Gobblerfest 2018

The Kanye Club at Gobblerfest, Aug. 31, 2018.

Kanye West is one of the world’s most famous musicians in this day and age, whether he has been loved or hated throughout the years. And of course, Kanye loves all of his haters. Setting trends and pop culture standards through music, lifestyle and even politics, Kanye West has been in the American sphere of influence for the last two decades. 

Dedicated to all things Kanye West, The Kanye Club takes the rapper’s music to the collegiate level, where all lovers of the eccentric icon can meet and enjoy some of their favorite tunes.

Jason Maguire, a junior majoring in business information technology, founded The Kanye Club in the spring semester of 2018 and has led the organization ever since.

“It has absolutely grown a lot more than I expected,” Maguire said. “When we started (with the first interest meeting) it was 30 people, and then at Gobblerfest this year we had 300 people sign up. Currently we have in a group chat about 167, and actively we probably have around 45 to 60.”

So, what does The Kanye Club do?

“Every two weeks we meet with a topic like ranking his albums or something like that and break into groups, exactly like a (discussion) meeting,” Maguire said.

The Kanye Club does a whole lot more than discussion meetings, though — and with an increased presence at Virginia Tech, they plan to go even further. 

“If an album is coming out, we’ll have a social event for that. When he was on SNL last year, we had a viewing for it,” Maguire said. “We’re working on some stuff currently; to do kind of a whole event just for his fifth album, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.’ It’s already come out, so it’s not new, but we kind of want to do a whole thing for it, like an art showcase.” 

In addition to holding possible events such as these, The Kanye Club is also considering raising money for charities started by Kanye West and other artists.

“We’re trying to hold this event in the spring where we do an art setting; kind of putting up his work and taking donations for his charity that he used to work for called ‘Donda’s House,’ which helps kids in Chicago with their art programs,” said Maguire. “That charity is kind of diminished, so we either want to work with that or SocialWorks, which is Chance the Rapper’s (charity).”

The fallout with Donda’s House isn’t the only controversy Kanye West has been involved in over the last two decades, and the rapper’s eccentricity has landed him in a number of situations that test both society and the loyalty of his fans.

The Kanye Club can’t speak for the entire fanbase, but their main goal is to unite Virginia Tech students through West’s music, something that fans can always enjoy.

“People don’t agree with a lot of the stuff he says, but the main focus is about the art and the club,” Maguire said. “And it’s good to have those conversations about where you put your focus on someone you might not agree with, but their art is everything.”

While music is the main focus at The Kanye Club, the organization has a very diverse spread of Kanye West fans, which is part of what makes the club so interesting.

“When every meeting comes up, the album ranking is different for every single person,” Maguire said. “We have people who are very casual in the club who only listen to old Kanye. I kind of have the mindset where it’s all one Kanye going through multiple phases and I like all of it. But we definitely have it where people like different things.”

Back in 2004, when the vast majority of us at our young age weren’t allowed to listen to his music, Kanye West performed at Virginia Tech as part of his College Dropout Tour. As Kanye continues to produce more music with no inclination of stopping and The Kanye Club grows in popularity and influence, would The Kanye Club try to push for a future appearance at Virginia Tech?

“If we could, even if just for a lecture, that would be a dream come true — not even a performance,” Maguire said. “I read that article about it, and it blows my mind. That was one of the first shows he did for the College Dropout Tour and that was incredible. But that is the dream in the end. I’m not sure how realistic the dream is, but Kanye if you’re reading this — please (laughs).”

If anyone is interested in joining The Kanye Club, representatives like Jason Maguire are always available to contact on GobblerConnect through email. 

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