Published on July 8th, 2013 | by Mel Blunt1
Review | Kanye West – Yeezus: The Blunt Review
Yeezus is Kanye West’s epic deliverance of his latest 10 commandments etched on two digital tablets. As lightning strikes and the thunder claps he holds them skyward and forcefully proclaims “Thou shalt not ever-ever, ever-ever dream of defining me! I don’t even know who the fuck or what the fuck I am.” However, he left this CD and it’s cover blank. It’s a work that he’s leaving open to our interpretation.
As I listened to Yeezus the first time I began to wonder; is this Kanye’s middle finger up to haters, supporters, and the industry alike? Was it a mockery of today’s instant, thoughtless, and unfortunately ubiquitous stream-of-coonsciousness hip-hop that makes no attempt at substantive lyrical content or social commentary in the verses? Was it a quasi meltdown, or was it the Kanyikaze style death of auto tune in which he steers the plane directly into the FM radio tower to cause the epic crash and burn of the now commercialized-to-death recording studio effect?
Yeezus is a stew of emotion, ego, and perversion that makes the term shock-and-awe seem mild. This project is a more of a blasphemous, disturb-and-revolt lyrical offensive if you will. On this project ‘Ye decided to combine gruesomely, vulgar lyrics, with grotesque sound contortion and verses/bridges/tracks with perpetually morphing, amoeba-like structure. I think Yeezus is Kanye exploring music’s boundaries a la Prince post Purple Rain. The production is solid and daring.
This project is Kanye’s what do I do next moment. He’s already mastered the art of crafting stadium music, thus transcending mortal hip-hop artists. He sets the tone for American pop-culture. He fathered hip-hop’s new-cool school, most notably (and obviously) Drake and J-Cole, and possibly Lupe Fiasco and Kid Cudi. Yeezy is a sinister scientist working feverishly in the lab on an ambitious, diabolical new mission–World domination!
While ‘Ye has always included remnants of reggae music and Jamaican influenced vernacular, (see Jay-Z’s “Lucifer” or MBDTF’s “Mercy“) there’s a noticeable increase of such content in the formulaic equation that he concocted to produce Yeezus. This speaks to his ambition of striving for stronger yet organic international appeal. Also see the strong inclusion of Euro-production.
West still manages to drop a slew of Ye’isms; “And I know you like dark men/got more n***as off than Cochran,” from the opening salvo “On Site” sets Yeezus’ bold, defiant tone from the onset. To close the soft porn cut “I’m in It” he barks “y’all still ball in the D league, I’m speaking Swaghili.” On ” Hold My Liquor ” a dark depressing track featuring Chief Keef he warns “baby girl he’s a loner/baby girl he’s a loner/late night organ donor/after that he disown ya.” Not to be outdone, on “Black Skinheads,” the 80s rock anthem/throwback he spits, “I keep it 300 like the Romans, 300 B***hes where the Trojans?” 300 serves as the axis of the triple entendre.
This is not the type of project that can be easily digested and fairly summarized in one listen. A certain level of open analysis is required to notice what levers are being pulled by that man behind the curtain.
Reviewing this project is like diffusing a bomb: you must avoid the seemingly obvious, clumsy approach of rushing to judgement to rip it apart haphazardly; devoid of deft insight and observation lest you miss the essence of what sits there slightly out of focus, ambiguous, but not quite alien.
Kanye knows that he’s a savage beast of an artist who sits atop the Willis Tower live from Chi-raq, swatting ICBMs and SCUDs away like flies, amped up, roaring aggressively. And according to this listening from the gospel of Yeezus, he knows that he is your musical god.
Yeezus pushes boundaries, emotional buttons, and first-week units like nobody’s business. It’s Ye’s abstract shit, remember his move toward artsy album covers over his last few projects. The multifaceted sonic foundation is daring, lush, and voluptuous. Kanye lyrically gropes and fondles it throughout with lyrical ass smacks and probes while we gawk and how it undulates, jiggles, and bounces about. He goes gonzo on the tracks and us voyeurs, we can’t help but crane our necks, senses, and sensibilities to soak in each and every lurid detail.
Can I get a Ye-men?
Blunt Rating: Eight and one half out of 10 cigars, 8.5/10.
Powered by Facebook Comments