KAN YAY OR KAN NAY? (The Kanye West Thread)

Trillhouse

Well-known member
The thing that perplexes me about Kayne is how divisive he is. Those who don't like him rarely just dislike and move on, they often seem to harbour a slightly irrational hate for him. I guess that a product of the widespread and pretty fervent critical acclaim he's received, that runs contrary to their personal opinion.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
lately he's begun to strikes me as j lennon (cutting edge avatar of pop not afraid to speak his mind on politics/social/etc but usually coming across as a totally out of touch asshole hypocrite rockstar even whilst making valid points) + yoko ono (legitimately brilliant but highly prentious and personally unpleasant conceptual artist who has to deal with endless racially-coded criticism that obscures his real faults in racial and other bullshit) combined into one person, filtered through 30+ years of rap culture and hyperaccelerated through a popular culture of celebratory social media narcissism (this is definitely a stupid question, but can you imagine the beatles in the age of twitter? jesus wept). I'm not bothered by the contradiction of attacking corporations while shilling for them, he's hardly the first or millionth rock star to do that, or by his other contradictions - pop at its core is about contradiction (the Sex Pistols are the go-to example I've seen academic-minded music writers use) - but he takes them and everything to this massively delusional level. and he brings a great deal of his troubles onto himself, sometimes for noble reasons but frequently not. he has a whiff of Greek tragedy about him, with the fatal flaw of like, ego insecurity or some more accurate German word that expresses that concept.

I've never really been a close follower of his music but whenever I hear it he's doing something interesting (if not new - whoever said he's our current king cultural vampire was dead on) that surprises me. that taiko drums thing, the industrialish vibes in that SNL performance (also read a quote by him somewhere about how he really wanted to put Chicago house influence into this new record - I'd Kanye has an encyclopedic knowledge of that stuff, he's nothing if not a record nerd). sure he can't rap but it's not really the point. the point is to be Kanye the metaphenomenon/producing genius.

this is off the cuff cos I'm short of time but I do think he's a really interesting figure worthy of further discussion
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Droid, are you talking about Jay-Z NOW or EVER? Everybody knows he's slightly rubbish now but he has a big catalogue of classic songs, and has proved himself as a lyricist on numerous occasions (as well as having one of the most charismatic deliveries in rap music over the years).
I stopped paying attention a long time ago TBH. He's a 2nd rate 90's MC who made it big through canny business sense and marketing. Its funny you mention charisma as I cant see an ounce of it. He's a virtual blank, almost completely void of character. In fact, I think the reason he got so big was precisely because he is so dull. Nas, at least, had a bit of substance behind him.

That said, its unfair to put him in the same bracket as Kanye. Jay-z is second rate, but kanye doesnt even have the basics of the craft.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
The thing that perplexes me about Kayne is how divisive he is. Those who don't like him rarely just dislike and move on, they often seem to harbour a slightly irrational hate for him. I guess that a product of the widespread and pretty fervent critical acclaim he's received, that runs contrary to their personal opinion.

TBF, I imagine most who dislike him simply ignore him. I watched bound recently and was cast anew into astonishment that such a joker has even sold a single record, let alone millions.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
before I go tho Droid if you're talking about Jay-Z lately (the last 10-12 years or so) then yeah, he sucks. but if you mean always, no way. yeah he ripped off his old flows from Jaz-O and Kane and Biggie (Nas goes into detail either on Ether or something else, can't remember) but he still had them, Reasonable Doubt is justifiably a canon LP of the mid-late 90s NYC rap and a lot of his late 90s output was good to killer.

also irrational hatred Kanye inspires - surely some racial elements in its persistence, as well as natural aversion to any massively hyped figure. and again there are few things more irritating than a rockstar dilettante (many, many people absolutely cannot stand Bono in a different version of the same thing, or Bob Geldof etc), no one likes to hear multimillionaire ultracelebrities with top .00000001% quality of life complaining about anything, valid or not, etc
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Yeah, Im pretty much talking about post 2000 Jay-z. 'Hard knock life' is the only thing I can think of since then I actually like, and that was due to the inspired sampling.
 

trilliam

Well-known member
people will call kanye west everything but a rapper

yes his music has transcended the world of hip hop and yes his music does incorporate and influence a wide range of music outside rap

but fundamentally, hell not even fundamentally in general he is a rapper making rap beats and labelling him such doesn't make his achievements, music or importance any less vital

i think for dissensus, late graduation co-produced with jon brion would be a good place to start, factually his best album is college dropout and i stopped listening to kanye before graduation came out but that is recognised as his most focused no filler release so maybe listen to that second?

kanye is the eno, bowie, hell even john cale of our generation

but i will never forgive him for a) taking the edge out of rap and b) inspiring men to dress in bizarre leather ensembles
 
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trilliam

Well-known member
I honestly don't understand how anyone rates him. He's a joke. His rhymes and delivery are appalling. His production is shit apart from the odd occasion where he steals a nice loop from someone. Its as if someone took wiley and pickled him in cocaine for 10 years - except without the groundbreaking early work.
Im not claiming to be all that familiar with his work as I avoid it as much as I can.

Jay-z is pretty shit too. Amazing how the two biggest stars in hip hop can barely rap at all.
two amazing posts. the second quote is particularly noteworthy containing not one but two thirty yard top corner screamers of clueless-ness. self professed on the authors behalf mind u.

808s and Heartbreak is my favourite Kanye album wot I've heard so far
I love that fact that Yeezus is in many ways a European produced rap record
and this could be the reason why there hasn't been a Kanye thread yet

*blueprint/american gangster r among jays best work ever
**i hate jay z. everything about him.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
lol. This coming from someone who compared him to Eno? Could you get more ridiculous? Grow up.

I have a baseline criteria for rating rappers. If I hear them rhyme the same word with itself more than once, I chuck em in the bin.
 
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Secundus

Active member
The thing that perplexes me about Kayne is how divisive he is. Those who don't like him rarely just dislike and move on, they often seem to harbour a slightly irrational hate for him. I guess that a product of the widespread and pretty fervent critical acclaim he's received, that runs contrary to their personal opinion.
A lot of people who don't really listen to or like rap only know about the taylor swift thing and the south park episode, and the only time he really gets in the media is when he's rude to a paparazzi. In the mainstream he's just kind of an embodiment of negative rapper stereotypes.
 
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Trillhouse

Well-known member
TBF, I imagine most who dislike him simply ignore him. I watched bound recently and was cast anew into astonishment that such a joker has even sold a single record, let alone millions.
That's the thing though they don't, as you've proved.

I get that you don't like his music, or even the dude himself, but he's been one the most respected and sort after producers in hip hop for over a decade and his last few albums have all been critically acclaimed and heavily influential.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Eh? Please point to a single post here or anywhere else where Ive even mentioned Kanye once in the last 10 years.

Someone starts a thread about him and I responded. Just because I haven't joined in the circle jerk of grandiose claims made by fervent fans doesn't mean my opinion isn't valid.

Respected? Critically acclaimed? Influential?

So are fucking coldplay.
 

trilliam

Well-known member
lol. This coming from someone who compared him to Eno? Could you get more ridiculous? Grow up.
droid said:
i insult artists wholeheartedly and unapologetically. i do not need to hear their music to do so
yea quite

anyway name me someone in the mainstream even half as daring as kanye in the studio and then i will compare them to the boy eno.

ill wait.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
yea quite

anyway name me someone in the mainstream even half as daring as kanye in the studio and then i will compare them to the boy eno.

ill wait.
Perhaps your definition of 'familiar with' is different from mine. It doesnt mean I havent heard his music, as you are attempting to claim on my behalf - how could you avoid Kanye exactly?

Anyway, I've obviously hurt your feelings by lambasting your idol, so apologies for that. Im sure his daring mainstream studio experiments in the avant garde will continue to provide you with joy in the years to come.
 
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rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
also irrational hatred Kanye inspires - surely some racial elements in its persistence, as well as natural aversion to any massively hyped figure.
id say kanye is a victim of people not liking black celebs who appear to be arrogant. obv arrogance is irritating anyway, and dickishness is also, but there is something of a knee jerk reflex from a lot of people to black celebs/public figures who appear too sure of themselves. or often a kneejerk response to declare black celebs arrogant before they have even earned it. obv with kanye, he has earned it, and seems to enjoy provoking people, but it means thats all people see, if you dont really listen to his music, or dont really read an interview with him - like, with that every interview he does, thats all people are looking for, the latest outlandish boast. kanyee obv knows this is where his PR bread is buttered though, so caters to it expertly.

i dont know how anyone can dismiss kanye as not even knowing his craft - he is a superb producer who has proved his worth many times over. as a rapper, hes not always nas, but hes a producer first, rapper second. and i would still rather listen to him than dr dre, timbaland, or any number of others, even the rza for that matter. he has been saying more interesting stuff than most artists who are full-time rappers for some years. no matter how ham-fistedly, who else is at least presenting race or materialism/consumerism as a debate in 2013 in the mainstream? (or underground for that matter). ill grant you that kanyes grasp of these themes isnt always all that fresh, but i dunno, ill take 'provocative' over just accepting these things any day. i think its easy for people to dismiss kanye as hes so present in peoples faces a lot of the time, but there is much more to him than just kanye-the-ego and the singles.

i keep hearing and reading endless commentary on gaga's art pop album when yeezus (or mia's mathangi for that matter) bring 'art into pop' much more interestingly and daringly than gaga is ever likely to. kanye doesnt always get enough credit for his artistic decisions imo. its more fun just to laugh at him.
 
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trilliam

Well-known member
Perhaps your definition of 'familiar with' is different from mine. It doesnt mean I havent heard his music, as you are attempting to claim on my behalf - how could you avoid Kanye exactly?

Anyway, I've obviously hurt your feelings by lambasting your idol, so apologies for that. Im sure his daring mainstream studio experiments in the avant garde will continue to provide you with joy in the years to come.
Im not claiming to be all that familiar with his work as I avoid it as much as I can.
i dnt even like kanye west mate, infact i hate him. i also hate ill informed opinions. and im gonna assume ur opinion on kanye is informed by lets say 20% music (generous) and 80% peripheral. but listen mate, music is totally subjective so i cannot provide concrete proof that you're in fact brain dead as it would just be mine and the doctors opinion. so i hope you enjoyed this as much as i did and please remember 1) you said it not me and 2) im still waiting for that list.


@rubberdingyrapids

while some of kanyes outbursts r probably honed behind shadowy desks in a marketing room somewhere i am pretty sure he is a man child. the guy wears his heart on his sleeve. way way way too much.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
i dnt even like kanye west mate, infact i hate him. i also hate ill informed opinions. and im gonna assume ur opinion on kanye is informed by lets say 20% music (generous) and 80% peripheral. but listen mate, music is totally subjective so i cannot provide concrete proof that you're in fact brain dead as it would just be mine and the doctors opinion. so i hope you enjoyed this as much as i did and please remember 1) you said it not me and 2) im still waiting for that list.
Lets be clear about something. You dragged this down into the ad hominem, not me. I don't really give a fuck about your assessment of where my opinion comes from, and TBH, your premise is so laughable that I doubt I could even begin to formulate a response.

Bowie/Eno/Cale? FFS. You're talking out of your hole.
 

rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
while some of kanyes outbursts r probably honed behind shadowy desks in a marketing room somewhere i am pretty sure he is a man child. the guy wears his heart on his sleeve. way way way too much.
whats wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve? isnt that better than yet another boring pop star with nothing to say, who reveals nothing about themselves? kanye does 'overshare' but hes a product of his time. at least he shares more interesting opinions - its better than sharing yet more stupid selfies of yourself every hour on the hour (i dont know if he does that too, i dont follow him on twitter).

i wouldnt say hes an eno kind of artist/producer. he hasnt taken quite enough risks yet, though yeezus is a massive start. but he is really good. anyone into black pop should be able to appreciate kanye on some level. if you dont like rap or R&B though, he will probably be lost on you. you wont see what makes him special. and i know hes a big star, but he has a lot of respect inside hip hop otherwise he wouldnt get old schoolers like dj premier, rza, q tip, pete rock (never mind all the contemporary artists) willing to work with him.
 
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Corpsey

call me big papa
Probably the most grievous offence he committed in the last few years was doing that ploptastic remix of ''Don't Like'' by Chief Keef which completely ruined the simple brutality of the original and imported some Barrington Levy samples for good measure. I sort of feel the same process of muso blandification happened with Lex Luger's style on ''H.A.M.''. Mind you, ''Mercy'' is a brilliant take on Trap, albeit with a poncy trance breakdown which does provide a brilliant crescendo moment but otherwise didn't work for me at all.

Was Kanye responsible for ''Numbers on the Board''?
 
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