Kanye West had a weird 2018. Despite a prolific year that consisted of a half-dozen albums, he also pretty much ruined his public image (once again!) with a consistent flood of very bad takes. In fact, his comments about politics, slavery, and pretty much everything else were so bad, it became commonplace to describe Kanye West as trapped in the Sunken Place.
This is a reference to Jordan Peele’s 2017 masterpiece Get Out, in which its main character Chris, is trapped in the Sunken Place by hypnosis, as his girlfriend’s white family attempts to lobotomize him and put a white brain man’s inside his body.
In a new Rolling Stone cover story, Peele admits he got “a chuckle out of” the description of Kanye West trapped in the Sunken Place. Although he has a more nuanced take on West’s behavior:
The Sunken Place is a new term we have to aid us in the discussion of what appears, to me, to be black people choosing an ideology that is racist against black people. However frustrated I am with what he’s doing, the artist in me is like, ‘He saw my movie!’ The thing about Kanye is, it feels to me that, whatever he’s going through, he’s trying to tell his truth. And there’s something magnetic about people who are trying to tell the truth. I might be wrong, but my feeling is that even when he’s saying something I disagree with, he’s trying to tell his truth, and that’s more than you can say about 90 percent of people.
It’s certainly a more measured response to West’s behavior than we’ve seen elsewhere.
Before this, Peele hadn’t said much about West being in the Sunken Place other than that it was good inspiration for Get Out 2.
March sees the release of Us, Peele’s follow-up to Get Out. Though details are still scarce, Peele says this film will be less of a social thriller than his Oscar-winning debut.
“It’s important to me that we can tell black stories without it being about race,” Peele tells Rolling Stone. “I realized I had never seen a horror movie of this kind, where there’s an African-American family at the center that just is. After you get over the initial realization that you’re watching a black family in a horror film, you’re just watching a movie. You’re just watching people. I feel like it proves a very valid and different point than Get Out, which is, not everything is about race. Get Out proved the point that everything is about race. I’ve proved both points!”
The film stars Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o as the father and mother of a family who are being terrorized by their own doppelgängers.