Kanye West-ye

The nature of waiting on Kanye West’s ye has been conflicting.  In some sense, it was nerve-racking: Kanye West, already the most polarizing artist of the decade, had recently come out as a Trump supporter (suspected to be the product of a mental breakdown).  The first track released from this album cycle was the meme-birthing “Lift Yourself,” arguably Yeezy’s most cringe-worthy lyrical work to date.  This also comes as the world of mainstream rap is enthralled by a Drake and Pusha T beef that seems to only be growing.  With that being said, there’s still the excitement that comes with being a Kanye fan.  It’s not exactly at the same level of The Life of Pablo, with the Yeezy Season 3 showing at Madison Square Garden or surprise album drop on SNL.  Reading about the listening party in Wyoming and getting the album a few hours later, I felt the same exhilaration as hearing that Life of Pablo dropped on SNL, seeing the Yeezus artwork, and first hearing “Runaway.”  From the time Kanye announced this album until now, it’s been a period of wrestling with wanting the new album to be good from a fan’s perspective but also struggling to come to terms with Kanye’s politics.  Surprisingly, there was little to be worried about on either front. Continue reading

Jack White-Boarding House Reach

Jack White would probably like to be thought of as this generation’s Lead Belly, but really, he’s more likely to go onto to be like this generation’s Lou Reed-an obsessive but eclectic madman dedicated to his art and reinvention.  Like Reed, White is also unafraid of failure or ridiculousness (see: Lulu and “Leck Mich Im Arsch”).  Boarding House Reach sees White leaning into his own experimentation on the weird, sloppy, boring wreck of an album. Continue reading

Tyler, the Creator-Flower Boy

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Brian Posehn has this joke that he tells about comedians having kids.  He mentions that he hates his favorite comics had kids, because they lost their edge and stopped being funny.  Now, Posehn’s joke is easy to transpose to other artistic mediums, especially music. Metallica changed their style when they cut their hair.  Eminem softened up when he stopped doing drugs.  It’s notable that both artists newfound maturity showed detrimental to their music.  Tyler, the Creator’s fourth full-length Flower Boy is his most mature work to date, and unlike Slim Shady and Metallica, it’s his best album to date. Continue reading