Monday, June 17, 2013

Black Skinhead

Song: Black Skinhead
Artist: Kanye West
Album: Yeezus

Tomorrow Kanye West drops his fast, loud, dirty, and anti-commercial sixth album Yeezus, and it's quite a doozy.  The album was mainly recorded and produced in Paris, where West worked with a variety of producers including Daft Punk, whom are credited with producing the first four tracks.  Rick Rubin did late production work on the album, taking the snippets West had done and pulling it into a conceptual whole in the last three weeks of production.

This is a big record to wrap your head around, and one I still need time with.  It is abrasive, angry, loud, and not made for the general public to "enjoy."  This alone, from an artist like West, is wildly interesting to me.  In an age of smash singles = relevancy, and even five months out of some kind of spotlight is too long... the fact that West has put out a record without a "single" in the conventional sense is a good one for a true artist, especially one tied to the pop charts to do.  But if you're making a record that touches on the current state of racism, white privilege, blistering takes on celebrity culture, hip-hop boasting, and the like... you can't just throw a "Gold Digger" in there for radio.

As "uncommercial" as Yeezus is, it doesn't fall into actually unlistenable M.I.A.'s MAYA territory.  The four Daft Punk tracks certainly form a starting act for the record, and bold new territory for West.  After, Yeezeus combines the auto-tuned electronics of his last "departure" 808s & Heartbreak, and the pitched soul samples that's become part of what, if anything, we can expect from West.

Again, I'm still listening... and feel that this is one that will unveil new layers, emotions, etc. with repeated listens.  This will not be an easy record, but there's a good chance you'll hear a lot about this record over the next few months and will most likely see it on quite a few year-end best lists.

You might hate him, but you can't fault his commitment.


Black Skinhead
Blood on the Leaves

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