I first heard Kanye when his song, Jesus Walks, hit the airwaves. His lyrics. Punchlines. And how he delivered his wordplay was just awesome. What this artist represented and how he came out with it was just out of this world. Personally, I felt like Tupac Shakur had risen from the dead (if you believe he actually died, you conspiracy theorists lol). I never got to listen to much of his work on the first album, but a couple of albums later, I think he came up with his greatest work to date. Graduation, this was an album that even today I relate to the songs on a personal basis. Despite the mainstream and commercial success of the album, it still left a mark in my life. It’s still on my top ten favorite albums of all time. I was pretty disappointed when he cancelled his concert back in 2013 here in Minneapolis.
His star has shone brilliantly since his first album but somewhere along the way, he let that stuff get to his head. Somewhere along the way, Kanye West lost his appeal to me as a human being. I felt like he started making tracks for the hell of it. Pulling publicity stunts that ten year olds don’t even think about.
Honestly, from Graduation, he felt like he had established the biggest brand in hip hop music and we had no choice but to go along with it and this wasn’t the case. Despite the fact that his fifth studio album really appealed to the masses and Pitchfork gave it a 10/10 rating which, for that time was really a huge feat and Rolling Stone gave it 5/5 stars, it still didn’t appeal to me on that level. The Kanye West I knew had lost himself somewhere along the way and I wasn’t feeling this new guy. Power was the only track in the album I could relate to from him.
His latest release, Yeezus, tried to pull me back to the guy I first listened to back then. I think the album is great. Black skinhead is by far the best track on that album – LOVE IT.
Anyway, I know artists should be dynamic and adapt to the ever changing market trends and Yeezy, you have to admit, has really adapted to take the industry by storm. And he has grown and diversified the Kanye West brand to fashion. He is one of the most prolific male fashion icons on the planet right now and well, you gotta give him credit for that.
He always has a way of pulling himself out of the ashes; dropping out of college, the serious car accident, the death of his mother.
He inspires and that’s what we all love about YEEZY, he reminded us that your dreams are only a leap of faith away when he dropped out of college to make his music dreams come true. And they did.
This is a great role model to look up to and learn so much from. Despite my criticism for most of his latest works, I have to admit that this guy is a storm of controversy and publicity that’s not gonna end anytime soon.