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Kanye West, Melissa Etheridge

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Melissa Etheridge has come under fire for things she's said before, but no one holds a candle to Kanye West.

That said, the 54-year-old singer appreciates 'Ye and the controversy that comes with outspokenness and questionable lyrics. Because, as Melissa told E! News exclusively at Primary Wave's 10th Anniversary and Candy Crush Jelly Saga event, "I think he is crazy but really genius."

"I say that in the best way," she clarified. "These are the days for an artist—this is an artist's time. If you can really brand your self and get yourself out there and represent and be a cool person in your artistry you can really do something about it!"

Melissa noted that musically, Kanye is "on the edge pushing where no one has ever gone before."

"It's a new world for artist out there and Kanye knows this," she went on. "Rappers are rock stars, and rock and roll is about inciting thoughts and change. Rap is the rock of today."

That may well be true, but it doesn't mean Yeezy has the keys to the kingdom, as they say. As Kanye attempted to explain in a Twitter rant Monday, he's "personally rich" but still needs investors (cc: Mark Zuckerberg!) and "access to more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world."

As 'Ye put it, "No matter what level you're at in life there is still a struggle."

And the struggle is real...or so we're told.