Published Oct 11, 2018Leonard Cohen passed away before Kanye West's latest era of public provocation, but the rapper seemingly gave the Canadian singer plenty of creative fuel prior to 2016. In Cohen's about-to-be-published final book The Flame, he included a poem titled "Kanye West Is Not Picasso."
Penned on March 15, 2015 — a full year before West released his 2016 album The Life of Pablo — the poem seems to reference West's 2015 speech at Oxford University.
"My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater," West said at the time. "That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you're not even allowed to think that you can do as much. That's a mentality that suppresses humanity."
In the poem from Cohen's posthumous book, he declares, "Kanye West is not Picasso / I am Picasso," then in Kanye-esque fashion goes on to compare himself to Edison and Tesla.
He also seems to throw some shade at JAY-Z, writing, "Jay-Z is not the Dylan of anything / I am the Dylan of anything."
Cohen's poem later switches focus back to West, alluding to his habit of crashing other people's stages — be it Taylor Swift's or Beck's — when he writes, "I am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is / When he shoves your ass off the stage."
Read Cohen's full ode to "bullshit culture" below.
The Flame is officially out on October 16 via McClelland & Stewart.
"Kanye West Is Not Picasso" by Leonard Cohen, from Cohen's new book 'The Flame.' pic.twitter.com/w5lUfkjdYv— S H I R E S' $Hit Show (@amandashires) October 11, 2018