Kanye West has been acting a fool long enough now that it’s easy to forget he released some very good music back in the day.
West’s second album, 2005’s Late Registration, remains the early pinnacle of a career that has gone off the rails due to West’s ego and (on a sadder note) his mental health issues.
Co-produced by Jon Brion, who Kanye discovered through his work on the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind score and Fiona Apple’s second album, Late Registration is still a great listen.
Has anyone ever been as simultaneously laughed at, despised and revered as Kanye West?
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.
These kids today with their viral videos.
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.
Whether you love Kanye West or hate him — and I can see plenty of reasons to do both — it’s hard to deny that the man has immense talent and that he has done more to change the face of modern hip-hop than any of his peers.
Much has been written about the emergence of so-called emo rap, and Kanye has certainly done his part to introduce themes of heartbreak, romance, depression and self-doubt into his music and therefore into the broader conversation about what makes a good rap record. His tear-soaked 808s & Heartbreak is rap Blood On the Tracks and, whether or not it “works” in any traditional sense, it’s very existence is noteworthy.