The Genius of the Stage ft. Kanye West…

Antony L. Design
3 min readNov 28, 2023

The sound of a night not filled with music is a dull drone, a chilled, silent chorus that celebrates mediocrity and reminds one of the inevitable death that will take any and all. It craves to be given life, to burst forth in creative and brilliant energy, the silence.

There are those who seek to shatter this silence, custodians of sound to whom we owe a great debt for the joy their art begets. Some are simply sound makers who are to the silence as wealth is to poverty — the opposite. Others are great artisans who craft in equal parts talent and passion.

But, there is yet a third type of man, lyrical geniuses who transcend the silence and the music that breaks it. These creators do not simply craft music, they are — it seems — the incarnation of it, a font of creativity for which there is no stop.

The evening air chilled the old wood and iron of the stage, a grandiose chapel to the power of music. The drapes of the front-of-house curtain fold and flip in the breeze of night and sound like a horde of raven’s wings flapping desperately to beat the sun to the horizon. This, and the hum of a crowd 120,000 people deep, pushes against the surface tension of silence, but the silence always wins.

“We’re on in ten.” A lean, young stage manager shuffles through the preparation behind the scenes. He checks off several boxes each labeled with a different task. Eventually, after much is already done, he reaches the final subject of his list labeled simply: ‘Kanye’.

Approaching Mr. West’s door, the door to his room beneath the stage, is like being sent to school. On the other side of the door, exciting, new, brilliant things are being forged, things that will change the world if left to simmer. You’re close, just a few inches from it, all you have to do is open it.

The stage manager dare not speak, lest he disrupt ‘the process’. Instead, he simply taps the door, and lets him know it is time.

Inside, Kanye does the work others are fearful to, the kind that separates the brilliant from the average. He explores within, a kind of meditation.

Firstly, he is haunted. Demons wish to tear him down, and they take the form of all who have ever told him he couldn’t be great, couldn’t be the Picasso of music. They tug at his doubt, and aim to wrap him up in the chains of fear. They fail.

He ignores these spectres.

“I refuse to accept other people’s ideas of happiness for me,” Kanye says to them. He focuses on his music, how it’s going to change the world.

He thinks of the world. It’s rough out there. Only he — and few select others — can see it, but it’s dying. Everybody feels it, but few see it. He thinks of all the people he’ll please by his effort tonight. Maybe, he hopes, he can even save some of them.

“Show time in t-60 seconds,” a voice commands from outside his room.

He forces his eyes open.

He runs, bolts from his room. Kanye launches himself up the stairs, leaving his managers — and demons — to try and catch up.

The smell of fresh air finds him. He sees the giant red curtain, it seems to open for him on its own.

“Welcome to the stage,” a voice over the speaker system booms. “The reason you’re here, a custodian of sound, a lyrical genius, Kanye West!”

With that, he bursts through the drapes, reborn unto the stage.

Instruments and cheers build the moment, laying brick and concrete on which his performance will be founded. The deep thumping of bass is married to the gentle tones of brass.

“Let’s get lost tonight!” Kanyes voice is deliberate. Every sound an invention, every word an innovation. He sings, and the sound of life on earth is lost to his voice.

The silence is defeated and — for a moment — the world can deliver itself from the dying world and welcome in the new one.

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