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Day 174: Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne

21 Aug

Niggas in Paris

My room is filled with posters that rep my love for things like Entourage or The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. After taking a glance at my limited edition White Stripes turntable, something hit me: I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to hip-hop.

I’ve dabbled in the genre with this blog before, but I admit, I’m fairly uncertain when it comes to what I’m supposed to look for in a hip-hop record.  I’m only writing about this now because I’ve stumbled upon the first hip-hop record that I don’t really like.  For those who are completely oblivious to the world around them, and are most likely living under a rock, Watch The Throne is a collaborative record made by Jay-Z and Kanye West, two of hip-hop’s—as well as music’s in general—biggest names.   That deadly combination might be part of the problem with this record, though.  I’ll be blunt; both of these guys are filthy rich.  If for some reason you didn’t know that, The Throne will burn that fact into your brain.

There’s a track called Niggas in Paris.  They rhyme about clubs, prenups and Maybachs.  Oh, but don’t worry, it’s all good, because they rap about the problems that come with being rich, too.  Sorry, this just doesn’t appeal to someone like me.  Maybe they should have just distributed this record to their secret billionaire rapper society, (you know, the one that runs the world.  Kind of like the Elders of Zion, except it actually exists).

Oh, and if we’re on the topic of Judaism, I’ve got to tell you something Kanye.  Whatever it is that you’re referring to in Who Gon Stop Me (awesome grammar in that title, by the way) isn’t “something like the Holocaust.”  I promise.

Anyway, maybe this is good hip-hop.  If you look past the obnoxious rhymes, the beats are pretty solid.  My point is, I really don’t know what I should be looking for here.  What it’s going to come down to, though, is that if there’s a problem as glaring as bad lyrics, I don’t think there’s any way that I can enjoy the record that they’re a part of.

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Day 69: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

8 May

Hell of a Life

I thought I was going to have a lot of trouble with this record.  I think of Kanye West as the king of douchebags, and have for quite a while now.  Yeah, I’ve heard some of his stuff before, and it is pretty good, but usually his larger-than-life obnoxious presence counters any joy that I may get out of Gold Digger.

 This album is perfect, though.  And I don’t mean perfect in the 10.0 on Pitchfork sense—it definitely has its flaws, and can drag every now and then.  No, this album fits Kanye West perfectly.  It’s massive, ambitious, pretty good, and ultimately, believes it’s better than it actually is.

So it turns out that having lots of preconceived notions of Kanye West and his massive ego only make for a better listening experience.  Instead of trying to combat or even counter the numerous hurtful accusations and generalizations made about him, he just wears them—almost proudly.  Kanye is who he is, and I think he realizes that trying to fight that is futile.  Truth is, his music would suck if his ego were in check.

What makes MBDTF so great is that it gives you unrestricted access to the darker regions of Kanye West’s brain, a scary place to be (the official language is CAPS LOCK).  Take Hell of a Life, for instance, an entire track about the pains that come with falling in love with a porn star.  Runaway serves as an even better window into this man’s mind.  It’s 9 minutes long, and Kanye goes all over the place, rapping mainly about women troubles—that’s right—Kanye West has girl problems.

Kanye West won me over right away with 30 Rock and South Park references, and kept me interested throughout because he’s such an insane person.  All I got to say: damn.

“I ordered the jerk, she said you are what you eat.”