In this edition of #FamousFriday, we’ll take a look at Kanye West. On last week’s #FamousFriday post, I shared a celebrity personality type infographic that listed Kanye West as ISFJ. However, I said that I thought that Kanye was ENFJ, and I’ll explain my rationale.
Kanye is actually one of the few celebrities that I’ve had the opportunity to meet in a casual setting. I met Kanye West at Lupe Fiasco’s home (who I was good friends with at the time) back in 2002. This was when Kanye initially hit the scene as a producer on Jay-Z’s Blueprint album. Me, him, and Lupe spent several hours talking about the industry, and Kanye shared music that was unreleased at the time (including the instrumental for his hit Jesus Walks). My impressions will draw upon this experience, plus observations based on his music and interviews.
Kanye Prefers Extroversion (E)
Extroversion vs. Introversion is the dimension of human personality that dictates how we prefer to recharge, and where we focus our attention. My observation is that Kanye is definitely an extrovert. Extroverts tend to think out loud, and Kanye has done this throughout his time in the public spotlight. From his statement about then President George W Bush during the Hurricane Katrina telethon, to his proclamation at the MTV VMA awards that Beyoncé’s video was better than Taylor Swift’s, Kanye has always been very vocal about his position on things that matter to him.
During the time I spent with him at Lupe’s home, Kanye also appeared to prefer extroversion and was invigorated by socialization. During this visit, one of Lupe’s producers and Kanye had a beat making competition. An introvert would likely prefer to go into a private room to work, and would not welcome many interruptions. However, Kanye did the opposite, and invited everyone to come watch him while he worked on creating the beat. He appeared to enjoy the banter, and even took a few suggestions from people in the room. And of course you know he won the competition!
Kanye Prefers Intuition and Feeling (NF)
Kanye definitely appears to have the Inspirer Personality Style (also known as the Idealist Temperament). The Inspirer Personality Style consists of people who have both a preference for Intuition and Feeling (NF). People of this personality style seek self-understanding, self-expression, and spirituality. They also advocate against things that they perceive as injustices. Kanye’s statements at the Hurricane Katrina telethon and the MTV VMA awards were not only signs of Extroversion, but also signs of his preference for NF. By speaking out at the Hurricane Katrina telethon, he felt that he was advocating for African Americans in New Orleans. By speaking out at the VMAs, he was attempting to advocate on behalf of Beyoncé, whom he felt got cheated.
In addition to his advocacy, his Inspirer personality style is evident when you listen to his music. Songs such as All Falls Down, Jesus Walks, and Amazing tackle the concept of self-discovery and have spiritual undertones. Inspirers often benefit from putting their thoughts on paper, and can use life experiences to create amazing works of literature. Kanye’s last three albums were in fact musical journals, and were reactions to things that he was going through in his life. 808s and Heartbreak was his way of mourning his mother Donda West, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy detailed his wrestling with both the sacred and profane aspects of life. His last album, Yeezus, was a journal detailing his new sense of superiority and confidence; fueled by continued musical success and his impending marriage to Kim Kardashian. Kanye’s catalog reeks of Inspirer themes and values.
Kanye Prefers Judging (J)
It is my observation that Kanye has a judging preference in this regard. The night I met Kanye, he actually arrived earlier than we expected. Once he arrived, and started working on music, I was amazed at how organized he was. He had all of the files for his MPC 2000 cataloged neatly, and definitely appeared to be a structured worker. I was also a music producer at the time, and the extent of his organization made me realize how disorganized my sound library was (I’m ENFP). Also, I’ve met several individuals who’ve worked with Kanye in the studio, and what they describe sounds very J like.
So, there you have it, Kanye’s an ENFJ. What do you think?