Kanye: Separating the Wheat From the Chaff

Kanye West makes it very difficult to defend him, so I've always stuck to the music. Kanye's persona is brash, nutty, and typically ill-informed. Often he's trolling, but sometimes it's difficult to tell. He dropped this song last night, which is a rather brilliant troll job if you ask me.

Personally, and music is so subjective such statements can only be personal, I think Kanye's a musical genius. I've liked him from The College Dropout through Pablo with only a few missteps in between. But for my money, there may be no better hip hop album these past twenty years than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Whenever someone tells me Kanye doesn't know music, I quote those four words.

Seriously. If you've never listened to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in its entirety, do so now. Go ahead. I'll wait.

I'm very good at separating the wheat from the chaff. That is to say I can enjoy an artist's music even if he's a nutter. I ignore the nonsense and stick to the tunes.

Share your thoughts on Kanye in the comments. Remember, there are no wrong answers here. Even Lift Yourself, one of the best troll jobs in hip-hop history, contains a tremendous soul sample. That female group you hear is actually the eight dudes in Amnesty.


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Irv


Kanye seemed to change after his mother passed away. He stopped rapping and started trying to sing (of which he cannot). I suspect he's a mix of not mentally stable & just milking the "troll" system as a way of generating controversy. Regardless, it only diminishes his musical abilities and turns him into a bad cartoon.

Apple's Beats 1 gave lots of love to Kanye's stuff. Zane Lowe, arguably the worst top musicologist saw the genius in the record.

Personally I think Jesus Walks was his best song. It's one of those rap songs that stepped outside the normal bounds of hip hop.

April 28, 2018 @ 1:35 PM

Sandra

My twitter account has been loaded with tweets from disgruntled Kanye fans as of late. He has a right to say whatever he wants to say...he is a walking contradiction... If you don’t agree with his comments, views whatever then don’t support his music and stop putting coin in his pocket. But his fans won’t do that...they continue to buy his music and raise his profile & career then complain.

April 28, 2018 @ 2:17 PM

Urooj Islam

He just loves attention and everything in his life is a calculated move to sustain that attention from the relationships he pursues to the opinions he has. Simple as that.

I don't hold it against him, it's not like he is out there committing criminal acts or being an asshole as is usually the case when it comes to these "separating the art from the artist" exercises.

I still love the "College Trilogy" (College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation) and will continue to do so. Although, not a big fan of the singing auto-tune infused Kanye that followed those albums.

April 28, 2018 @ 3:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

808s & Heartbreak was one of those few missteps I referred to. Kanye is not at his best when autotuned, although Heartless is a great jam.

April 28, 2018 @ 4:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

“Love Lockdown” is on 808s, too.... dig that one as well.

April 28, 2018 @ 4:21 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

My least favourite Kanye album is Yeezus. 808s is my second-least favourite Kanye album. I actually really, really like the rest.

April 28, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Irv

It’s sort of ironic how so much focus is out on the antics of Kanye . I mean there are some classic rock guys that are revered and far bigger douchebags. Like Gene Simmons.

I think the spotlight got to Kanye myself. It’s a pressure cooker. Michael Buble talked about that recent & how he was a total dick because of fame. Beiber has did the same. Cute kid becomes douche. Most of the Backstreet Boys did the same.

April 29, 2018 @ 12:11 PM

bsmntdwllr73

Not a fan of Kanye West. Have heard a few of his albums: once, when by accident, somebody placed their own CD in a Toronto Public library borrowed item! Didnt' mind his production collaboration with
pop wizard Jon Brion on his second album. Mostly a fan of old school rap, and sadly, I guess I really
have become that cantankerous old man with that dreaded white man-itis, as so lovingly labelled
upon me by the former WCI in numerous threads some time back!! Big fan of Mrs. Kanye, however, no matter how artificially sweetened she might be!! Never fail to miss any of her newest/nudest(!) nude 'releases'!!!

April 29, 2018 @ 3:48 PM

Jimmy Nope

I hate the hypocrisy on both sides of the political spectrum. When Kaepernick was taking a knee, the right was up in arms with their "stick to ball" message. The left was all for him using the spotlight for the "social good".

Now with Kanye, those positions are reversed. Though it does seem that the Left holds more of the cards in entertainment (see Shania's forced apology last week).

For myself, I say let artists, athletes, etc say whatever they want outside of their profession. As long as they continue to compete/perform/entertain us, it should be a non factor. None of us should be happy with the idea of losing a career because of our affiliations. But it seems like the days of exposing yourself to divergent viewpoints are behind us. People today seem to only want echo chambers. Which likely explains the polar opposites we seem to have arrived at in terms of political views.

April 30, 2018 @ 7:23 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@Mike
Thanks for posting that video of that great '70s track by Amnesty called "Liberty". Obviously
had never encountered this song or group before, so good on Kanye West for digging it up!!
This is one of the best things about rap/hip hop music for me personally: being exposed to
unfamiliar artists and songs through the use of creative sampling and/or interpolations.

April 30, 2018 @ 9:31 AM

ng

I just started listening to it and from the opening two songs, probably it's because it's extremely experimental sounding, eclectic sounds and switchups seem to be quite common. As a guy who isn't into traditional hip hop and rap, I kind of dig it so far. Definitely not something for someone looking for a typical rap album, that's for sure.

May 7, 2018 @ 5:06 PM

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