Kanye West: Black Skinhead
The opening 20 seconds of Black Skinhead – the wolves-are-coming riff, drums and Marilyn Manson quote – might be the aural representation of Yeezus’ ethos. The sounds are indelible, but Kanye West’s breathless, unhinged, slightly deranged rhymes steal their thunder.
Emulating and commenting on the idea of black man, and black superstar, and West the egoist, as “menace,” he’s “getting his scream on,” as he puts it, but also introducing the God / King / Demon persona that drives the album. (Even in this setting he can’t keep from throwing in bad puns / jokes, keeping alive the idea of West as stand-up comedian.)
Musically, the song well represents the build-up / rip down approach he took to the album. There are nearly 20 names credited with writing or producing the song, but there’s just one name on the marquee, and he likes it that way.