Kanye’s a dick, but he’s bril­liant

CityPress - - Trending - Gugulethu.mh­lungu@city­press.co.za Al­bum: Artist:

The Life of Pablo Kanye West I don’t like Kanye West or what­ever ver­sion of him­self he presents in his mu­sic, in­ter­views and so­cial me­dia. He’s a dick and a misog­y­nist, and he gets away with it be­cause of how im­mensely tal­ented he is. Also be­cause he’s gen­er­ally de­grad­ing Black women and we know how lit­tle the world cares about us – oth­er­wise his “my bitch makes your bitch look like Pre­cious” (which was a new level of vile from his Cruel Sum­mer al­bum) would never have passed. Nev­er­the­less, Ye be­ing an in­suf­fer­able misog­y­nist doesn’t take away from his im­mense mu­si­cal awe­some­ness.

Kanye is bril­liant. He gave my favourite rap­per, Jay Z, his sound, and made Hova JayHova. That’s in­dis­putable.

Re­leas­ing The Life of Pablo (TLOP), Yeezy had the past to con­tend with. There’s the mem­ory of Yeezus (ar­guably the weak­est link in his discog­ra­phy), along with his bril­liance on My Beau­ti­ful Dark Twisted Fan­tasy (MBDTF), Grad­u­a­tion and Col­lege Dropout. Ye will for­ever be judged by his pre­vi­ous al­bums, which I think is un­fair, but such is life. It’s also a part of a fal­lacy that fans like to tell them­selves: “I want the old Kanye” – which, if they got, they would be up­set about. (“Why are you giv­ing me the same mu­sic?”)

Also, Kanye’s life is fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from when he made his past al­bums – most sig­nif­i­cantly, his beloved mother, Donda, is dead. We all know, be­cause he told us on Clique, a few years ago, that her death al­most pushed him to sui­cide.

So is TLOP any good? Yes. Is it the old Kanye? Not at all. Is it the al­bum of the year, as he tweeted it would be? Not by a long shot. How­ever, TLOP is still a good al­bum. Ul­tra­light Beam, the first of 18 tracks, is very spe­cial. I wish there were fewer guest fea­tures and more songs of just Ye. To call it a mas­ter­piece would be tak­ing it too far, but also in­sult­ing to MBDTF, be­cause that was pretty flaw­less. Also, Ye shouldn’t be mak­ing the same al­bum. He made TLOP. It’s not MBDTF, and that’s just fine.

The Life of Pablo is stream­ing on tidal.com, the stream­ing ser­vice West co-owns

PHOTO: CHRISTO­PHER POLK / GETTY IM­AGES

YEESUZ LIVES

In the years be­tween mak­ing a spec­ta­cle of him­self, Kanye West made some great mu­sic

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