Never did a popular thing, couldn't sell out a telephone booth.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
On individuals who get back up when they haven't even fallen...
I feel like most people write off Kanye more than...well, let's just leave it at that. According to the man he was getting hated on before he even released "The College Dropout." The underdog mentality: start at the bottom even when you're at the top. It's the American way.
So yeah, album one, classic Kanye production and some green jollity. What's not to like? The new guy at the table, he's alright. Let him on in. So Kanye got his inch, and went beyond taking the mile. I mean, he's past the horizon at this point. He took himself from victim through the wire straight to martyr. Critics say if he ran his mouth on his records like he did to the media, maybe there wouldn't be so much to complain about.
So yeah, album two, and Kanye's mixin' it up. The honeymoon period over, but there's some definite growth in delivery. But the strength comes, again, on the beats. Keep it interesting, and when you have to call in the artillery, do it. Who thought AAA format could be integrated like that? No wonder Michel Gondry loves him.
So what, album three? Dude is starting to leave orbit for I don't know what. But that piano? The live instrumentation? Gone. Who needs that? It's the 21st century, motherfuckers. Get with the synth. Daft Punk, "Flashing Lights," and some real hyperkinetic album art mark this strange beast lumbering towards God knows what. It's got the Mark of Wayne, too; Kanye's coming out on the other side of the weird. It's beyond hip-hop now, it's art. The Artist would agree with this, I'm sure.
So after searching for a Britney meltdown from the 2008 Video MusicAwards and only getting a letdown of normaled proportions, I find a real notable: Kanye came back to MTV (going against his VMA snobbery due to repeated Moon-Man snubbery). This is what I got:
We've officially lost contact. Kanye's "Love Lockdown" premiere has the same kind of identity-shifting grandeur as when Jonathan Rhys-Meyers' folk-turned-glam 70's conglomeration passes beyond conventional rock star into extraterrestrial in "Velvet Goldmine." It's the same root as Prince losing his name, or Ziggy Stardust losing David Bowie. Self-conscious artist syndrome lifted beyond normal realms of consciousness. We're left with the artist as art.
It's a modernist pose, and a damn good one at that. Kanye references everyone from Ray Charles to Bowie to Kanye. The medium is the message. The words don't count, but the sound certainly does. Vocal delivery was "eh" live, but the beat and the look got me to the single. Now I'm hatin' on the fact that I can't keep hatin' for much longer.