way. He never talks about the significance of a college education. He rarely speaks out about black-on-black crime since the leading cause of death for young black men in homicide.

In Chicago, for example, in the first half of this year, 201 of the 259 homicide victims were African American. While blacks make up about 33 percent of the city’s population, they accounted for nearly 78 percent of the homicide victims through the first six months of 2012.

And I’ve never heard West talk about how young black men should treat women with more respect.

Maybe I’m asking too much from West. After all, this is the same guy who removed his lower row of teeth and replaced them with pressurized carbon diamonds.

“I just like diamond teeth and I didn’t feel like having to take them out all the time,” West said in a Vanity Fair article.

“I just thought that diamonds were cooler,” West told Ellen Degeneres. “It’s just something that rock stars are supposed to do.”

Let me get this right: So now West is a rock star? And what rock stars have replaced their teeth with diamonds? Mick Jagger?  Bon Jovi? Bruce Springstein? Santana? None of the above.

West is a mess. His thinking is irrational. His clothing is questionable.  His outbursts on stage are peculiar.

And his new diamond-bling smile seems like a desperate cry for attention.

It’s time for West to drop the dresses and man-up.

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Originally seen on http://blackamericaweb.com/

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