« x »

Kanye West


In decades to come critics will look back on Kanye West’s career as the greatest pop art project of the early 21st century. Whether he’s playing an elaborate, deep cover part or we really are witnessing the descent of a brilliant artist into megalomaniacal madness, you can’t deny that Ye makes banging beats and is always a fascinating, polarising, contradictory lyricist.

Yeezus is so damn angry. For a man who got everything The College Dropout and Late Registration yearned for, he’s still ‘always looking like somebody stinks’. The beats on Yeezus are stripped-back, heavy, industrial, electronic; it sounds like Yeezy’s been listening to dubstep, but he’s not raving, he’s ranting. This is not easily consumable pop music by a long shot.

Lyrically, it’s all sex and racism – and filled with contradiction at every turn. On New Slaves he lambasts Black America for buying into consumerism and ‘spending everything on Alexander Wang’ (without pausing to consider his role in pushing haute couture culture to the working class since Graduation).

Highlight, Blood On The Leaves, sees Ye sample Nina Simone’s upsetting, revolutionary lynching tale Strange Fruit and juxtapose it (banally) against lyrics about the dissolution of a sexual relationship that bring to mind the themes of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Kanye’s feeling Messianic, persecuted and pursued – Yeezus is a howl of anguish. Whether you think he’s brilliant, ridiculous, or (most accurately) both, it makes for extremely compelling listening.


« x »