He is often portrayed as a joke for his tremendous ego and outrageous statements, not to mention his marriage, and yet his last four albums have all topped critics’ lists and received praise so lavish it borderlines on absurd.
‘Bound 2’ is so bad it makes you wonder if it’s bad on purpose. Kanye’s rapping, never his strongest suit, is just awful here and the production, always his strongest suit, is disjointed and unpleasant.
I like ‘Black Skinhead’ better than ‘New Slaves’ but I still don’t see how this is one of the best songs of the year. I think the brazenness of Kanye’s music, and the man himself, scores him points with critics. He doesn’t just make music, he makes performance art.
My 2013 recaps are lasting weeks into 2014. Next I’m going to take my annual tour through the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll, as comprehensive a consensus as you’ll find of how the “professionals” saw the last year in music.
I like that the Pazz & Jop poll comes out toward the end of January. So many “year-end” lists show up in mid-December, either missing out on late year releases (Beyoncé, anyone?) or not allowing ample time for everything to sink it. Whether or not you agree with the results, you can’t argue that the critics polled didn’t have time to consider their votes.
The latest “gotta see it” clip I’ve seen circulating is this video by a woman who quit her job at a video news site via a YouTube clip of her dancing to a Kanye West song.
Apparently she didn’t like the fact that her boss (whom she describes as a brilliant, great guy) valued clicks over clever content.