Last Tuesday, Grammy award-winning rapper Kanye West gave a convocation entitled “Kanye West: God’s Gift to Mankind” in the Memorial Chapel. West gave the convocation in part due to his recent publicity tour promoting the release of his fourth album “I’m the Best Thing Since Jesus” which hit stores April 1. “I’ve been coming out with most revolutionary, innovative and popping albums since Michael Jackson. And I’ve been playing these bumping live shows that blow down the house every time, but, I mean, some people just don’t get it,” West said as a means of explaining why he has decided to give lectures instead of playing concerts in support of “I’m the Best,” which is what he has done after his previous releases, “The College Dropout” “Title and Registration” and “Graduation.” “Sometimes you just got to tell them to their faces until they understand,” West said in an exclusive interview with ****The Lawrentian*****. “I mean, it’s not that hard of a concept: Kanye West is the best rapper of all time and one of the most perfect human beings ever created — oh, and the most beautiful,” West said with a chuckle. “But seriously people, it’s all right under your noses. In your heart, you all know it’s true.” West has always had the reputation among pop culture followers of speaking his mind, especially in regards to his confidence in his own skills. He has been quoted saying that some of his songs are “Gimme-Grammys.” A Youtube video caught him during a meltdown after MTV supposedly snubbed him by not letting him play the main stage at the 2007 Video Music Awards. This was after he bum-rushed the stage at the 2006 MTV Europe Video Awards upon failing to capture the Best Video Award. He said, “[When I don’t win an award,] the awards show loses credibility.” Maybe his most controversial public move was when he appeared dressed as Jesus, with a crown of thorns and fake blood, on the cover of ***Rolling Stone*** magazine. West had many words of advice and detailed his own life as one that should be imitated. He said that he listens to his records every morning during his meditation routines as a way of self-betterment. West wore Marc Jacobs jeans and a Sean Paul button-down under an Armani velour sportcoat, complemented by Gucci alligator-skin shoes, Dolce and Gabanna sunglasses with four-inch lenses and an estimated $2.3 million in jewelry. All of these, West noted in his convocation, “were designed specifically for me — and my great body — by the designers themselves, who are all close friends and huge fans of my awesome music.” LCF issued a statement last month upon the announcement of West’s scheduled convocation, which explained their take on the event. “While we are pleased to see variety and diversity added to our convocation schedule,” their statement read, “we have mixed feelings about Mr. West. As many know, Mr. West’s first single, “Jesus Walks,” was revolutionary in its content and its commentary on American culture. However, we are forced to question many of West’s actions especially his titling of the new record and this recent publicity tour, and we feel comfortable saying that it is in blatant opposition to Jesus’ example and emphasis of humility. LCF concluded their statement with, “While we admire and respect Mr. West’s extraordinary talent, we would like to remind him of his divine role and responsibility.” Other Lawrentians gave very positive feedback. Senior Skyler Silvertrust was overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the lecture. “As an aspiring rapper myself — expect to see a Goofus and Goofus record featuring Daniel Eric Prichard and myself out in fall ’09 — Kanye has long been a major influence for m,” Silvertrust explained. “I found it to be the most intellectually stimulating convocation I’ve ever been to. The message was really inspiring and uplifting. And I actually got a chance to meet him. I asked for advice and he was like, ‘Just listen to my records, man, just listen to my records.’ I’m really mad that I forgot my Goofus and Goofus demo in my other pair of orange corduroys, cause I meant to slip it to him.” The next convocation, “Why Indie Music Is So Gosh-Darn Cute” will be given by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard on May 27 in the Chapel.