Download (right click, save as)
Without question, Kanye West is one of the most influential things to ever happen to this culture that continues to shape our lives on a daily basis. Im not out to set off any controversy with this project’s title, but I’d say it’s time we lay our unreasonable expectations of him to rest. Whether Hip-Hop put too much on him claiming to carry the Native Tongue torch, whether he’s lost his mind altogether or his vision is just that far ahead of its time, this is a memorial service of sorts for his once immaculate body of work.
People go through changes (sometimes publicly while having to produce art) and after two listens I’ve taken Yeezus as a full departure from that which we once held sacred. A decent analogy is a person one day deciding they dont want to be in a relationship (Kanye with his old fans) no matter how happy things seemed. You’re left stuck, betrayed, confused and there’s nothing you can do to change their minds.
Im all for creative expansion, Outkast did it to death and made unbelievably good art out of it. I just wish Kanye would have maintained soul and a higher standard for quality. Many critics consider My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to be his pinnacle, I dont care for much of that album (I also hate most of Watch The Throne and Cruel Summer was a disgrace to his legacy.)
What I’ve attempted here is to be some small solution rather than the umpteenth person griping about his new direction. Everything you’ll hear is either (co)produced by Kanye or it features him rapping. While listening to it once completed, the common thread I found was spirituality in a lot of his work, dealing with the struggle to live righteously despite the insecurities of being famous and losing a parent. It isn’t my place to say he’s gone to the “dark” side in this fight, but his latest work decidedly isn’t for me. A lot of the music here was a big part of the soundtrack to my life from 2000-2008, he was the dude who kept Hip-Hop alive after our heroes weren’t as relevant, and I guess that’s no longer. My theory is his present fans admire his creativity and what he stands for, so they’re willing to excuse the questionable output, but I could be wrong.
Thank you for everything Kanye West, with this I’ll never forget what you’ve meant.
P.S. The rough demo at the beginning wasnt included as a joke, I love it because it’s like the perfect bridge between former and present Kanye with the crazy synths and him just rambling like a madman.
Also, digest this in doses if you need to. I did my best to keep things interesting, but 2.5 hours is a lot to invest. Most importantly, tell a friend to tell a friend if you dig this.