Hip Hop icon. Rant Legend.
If you pay any attention to the constant rumblings of the various blogs,magazines and websites that cover anything entertainment, then you’ve without a doubt heard of Kanye West.
Whether it be through the greatest stage interruption (Of All Time!!) and it’s solidifying of the phrase “Imma let you finish…” , or the countless occasions he has compared himself to any icon he feels was most influential that day, you have no doubt come into contact with the hubris that is Yeezus.
But what seems to escape our minds every so often is that Kanye West is genuinely good at what he does. He really is! So I thought I’d take time out my day to uplift my community through the power of Kanye.
The first thing that comes to mind when Kanye West’s music comes on the radio is usually its peculiar sound. It goes without saying that Kanye West leads the pack on most facets of production in hip hop, but what truly makes Kanye an artist worth noting is his ability to bring the best out of trends in music.
What most people don’t like about any particular Kanye West album is not that it is genuinely a bad piece of music, but rather that it is an embodiment of the latest evolution in hip-hop as a sound. Even I have been caught in the trap of claiming that over the years Kanye has gotten “worse” rather than just saying he’s “different”.
Essentially nothing has changed in Kanye’s content as a rapper, he can still be found rhyming on about the evils of consumerism in black culture or his struggles with fame, but rather than it being smoothly smeared over a soulful jam with gospel choirs in the background, it gets screamed over a distorted heavy base, or slurred on the latest trap anthem.
And that’s really all Kanye has aimed for over the years. He wants to challenge us, and himself, to change our taste for the time, a concept that artists such as Prince are held in such high admiration for doing.
If you ever get curious to find out what Kanye West is really about, and start looking for a single piece or project to sum it all up look no further than All Falls Down.
Coming off of Kanye’s first official album, The College Dropout, Kanye finds a way to sum up all that he will ever rap about in three verses spewing the trials and tribulations of self-consciousness, black inferiority complexes, and how not to pronounce Versace . In fact, Kanye manages to not only give insight into the hypocrisy of a culture that is obsessed with “things”; but also reflects on his own struggle with the demon of personal gratification (something he hasn’t stopped doing).
I’m not going to go on about how great Kanye’s verses are in the song, I’ll just leave the lyrics at the bottom for your own judgement.
Am I saying I’ve liked or enjoyed everything Kanye has made over the years? Hell no! Some of the stuff has been so incredibly bland or stupid that I seriously doubted the integrity and moral conscious of those that enjoyed it.
I mean, there is some really garbage stuff in the collection. The kind of stuff that can only be justified as the personal work of a man hell-bent on pushing the boundaries of fan loyalty. As if this is all an elaborate social experiment Kanye is conducting on the sheeply nature of popular music listeners.
But every time I see a comment on one of his rants asking “Why is this man even famous?” I can’t help but wonder if the person simply doesn’t like or listen to hip hop (which I can understand) or does, and chooses to obfuscate the very passionate workings of an artist they don’t like (which I don’t understand). Or, you know, their parents didn’t love them enough as a kid. A lot of that going around lately.
Here are those lyrics:
Man I promise, she’s so self conscious
She has no idea what she’s doing in college
That major that she majored in don’t make no money
But she won’t drop out, her parents will look at her funny
Now, tell me that ain’t insecurrre
The concept of school seems so securrre
Sophmore three yearrrs aint picked a careerrr
She like fuck it, I’ll just stay down herre and do hair
Cause that’s enough money to buy her a few pairs of new Airs
Cause her baby daddy don’t really care
She’s so precious with the peer pressure
Couldn’t afford a car so she named her daughter Alexus (a Lexus)
She had hair so long that it looked like weave
Then she cut it all off now she look like Eve
And she be dealing with some issues that you can’t believe
Single black female addicted to retail and well
Man I promise, I’m so self conscious
That’s why you always see me with at least one of my watches
Rollies and Pasha’s done drove me crazy
I can’t even pronounce nothing, pass that versace!
Then I spent 400 bucks on this
Just to be like nigga you ain’t up on this!
And I can’t even go to the grocery store
Without some ones thats clean and a shirt with a team
It seems we living the american dream
But the people highest up got the lowest self esteem
The prettiest people do the ugliest things
For the road to riches and diamond rings
We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us
We trying to buy back our 40 acres
And for that paper, look how low we a’stoop
Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coop/coupe
I say fuck the police, thats how I treat em
We buy our way out of jail, but we can’t buy freedom
We’ll buy a lot of clothes when we don’t really need em
Things we buy to cover up what’s inside
Cause they make us hate ourself and love they wealth
That’s why shortys hollering “where the ballas’ at?”
Drug dealer buy Jordans, crackhead buy crack
And a white man get paid off of all of that
But I ain’t even gon act holier than thou
Cause fuck it, I went to Jacob with 25 thou
Before I had a house and I’d do it again
Cause I wanna be on 106 and Park pushing a Benz
I wanna act ballerific like it’s all terrific
I got a couple past due bills, I won’t get specific
I got a problem with spending before I get it
We all self conscious I’m just the first to admit it
Also, four words:
Kanye West Ted Talk.
Make it happen Ted.