Worried About Kanye West

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Smith_

Village Elder
#1
Ain't no denying, I am a die-hard Yeezy fan. I love Yeezy, both as a person (kichwa ngumu, I know) and as a wildly talented musician (producer, rapper, influencer etc.). Yeezy is the most influential musician of this millennium. He singlehandedly changed the hip hop soundscape from the Gangsta Rap dominance at the turn of the millennium to the Emo Rap that is the staple nowadays. He made it über cool to be a nerd and a rapper (Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar anybody?) He made it possible for g** or semi-closeted artists like Young Thug, ILoveMakonnen, A$AP Rocky and Frank Ocean to be comfortable in their own skins. Without the influence of his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak, Drake, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, Future, Childish Gambino et al wouldn't exist today. Yeezy has the best and most consistent discography in all of music in the last 10 years. 2010's MBDTF is still the most EPIC album this decade. 2013's Yeezus was way too far ahead of its time sonically. It polarized many when it was released and many casual listeners are still 'getting it.' Part of Yeezy's musical genius has been keeping us guessing as to where he'll take us next with his magical art. But...

His recent output is a dud. It's meh. It's WHACK! What's going on Yeezy? I shudder at the thought of a bad album from 'Ye. Even the music press is weighing in. And it's not pretty:


*****
Kanye West Is Going to Drop a Brick and It's Going to Hurt

Kanye West’s seventh studio album remains a mystery. No one knows if it is finished, if he’s scrapped several versions of it, if he’s still tinkering with it, or if it’s been sitting somewhere, done, for months. Seth Rogen heard a live version of one, rapped to him in a van by Kanye himself, in December. Theophilus London heard one three times back to back, or tweeted that he did before swiftly retracting, a few months before that. The title keeps changing: It was going to be called So Help Me God for a bit, and now, apparently, he’s calling it SWISH, which seems about as likely to stick as Good Ass Job before My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It might come out in a few hours, or tomorrow, or months from now. The only thing that seems clear is that Kanye cares less about this album than any other he’s ever made.

This is not speculation: He said so, more or less, in a Paper Magazine interview. "Right now, over 70 percent of my focus is on apparel," he declared, a grim calculus for his music. Last week, in an interview with Ebro and Nessa that seemed arranged largely for him to debunk rumors that he’d been thrown out of a Chuck E. Cheese, he stressed that he was working on the project "slowly", so that he can "deliver the innovation that I know I can." He also seems to be distancing himself, daily, from Yeezus, the first of his projects to win no Grammys, and the one with his lowest-ever sales—even lower than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At his Governors Ball performance before Yeezus was released, he boldly declared that he had no interest in the radio, but he seems to have backpedaled a bit on that statement. "That was a joke," he told the iHeartMedia Music Summit this year. He distanced himself even further last February during an interview with Power 105, calling Yeezus "a protest of music….I didn’t even have no music. I just let y'all have a little music on 'Bound 2,' but that was it. But this album is just embracing the music, embracing joy and just being a service to the people."

As mission statements go, that’s vague, and the music he’s released is even more so. Of the four songs he’s released and performed in this year—"Only One", "FourFiveSeconds", "All Day", and "Wolves"—only "Only One" and "FourFiveSeconds" feel like they came from the same head space. Both songs feature Paul McCartney, and have a relaxed, unforced energy. They feature no rapping, and seem designed to highlight our simplest feelings with simpler chord progressions. The other two feel like they were made in different years, for different iterations of the same project. None of them feel like surefire hits, and they also haven’t done much to spark speculation or enthusiasm for the album they herald.

All of this seems to point to a troubled project, or at least an unfocused one, and the seemingly unthinkable starts to come into focus: Kanye West might be poised, possibly, to drop a brick.

Now, something might happen in the next few hours or weeks that will make this post seem foolish. The first time I recall people wondering aloud if West had painted himself into a corner, it was right after Graduation. If he were to well and truly drop a brick, it would be the first of his career, and it would break, or at least interrupt, the most impressive streak of the millennium. He has proven remarkably, even uniquely, deft at brick-dodging, and part of the thrill of his career has been watching him him defy the predictions as to when it was all going to end.

But for the first time, there seems to be no animating idea behind his next project, no mission statement. He seems in general more focused on the parts of his life—being a father, developing clothes, making motivational speeches—that don’t involve the arduous process of album-making. Tellingly, the material he has released isn’t quality-controlled up to his usual standards.

"Wolves", which he tipped as his album’s lead track and which he debuted at the unveiling of Yeezy Season 1, sounded disturbingly like Gotye’s "Somebody That I Used to Know", or something that might have been a side project like Cruel Summer, than anything that’s ever made its way onto a finished album. We haven’t heard anything about the song in the meantime, indicating that perhaps he’s abandoned it, and continues to tinker with the album’s shape.

There are warts left in all of these songs, spots where vocals are mumbled or left out entirely, indicating that they are probably all demos. This isn't a new thing; Kanye has often allowed us to hear his mind at work. Tracking the progress of a Kanye demo to a finished album track allows us to learn something about the sound he is chasing in his mind. Consider the leap from the "So Appalled" demo that leaked years ago to the completed "So Appalled" that appeared, a year later, on MBDTF, or the the multiple versions of "Love Lockdown", some barely distinguishable from each other; in all of this churn, you heard a big idea take shape. But the versions of these new songs we have seem to have simply dropped off the back of some truck, with little clarification or follow up. This is a person who reportedly remixed "Stronger" 72 times before releasing it, and the only extant version of "All Day" we have still has a glaringly botched line in the opening chorus.

To promote these songs, he’s doing many the same things he always does: He’s performing them relentlessly, on awards and morning shows across the world, usually standing alone onstage to telegraph his commitment. But there is an oddly dutiful sense to all of it—which of the six or seven versions of "Only One" he’s performed feels like The Performance? The BRIT Awards performance of "All Day", flamethrowers and all, bristled with nervy energy, but the song itself feels strangely uninspired, a callback to earlier sounds of his.

It is a disorienting feeling, having this much Kanye West material available generating so little palpable excitement in the universe. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Drake, and others push outward in directions specifically influenced by Kanye, and it becomes harder to hear, or imagine, how he might match or lap them. He is responsible for the current zeitgeist, but listening to his slightly confused new material, you get the distinct sense that he’s struggling to find his current footing in it.

Courtesy: pitchfork.com

*****

It May Be Time To Be Worried About Kanye West

Kanye's own 2015 work has been lukewarm at best. Is there some inspiration out there for Mr. West?

Up there at the Brit Awards Kanye West brought everyone he could out on stage clad in black. “All Day” was set to be premiered, and his gorgeous figurine of a wife introduced him to the London crowd. Then the flames and a bored-as-f**k Ye´ went up there to do God’s work. It was underwhelming. Not because the song wasn’t good. It was. But because he looked like he was reaching for something out there in the void, in the crowd, and it wasn’t there.

Each Kanye album brings us someone new. This has been Kanye’s modus operandi for some time now. Perhaps not a change as radical as his later years would give us with 808’s, MBDTF, WTT and Yeezus showing us vastly different personalities pushing against some boundary. But it is there, bubbling quietly under the cloud of emotion he surrounds himself with. It’s that cloud of emotion that propels him forward. But now that same ion charged mixture of gasses may be sapping Ye´of some of his mojo. We’re not sure what is happening, but we do know that this year has been the most disappointing output of music of Kanye West’s career. Well, save for a few titular highlights.

Every once in a while, now, you’ll see the son of Donda West crack a smile. It’s becoming a rare occurrence these days. It should. Kanye West is scouring the earth for inspiration and he’s coming up empty. At least in music. He’s spent the last decade plus dazzling us with his penchant for soaking up the world around him and transforming it into art. On the College Dropout, he and G.O.O.D Music took the stylings of Tribe, Common, Mos’ and Slum Village -- his heroes at the time -- and his love of good ole fashioned soul and jerry-rigged it into a classic. But as his flawless catalog becomes older, it must be difficult to find more of the things that inspire you. There is no Taylor Swift incident this time around to spur a jilted Kanye West to dark, twisted greatness. And there isn’t the specter of being on the outside looking in and your very own celebrity use to encase you like there was on the sparse Yeezus. Equally, there isn’t the “I must prove myself at all cost” Kanye of the College Dropout and Late Registration era.

Perhaps humility is to blame. No, not that the world’s most interesting egoist hasn’t used enough, but that this year, maybe, he’s used too much. For Big Sean, he helped out on “All Your Fault” and “I Don’t f**k With You.” He also hopped on “Blessings,” though he says Drake’s rise to king of the summer propelled him to a last minute verse on that one. But his best work has been on other people’s records. His verse on Tyler, The Creator’s “Smuckers” is easily his best in a few years and one of the best verses of the year. His ridiculous stream-of-consciousness on A$AP Rocky’s “Jukebox Joints” and his strange co-existence with Rihanna and Paul McCartney on “FourFiveSeconds” are two more examples. Then there're the snippets we’ve heard of his banger with The Weeknd “Tell Your Friends.” And let’s not forget his tweet that implied Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly sent him back to the lab. Compare that to his own work and you may see my point. The lukewarm “All Day” sounds aged and it only dropped months ago. “Wolves” with Vic Mensa and Sia feels like a Kid Cudi single without the quirky magic of Cudster. Then there was a visibly drunk Amber Rose calling out Kanye and alleging that he doesn’t even write his new music, Travis Scott does.

He’s also just plain old preoccupied. His wife is a Venus de Milo jutting out of the sea and his child is beloved. That would put any creative person in a bind, right? Maybe he’s just too happy? Then there’s the fashion. Perhaps Kanye’s comet has gotten too big to move quickly, even for him. And maybe we are seeing the general decline of one of the greatest artists of our generation. Or, maybe, and hopefully, I’m just being too hasty. Either way, I’m worried about this Kanye West album, and you should be, too.

Courtesy: HipHopDX.com

*****
My 2 Cents:

1. Yeezy is too focused on fashion nowadays. He is forgetting what exactly made us fall in love with him in the first place. He has too many yes men around him and no one with balls enough to tell him that his fashion ambitions are ill misplaced and that he will never become a fashion icon like Giorgio Armani or Tom Ford.

2. Kim Kardashian was never the right chick for Kanye. They have never looked happy together anyways. And she has been a major derailer and a major source of distraction for Kanye all thanks to the Kardashian celebrity lifestyle and vanity.

3. Is this what (eventually) happens to you when you "sell your soul to the devil?" (See video below). Track #3 on Yeezus is called "I Am A God (featuring God)." Now, our God is not a petty God and we all know that he is all loving and forgiving. But He does have His limits. Is our God abandoning his prodigal son to fend for himself?


cc @Nefertities
 
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D

Deleted member 1310

Guest
#6
:D:D:D:D @Smith_ Kanye's okay. Around the time his mom died, I half-expected to hear news of his suicide but it never came. If he got through that, then he's fine.

When he and Kim got married, I didn't understand it for even a minute! I actually started watching KUWTK religiously for answers :D:D Honestly, I think this marriage will outlive very many other Hollywood marriages because ... forgive me for saying this, Kim and Kanye are more or less the same person. Whatever differences they have in personality compliment each other perfectly. Thats the reason why Kim's old fans are singing the same song you are right now "Kimmy's changed, she lost her sense of fashion, Kanye is ruining Kimmy's look etc etc" He's influencing her and she's influencing him. It isn't once-sided. I find it kinda sweet.

Other than that, I think Kanye is trying to leave a different legacy other than just his music. I tend to think that he feels that his life in the music industry already peaked and cannot go any higher (I sort of agree) and he is trying to make his mark elsewhere.

All the same, he's a daddy now. Maybe he feels that his new image and his old image cannot co-exist???? I dunno. So given a choice, I think he's picking his new image which goes with family and being more of a role-model and ... wait, I feel like I'm writing about Ice Cube :D:D:D:D:D actually, whatever rationale we gave ourselves for Ice Cube's change from being some hard-azz to being that guy in family movies is what we should apply here.

TL;DR
Everyone has to grow some time. This is Kanye's process.

I need breakfast ... will come back and read this for typos after a short while
 

Smith_

Village Elder
#10
:D:D:D:D @Smith_ Kanye's okay. Around the time his mom died, I half-expected to hear news of his suicide but it never came. If he got through that, then he's fine.

When he and Kim got married, I didn't understand it for even a minute! I actually started watching KUWTK religiously for answers :D:D Honestly, I think this marriage will outlive very many other Hollywood marriages because ... forgive me for saying this, Kim and Kanye are more or less the same person. Whatever differences they have in personality compliment each other perfectly. Thats the reason why Kim's old fans are singing the same song you are right now "Kimmy's changed, she lost her sense of fashion, Kanye is ruining Kimmy's look etc etc" He's influencing her and she's influencing him. It isn't once-sided. I find it kinda sweet.

Other than that, I think Kanye is trying to leave a different legacy other than just his music. I tend to think that he feels that his life in the music industry already peaked and cannot go any higher (I sort of agree) and he is trying to make his mark elsewhere.

All the same, he's a daddy now. Maybe he feels that his new image and his old image cannot co-exist???? I dunno. So given a choice, I think he's picking his new image which goes with family and being more of a role-model and ... wait, I feel like I'm writing about Ice Cube :D:D:D:D:D actually, whatever rationale we gave ourselves for Ice Cube's change from being some hard-azz to being that guy in family movies is what we should apply here.

TL;DR
Everyone has to grow some time. This is Kanye's process.

I need breakfast ... will come back and read this for typos after a short while
Kim K is simply just Kanye's "real life barbie doll."

It wasn't feasible for a black artist to come out 5-10 years ago but that has changed considerably. He should not have taken us for a ride with this 'cosmetic' union.

As aptly captured in the blog post below:

*****

Most women have a “type.” Kim Kardashian was no different when selecting her next target. Strong, tall, athletic build, a real man’s man. Every man she was with, including the love of her life, Reggie Bush, fit the bill. She always remained true to form when choosing the next sucker. That is until she gave up and settled for Kanye West. If you take a look at pics of Kim and Reggie and compare them to pics of Kanye and Kim, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say she “settled” because she doesn’t hold Kanye the way she held onto Reggie, she doesn’t have that look in her eye like she did with her former football hottie. Instead, she looks like the “Who wore it best?” page out of a magazine while her outfit is compared to her baby-daddy as they dress in identical outfits. Reggie Bush would not be having any part of that. Hey, she may not have ended up with the man of her dreams, but at least she can borrow some really great designer clothes from her [husband].

Kim, deep down, is miserable. Kanye is not her type at all. She finally gave into his pleas to give him a chance after she knew Bush, 6’0 and 203 pounds, was gone for good. Devastated and in need of a relationship to avoid being alone, she settled for the complete opposite of so many men before, Yeezy, who stands at 5’8 and weighs 160 soaking wet.

Despite his constant assurance to everyone who will listen, that he is a fashion icon, he continually embarrasses Kim with his love of wearing designer women’s clothing. Yes, women’s clothing. And not once, and not by mistake. He admits being very open to wearing women’s clothing. Between his feminine look, brooding face, and aggressive personality, he cannot possibly be any more different than likeable, always-smiling Bush. This drives Kim nuts! She’d give everything up to be back with Bush. She hates her new lifestyle with Kanye forcing his fashion advice on her. She wants a man who is concerned with sports-not fashion. She despises that her man is comfortable wearing women’s clothing, and freely gives her fashion advice.

Though Kim likes Paris and all the attention she and Kanye get when visiting, she hates spending long periods of time there. Too bad that won’t be changing any time soon. Kanye prefers to be near his rumored lover, designer Riccardo Tisci. Since as early as 2011, rumors swirled that the two were lovers and in a relationship. Kayne was said to be heartbroken when Tisci ended their relationship and moved on to a male model.

Well, the chemistry is still there with Kanye even living in Paris for several months while pregnant Kim stayed in California. To add fuel to the rumors, Tisci admitted to having an affair, and some of the best sex ever, with an artist that is known. Latin Times uncovered the details in an interview with Tisci , where he freely answered a question about his best sexual experience by stating, “I have several but the one I think immediately is an experience I had with a man who is known. I never imagined that something could happen between us and it’s still the hottest weekend of my life,” revealed Tisci. He went on to say that he loves what this man “does as an artist.”

kanye_west_riccardo_tisci1.jpg

So, let’s see here… we have a man who has been the subject of persistent g** rumors, who wears women’s designer clothes, who prefers to stay in Paris where his rumored lover lives. It is a bitter pill to swallow when you lose the man of your dreams (Bush), but it may hurt even more when your fiancé leaves you for the man of his dreams. Well…look at it this way….at least you have tons of hers-and-hers clothing to pull out of the closet. You never know…maybe one day you’ll be able to pull Kanye out of the closet, too!

Courtesy: celebdirtylaundry.com
 
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D

Deleted member 1310

Guest
#14
@Smith_ you're stanning hard for Kanye, aren't you? :D:D:D:D

Kanye is a self-absorbed narcissist. More than the average rapper/entertainer. Apart from that, he really isn't consistent as far as "integrity" when it comes to his art and the personality he initially tried to put across. He just had/still has that high ambition and I think that he had decided to do WHATEVER it took to succeed. I am not surprised that he is close friends with John Legend because those 2 are fruits from the same branch on one tree! Bitch-azz pretenders!

By the time Kanye was making his foray into the industry, we were still at that point where Neo Soul and what you call "emo-rap" was actually really popular. Kanye basically came in and looked at the things he was "supposed" to embody and for some reason, he was able to really lock that persona down! He hang around with artists whose fan-base was established and tried as hard as he could to feed off their energy and cultivate those habits needed to come off a certain way. A large percentage of his fans at the time were "borrowed" from these artists and the rest were easily influenced by the hype which arose from the "cult of Kanye".

I'm not refusing that he was some kind of breathe of fresh air when he came out but you have to remember that was around the same time we had other artists who were just as good as he was, some even better! They were already doing what he did but they just didn't get as much exposure as he did. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Before he came along, we had other black artists who were already doing the whole "emo-rap" routine you mentioned and they put out some really good stuff. Kanye himself noticed this and when he made his debut, he almost always worked with them. De La Soul, Common, Slum Village, Dwele etc

Once Kanye had the foothold he needed, he started drifting away from that group and more towards the popular, generic artists. The best example is his wiki page. We all know how much Kanye likes to control the info outchea about him and I don't know, I would assume the "associated acts" section would list all the artists who helped him get to where he is now. LMAO! His list has people like Big Sean and Tyga (wtf).

One of the reasons why Kimmy is an easy target to blame for what is perceived as Kanye's change is because his fans needed someone to take the fall. Someone who wasn't Kanye himself. But thats the thing though ... Kanye is Kim and Kim is Kanye. They both want the fame, they're both self-absorbed, they're both out of touch with whats really what, they are just perfect for each other. Maybe this is the real Kanye we're looking at now and ya'll are trying to make him go back to the Kanye that he never really was.
 

Smith_

Village Elder
#16
@Smith_ you're stanning hard for Kanye, aren't you? :D:D:D:D

Kanye is a self-absorbed narcissist. More than the average rapper/entertainer. Apart from that, he really isn't consistent as far as "integrity" when it comes to his art and the personality he initially tried to put across. He just had/still has that high ambition and I think that he had decided to do WHATEVER it took to succeed. I am not surprised that he is close friends with John Legend because those 2 are fruits from the same branch on one tree! Bitch-azz pretenders!

By the time Kanye was making his foray into the industry, we were still at that point where Neo Soul and what you call "emo-rap" was actually really popular. Kanye basically came in and looked at the things he was "supposed" to embody and for some reason, he was able to really lock that persona down! He hang around with artists whose fan-base was established and tried as hard as he could to feed off their energy and cultivate those habits needed to come off a certain way. A large percentage of his fans at the time were "borrowed" from these artists and the rest were easily influenced by the hype which arose from the "cult of Kanye".

I'm not refusing that he was some kind of breathe of fresh air when he came out but you have to remember that was around the same time we had other artists who were just as good as he was, some even better! They were already doing what he did but they just didn't get as much exposure as he did. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Before he came along, we had other black artists who were already doing the whole "emo-rap" routine you mentioned and they put out some really good stuff. Kanye himself noticed this and when he made his debut, he almost always worked with them. De La Soul, Common, Slum Village, Dwele etc

Once Kanye had the foothold he needed, he started drifting away from that group and more towards the popular, generic artists. The best example is his wiki page. We all know how much Kanye likes to control the info outchea about him and I don't know, I would assume the "associated acts" section would list all the artists who helped him get to where he is now. LMAO! His list has people like Big Sean and Tyga (wtf).

One of the reasons why Kimmy is an easy target to blame for what is perceived as Kanye's change is because his fans needed someone to take the fall. Someone who wasn't Kanye himself. But thats the thing though ... Kanye is Kim and Kim is Kanye. They both want the fame, they're both self-absorbed, they're both out of touch with whats really what, they are just perfect for each other. Maybe this is the real Kanye we're looking at now and ya'll are trying to make him go back to the Kanye that he never really was.
You forgot to mention A Tribe Called Quest too. I mean, 'Ye looks up to Q-Tip like all the time. Q-Tip was part of the inspirational "team" that 'Ye flew out to Hawaii during the EPIC MBDTF recording sessions. Q-Tip continues to DJ for him too like all the time.

Anyways, remember we are not asking for the old 'Ye. We are asking him to continue pushing the envelope for the forward-thinking and innovative artist that he has always been. The problem is that he is strangely dropping the ball with his uninspiring new stuff.

He can stay with Kim K forever if that's what he wants; all we are simply asking is that he keeps coming with that G.O.O.D. music, the kind that made us fall in love with him.

fatkanyekim.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 1310

Guest
#17
@Smith_ To put out that type of material, Kanye needs to surround himself with the old crowd which helped him to make his break! He has to feed off their energy, their personalities, their creativity and everything they are to even come close to the Kanye he was in 2005.

I just don't see Kanye, Anna Wintour and De La Soul sitting at one table, nuh uh! Do you think Kanye would call Marc Jacobs and Raekwon to have dinner at the same table? Uuuuuuuuum no!

His current world and his old world can never meet. It is either one or the other. Kanye can't let his current world go because that is where he is the real Kanye. He pretended for way too long and when he finally got what he wanted, he had to go back to being himself.
 
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