Now that Kanye West has made the cover of Time magazine (I wonder if he made them pay for the interview…) I guess it’s official. He’s literally and figuratively the posterboy of hip-hop. Now, I will not deny that Ye can maka a hot track, but he is just not as hot as the world is making him out to be.
As a producr: brilliant? The initial forays into sped-up soul beats were fantastic, but that can only hold up for so long before it gets old. Actually, it’s already old, and he’s oversaturated the market with himself. The same thing happened to the Neptunes until Chad and P took a step back, reevaluated their game, and laid off the the heavy guitar and falsetto hooks for a minute. His beats are still fire for the most part, but he’s on the edge of tired.
As an MC: please. Kanye has got to have the clumsiest delivery ever. He’s been doing the “international asshole” shtick since he came out the block, and he shown himself to be incredibly one-dimensional. Kanye at first seemed like an intelligent guy with a lot to say, but he’s just been saying the same freshman-year shit over and over again. None of his lyrics are especially deep or elucidating; he reminds me of the guy in college who was smarty-art in high school, comes into a 300-level English class like he knows something, and gets played by the upperclassmen who let him know in so many words: we went through all that last year. Diamonds from Sierra Leone… okay, how many years ago was it that the Rhodes Scholar declined his awards because of Cecil Rhode’s shady business practices? I guess Kanye was too busy digging in the crates trying to finance his first Jesus piece to catch that news blurb. His lyrics make me laugh when they’re supposed to, yes– but his great “message” is nothing that hasn’t been said and said again by other emcees over the years.
So no, I’m not going to spend my hard-earned $13 bucks on Late Registration; I’m still smarting from the dissapointment of College Dropout. Will I download most of the tracks? You’re acting like I haven’t already. I’d just love it if the real artists who are on some real shit (Kweli, Jean Grae) could catch a break in the mainstream media like Ye has… but that is obviously asking too much.