(Via “Creativity” by Kanye West, meditating on the death of Alexander McQueen)
Kanye West is an artist. It just feels good to say this and mean it. He’s got well-documented flaws, sure, but his consistently brilliant contributions to pop music displace his very public falls from grace, in my opinion. There are few other musicians who’ve been lucky enough to experience lavish success in recent years who meditate on life and creativity more than Kanye West. It probably irks you to read this, but it’s true.
Of course it disturbs me that West can’t control his alcohol enough not to steal the microphone from T. Swift during her Moonman-acceptance speech. Of course it’s ridiculous how much he talks about himself as if God wired him in a far superior way than myself.
But, he’s cultivating his music in ways so few in mainstream culture endeavor to attempt anymore. He’s trying to make us think. To process anger, fear, jealousy, pride, resentment and, yes, love. To not boil down the greats — he’s talked previously of being inspired by Zeppelin, the Beatles, Radiohead, Michael Jackson — to nothing more than an insincere badge or robotic selling point for your own music. West honors the vision of these artists in his solitary contributions to hip-hop.
If you’ve read Slowblog at any length, you know hip-hop isn’t typically given much editorial attention. Quite simply, for all the time I spend researching music for articles, for DJ sets, or for my own inspiration, the genre refuses to be a high-priority for me. With West’s new post, though (however vain in pieces), comes some truth about the pundit society and how it affects all of us who attempt to create. I’d be remiss not to share it with you.
“Heard ‘Em Say” (MP3) from Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella)
“Coldest Winter” (MP3) from 808’s and Heartbreaks (Roc-A-Fella)