Kanye West: Black Skin­head

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC - — Dave Heaton

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.

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