First Impressions: Is Kanye Trying Too Hard To Make A "Lady" Out Of Hip-Hop?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maybe I should retract the statement of me citing Kanye West having an "innovative" mind. In fact, "innovative" is a lazy word to use...I should just use the word, "entertaining" as that's clearly what the man is doing. Innovative is actually a stretch. And I was being sarcastic about him being "progressive". Why the spelling checking of word choices? Let me just say that sometimes artists take it two steps too far by trying to be too complex.... With 808's and Heartbreak fever in full-swing, music journalists and a bevy of celebs (relevant: Common/not so relevant: Jimmy Kimmel...to name a few) were on board for a listening party thrown by the rapper to experience all that is his fourth effort. What they got was a fist-full of auto-tune momentum and a bevy of naked women displaying some sort of "modern art" statement. The bevy of naked women is the current new Kanye BFF collaboration with artist, Vanessa Beecroft and she is slated to be the new "muse" for whatever artsy fartsy direction the rapper is going to with this project. While I'm all for someone de-crunk juicing hip-hop and buffing up some of it's ragged edges...but maybe Kanye is taking it a bit too snobby and of course leaning on being offensive. Living in my house, my mother was the art patriarch and her idea of art rubbed off on me...I don't mind nudity in it's artistic form, especially if it's done in a classy format, but I do mind when it's used as a spectacle, rather than actually meaning something. Obviously, Kanye and Vanessa didn't get that memo. While these two probably have egos the size of Jupiter, the question is that while Kanye is trying to make a "lady out of rap" it just seems that sometimes people can grow weary of being shoved tea and crumpets in their face when all they want is a Coco-Cola and some Pringles. Soul Bounce said it better and in fewer words than I, by citing that Kanye is disguising the fact of still bringing in the regular flimsy dressed video women of gangsta rap and trying to make it classier...yeah right.

On another note, Kanye's music may do the talking more than some of the bullshit spectacles that he's trying to convince everyone with. "Heartless" is the new song that leaked on 'Ye's blog, and it doesn't bring the grace and surprising nature of "Love Lockdown". With a Calliope sounding backbeat (yep, Calliope...) and of course the ever present auto-tune, "Heartless" isn't anything that we haven't heard from the ever lousy, T-Pain. Seriously, I thought it was T-Pain until I rechecked the title on the YouTube page. While it will no doubt catch on..."Heartless" is quite average for Kanye. Geez...who would've thunk the late great Roger Troutman (from Zapp) would spawn some evil twisted doppelganger known as auto-tune. "More Bounce To The Ounce" was ground-breaking, "Heartless" is just a small rumble...

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