Correction appended, August 30, 2013: The Association of French Bakers does not exist. The letter quoted throughout this piece is not real. A parody, written by W. David Marx, it first appeared as “An Open Letter to Kanye West from the Association of French Bakers,” on August 13, 2013, at Medium.com.
There have been quite a few complaints about Kanye’s new album; it seems to have upset as many activist groups as it has pleased fans. In a sense, that’s what pop stars do. They offend almost as indiscriminately as they entertain.
But nobody expected Kanye to get a letter from the Association of French Bakers. Indeed, he seems to have upset them with the lyric “Hurry up with my damn croissants” in his song “I Am a God,” which describes his less-than-satisfying dining experience in a “french-ass restaurant.” Let us choose to ignore for a moment the fact that you wouldn’t really go to a “french-ass restaurant” to get a croissant and focus on the fact that the Baker’s union facetiously lambasted him in a long, transatlantic letter, claiming that a man of his status wouldn’t want a croissant that came out slowly (anyone who has waited on line for a cronut knows it can take a long time for them to churn out).
“Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, Nord!” the letter reads, in the typically French manner of giving a name that francophonic twist you never wanted to have anything to do with.
The letter goes on:
“Assuming you, as a man of means, dine exclusively at high-end restaurants and boulangeries during your voyages to Paris, it could not be possible that the delay of your ‘damn’ croissants originated from slow service.” The text then goes into a condescending explanation of why it may take so long for his croissants to come out, implying all along that of course, none of this comes as a surprise to the well-educated Monsieur Yeezus.
One might think that this letter was a carefully crafted attempt at bringing the Association of French Bakers into a rank of greater visibility. In fact, though it may seem absurd at first, the Association has strict guidelines as to what can constitute a croissant or baguette because they don’t want rogue bakers charging more than they should, or messing with an old recipe. It only seems absurd because these regulations are the very things that have upheld the standards of their craft. Some could even argue that Kanye was getting star treatment, kid gloves and all; no mere mortal would make it out of a bakery alive after asking the baker to hurry up with “damn croissants.”