the doctor said I had blood clots, but I ain’t jamaican man. -k. west
We Hate Kanye.
God damn, why am I even attempting to analyze any aspects of Kanye’s personality or role in society, media, culture, etc. (the fucking list goes on)? I mean, for one, the guy is absolutely no role model (for anyone). For two, he is overly-arrogant, (for no reason, mind you), unusually-abrasive, particularly annoying, non-genuine, and the sad and pathetic list of labels hopelessly march on to the tune of a Kanye beat (haha). So, I guess my question to all of you is, why is his music so God damn popular?
For today’s review/analysis I will be examining two of Kanye’s songs I personally hand-selected. One is off his freshman release (The College Dropout), and the other, “Twisted Fantasy”. Now I put these two words within quotation marks simply due to the fact that this is not, indeed, the accurate and full title of his album. However, I render the original as being overly-wordy and contextually ridiculous, so we will leave that be.
He Spat It Through The Wire.
Ahh, a Kanye Wizzle classic. I remember when this song first grazed the radio waves on various Chicago rap stations possessing its ominous hip hop presence. The track opens with a distinct, audibly sped-up, high-pitched vocal, alongside a semi-synthetic bongo type of drum kick, resonating the sounds of an African drum (I think all of you hip hop heads know which kick-drum sound I am precisely referring to)?
Now, the track then unfastens with Kanye vocalizing a trite and brief introduction that is difficult to precisely understand, preparing us for what seems to be a story of some sort. After this, we are given the groundwork for the song’s essence and overall technical sound. Stripped down, it is a fascinating beat, although I am not too fond of it as finished hip hop instrumental.
The squeamish vocal is not appealing at all, as well Kanye’s (semi-clever) pun on the wordplay of Chaka Khan’s original lyrics, “Through The Fire”. Again, we have nothing special here in terms of a modern rap track and the various components needed to complete an instrumental, including: the drumbeat, sample, or any other hip hop additives used for head-nodding flavoring.
Any Lyrical Content?
Eh. It is nothing exceptional. Lyrically, Kanye is telling us a story in rap-form. Basically, it seems as if he has got into a semi-tragic car accident, thus requiring an immediate jaw-wiring procedure. Ugh. Really, all we have here is a ho-hum story, spoken in an irksome format, and I will not get into any unneccessary details of the incident of which happened almost a fucking decade ago.
Kanye’s verses are also hardly breathtaking, let alone unique at anytime during the entire 4:30 track span. Structurally, it is a chorus, verse, chorus, type of format. In the end, we are woefully left with a hip hop track exceedingly lacking in substance, (do I sound like a hater yet?) mumbled through all the way. In fact, he does not even go to the simple creative extent of actually writing a chorus for us. No. Instead we are left with those high-pitched, viciously-annoying, squeaky vocal samples, layered under Kanye masticating sentences about his accident. None of which is appetizing for any flavor.
So, yes, Kanye we all know you would love to refer to yourself as a hip hop bad ass, a true rap-mogul, and that you “spat it thru da wire” . Look, we understand the fact that you ironically wore a medical jaw wire, (how creative), but deplorably we do not give a shit. How does this make for a good hip hop story? Kanye, your lyrics severely lack. Also, dare I mention any note of your vocal tones, and how atrocious they sound? also, I cannot seem yo forget how difficult they are to comprehend. Gosh.
Do we even remember that one Kanye song?
My second track that I am fast-forwarding to is “Hell Of A Life” of off the “Twisted Fantasy” album, and this track is rather decent. For starters, it is eons ahead of the prior track and it is components such as: the instrumental, lyrical content, song organization and melodic progressions. Nevertheless, please do not get your hopes up about me praising a Kanye West song. The track does please, but of course, it disappoints.
Summing up this piece will not take up much blog space due to the simple fact the lyrical content is rather easy to dissect, and truthfully, there just is not much there to analyze in the first place. “Hell Of A Life” is a fast-paced, raw-sounding, pulse-pounding, grungy version of a modern Kanye West-style hip hop track. It is quite catchy, semi-quirky, yet, overall maintains a pessimistic and violent undertone within its entire musical span.
He wants a hell of a life.
Kanye conveys to us various egotistical components of his mentality (not on purpose) and how it has had a blundering affect on his personal relationships, especially those with debutante women (see Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose). At first listen, I assumed the song to be somewhat subliminally about his relationship with Amber Rose (Kanye’s Ex).
Now, when taking an even further listen, I concluded it to be an indiscreet narrative surrounding a generalized notion of Kanye’s personal attitudes and actions against the recent females in his life, and how the overall theme of heartache is seemingly attached to these women he raps about (to his fans). It is almost as if he is delivering a personal message to the listener about his affectation towards women, and especially how he opts to manage them effectively, or mainly, not.
There are specific themes covering various human aspects such as: anger, sadism, sexuality, violence, drug-use and overall, sadness, all layered within the confines of the lyrics. The primal musical composition has a synonymous lyrical motif to that of another song off the “Twisted Fantasy” album and that is, “Blame-game”. A lot of “Kanye” feelings come rushing towards the end of the song.
However, unlike in “Hell Of A Life”, this track has Kanye’s words fizzle out into the midst of a light piano interlude (focused upon the main melody), and conclusively, he refers to a woman by the name of “Chloe Mitchell” (perhaps a real woman he loved?). Suddenly, Chris Rock overtakes the vocals, and engages in a very vulgar, and sexually explicit phone conversation with a woman Kanye once (possibly) knew and/or fucked? It is very strange indeed.
Withal, the two tracks reviewed, (and lightly touching base on a third) the thematic paths are laid out for what constructs a typical Kanye West “rap” track. Somehow, they all ‘magically’ converge as one direct ideology. Both pieces are a direct representation of Kanye’s current personality, and simply reflect his thoughts and moods at that particular moment.
It is his “Twisted Fantasy”, and It does not fucking matter whether we are viewing it as his “twisted” ego, or “dark” poetic side, because they are seemingly derailed by his range of varied blank emotions, and overall, severe lack of any genuine, and effective storyteller aspects. None of the two musical compositions seem inspiringly personal, nor make us want to believe that perhaps we should be a little more sympathetic towards Kanye’s feelings, and all the sad shit he is going through (poor Kanye…not). Unfortunately, Kanye, you have had your chance with us (or is it just me?) and we are just plain sick of you complaining too much. So stop it!
-Omar (c) copyrighted. 2013.