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.