The Mark of Excellence

Kanye West


> > Jun 17 2013

Kanye West - Yeezus
By Vish KhannaYou wouldn't know it to hear Yeezus, but Kanye West is a kept man; he fell in love with Kim Kardashian, they just had a daughter and his non-committal good life is changing in so many ways. On Yeezus, West invites us to the decadent, bonkers bachelor party of his dreams; it's an all-id affair where his dick barely stays zipped up inside his black leather jeans. "One last announcement/no sports bra, let's keep it bouncing," he spits towards the end of scorching opener "On Sight," and it's one of many problematic objectifications of women West drops with a shit-eating grin. A Kanye conundrum (one of a gazillion) lies in the fact that he's both the sophomoric king of clever gutter rhymes and a high-minded artist who unquestionably impacts popular culture with every new flourish. "I am the nucleus," he recently told the New York Times and, though he has been rightly mocked by comedians and critics not buying his "I Am a God" posturing, dude is undeniably right. "There's leaders and there's followers," Ye states on the pulsing, simmer-to-boil rage of "New Slaves," and he's so the former — the most significant artistic force in music right now — which is vexing because he acts like such an asshole. So, where's he taking us? On Yeezus, it's this futuristic soundscape, moulded by West, Daft Punk, Chief Keef, Bon Iver, Kid Cudi and many more, that executive producer Rick Rubin stepped in and stripped down to its minimalist core. Where West's 2010 landmark, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, successfully aspired to find some middle ground between layered, classical ornamentation and gritty boom bap, Yeezus is for the screwface snobs in the club with secret hate-crushes on the hipsters at their day jobs. It's Kanye West baring his fangs, over-sharing ("To all my second-string bitches, trying to get a baby," he growls on "Blood on the Leaves," presumably at groupies but this precedes allusions to Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and we've all seen the pics of BK scowling at KK) and consciously grappling with this over-reaching, over-indulging beast within, fighting hard to believe that "one good girl is worth a thousand bitches."

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this review tells me absolutely nothing about whether the actual album is good, other than that the writer seems to enjoy highlighting the most misogynist moments. I wouldn't disagree with it being an 8 or 9, but not for these reasons.
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You're likely right here. It's a thing where I'm conflicted about what the record is telling us but is undeniably great. So the numeric value conveys a high recommendation and the review kinda grapples with why. But not as clearly as it should be.
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There's def some interesting things to get into, like how it seems to continue, sonically, from Cruel Summer, not to mention this return of 80s noise rap from people like Killer Mike, El P and Death Grips. Lyrically, I actually feel like it's some of his weakest material ("leaders/followers/dicks/swallowers, etc"), and yetI like it. I wonder how it will fare in the long term compared to something like MBDTF, which is brilliant on all fronts.
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Nailed it, Meezus. Being super misogynist does not a great album make... The opposite, in fact.
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I hate to be the hater, but Kanye's insistence on being the MC on most of his work is his biggest drawback and it seriously submarines this work. I am down with the songs themselves; the sounds are as tight as all get out. But Kanye couldn't rap his way out of a wet paper bag. His flow is garbage, his lyrics are terrible for the most part (the clever lines, and there are some, don't make up for the absolutely embarassingly bad ones). Furthermore, I refuse to get in line with everybody who can't stop praising Kanye as a groundbreaking visionary. He's not the only person in the world making this type of music; he's just the most famous. El-P, Death Grips, Dalek....all superior by a long shot.
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