Kanye West is many things: hip-hop superstar, fashion designer, maverick genius, not to mention Kim Kardashian’s other half. What he is not often recognised as is a beacon of sound common sense. It turns out there’s a very good reason for this. Yeezy’s public comments suggest a man who is not only a full-blown egomaniac (“By 50% I am more influential than Stanley Kubrick, Apostle Paul, Picasso…”) but also slightly deranged (“I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.”)
Oh dear. Nevertheless, there was a moment when the 42-year-old rapper uttered the most profound truth imaginable. It’s worth repeating not to aid your ceaseless quest for knowledge and wisdom but because, far more importantly, it could help rationalise your next watch buy.
“The only luxury is time,” Kanye said in a rare lucid moment. “The time you spend with your family.”
Hard to argue with that one. In the final analysis, spending time with the people you most love – whether friends or family – is something we should all prioritise a whole lot more of. Luxury splurges from bespoke suits to fine wine are all very well. But let’s face it: on your death-bed you’re not going to be thinking about that one time you got to sit in First Class.
But it’s terrifyingly easy to forget this eternal truth. We get caught up in the rat-race and find ourselves devoting our waking hours to chasing more money, a bigger bonus, the promotion that’ll facilitate an almost imperceivable upgrade in our daily circumstances. Needless to say, this is not the path to happiness. If you’re not careful, you’ll squander your life running too fast in the wrong direction.
That’s why Kanye’s key message here — “the only luxury is time” — is an important wake-up call as we slog our way along through the death-rattle of late-stage capitalism. It should remain lit up in giant neon letters at the forefront of our brains.
So why does it constantly slip from our memory? Well, the trouble is that time is an abstract concept. It’s ephemeral nature means that it’s invariably a case of out of sight, out of mind.
Now if only there were a physical object that we could fasten securely to a conspicuous part of our bodies (say the wrist?) to serve as a tangible and constant reminder of this critical life lesson. Hang on, a second! I’ve thought of just the thing.
In fact, we’re willing to bet that Kanye wheeled out this same line to Kim, when she was quibbling over whether he really needed to buy that Cartier Crash.