June 2, 2010


I suppose it was naïve of me to think that Kanye West would return a little wiser after being Swift-boated. We’re talking about a man who probably considers his shoe collection an artistic statement on par with the works of Dostoyevsky. Clearly, he employs a guy in G&B shades and hip-huggers who walks around with an dictionary in case he ever needs to remember the meaning of the word “humble.” We’re almost a decade past his awkward but endearing Benz-n-backpack days, and West now only seems likeable when you compare him to M.I.A and frankly, Rand Paul seems like a decent guy compared to M.I.A. Hell, Kim Jong Ill seems OK compared to M.I.A. Even the British Petroleum guy seems…Sorry. I really regret endorsing that M.I.A album earlier this year.

As for endorsing Kanye, the jury’s still out but things aren’t looking good. West’s return with “Power” is as sad as it is predictable; another bombastic effort to bury everything that once made rap interesting under a stadium’s worth of bullshit. It’s anthemic, defiant and ultimately a step backwards: combining the whininess of “Can’t tell me nothing”, the ego-tripping of “Stronger” and a beat that’s half-way between “Jesus Walks” and “The Takeover.” To Kanye’s credit, he’s rapping and rapping as well as he ever has in his career. Fans of Wayne, Drake and other millennial rappers whose talents lie in their ability to say emotional platitudes in tricky ways will be pleased. Unfortunately, West is still the abusive drunk guy at the end of the party yelling his merits and insulting everyone who doesn’t acknowledge how great he is. We get it Kanye: you’re so fuckin talented. Now shut the fuck up asshole, and learn how to take a joke without writing a shitty single about it. Oh, and while you’re at it? Lose the pompous, prog-rock synthesizer bridge too: apparently that sample ain’t the only thing you jacked from King Crimson.

MP3: Kanye West – “Power”

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