While we wait for Kanye to release his next album, Yandhi (“I'll announced the release date once it's done”), now is as good a time as any to remember the old Kanye. Whatever you think of him as a person, there’s no doubt that he has been through some trauma, most notably with the unexpected passing of his mother. He admits to having a mental illness, which is more common on the “genius” level of artists than we realize. Van Gogh. Edvard Munch. Beethoven. Brian Wilson. Kurt Cobain. Michael Jackson. All likely wouldn’t have reached the level of brilliance and creativity without their accompanying condition.
“The College Dropout” is one of the most critically acclaimed albums released in the past 20 years. This is the debut album from a then unknown producer who saved some of his favorite beats for himself. Lyrically, the album has spots of brilliance, overall uneven but always honest. You could tell he wasn’t playing a character; this was the real Kanye. This album is about bucking the system and making your own decisions, a message came across most clearly on “Spaceship”.
Brilliantly flipping Marvin Gaye’s “Distant Lover” into a track that sounds more gospel than R&B, Kanye enlists the help of GLC and Consequence to deliver the ultimate “quit your job” anthem:
“In the mall until 12 when my schedule had said 9 / Putting them pants on shelves, waiting patiently I ask myself / Where I want to go, where I want to be / Life is much more than running in the streets”.
The chorus speaks to everyone that knows there’s more for us out there. If we could just buy a spaceship and fly past the sky…
You can learn more about Kanye West here:
You can learn more about GLC here:
You can learn more about Consequence here:
About the Curator - Ben Young:
Ben Young lives a life of polarity. He has split his life between the coasts: half his life on the West (California) and half on the East (Georgia and Virginia). He has pursued careers in the art world (film school graduate) and the corporate world (executive with Fortune 500 companies). And he is Biracial, the personification of being two things at once.
Ben’s musical influences were formed by music loving parents, raised in a world of John Coltrane and John Lennon, James Taylor and James Ingram, Huey Lewis and the News and Prince and the Revolution. Saxophones, electric guitars, synthesizers, and breakbeats filled the air Ben breathed from birth. And being born one year after the birth of Hip Hop, Ben has been joined at the hip with the genre his entire life.
Check out Ben’s blog where you can get more recommendations on great music, presented from a Biracial point of view: www.khameleonkurator.com.