Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kanye's new song: sh*t or not?

I figure I have a clue or two about good music. In fact one of my few redeeming qualities in life is my good taste in music. But musical quality is one of those things in life that are completely subjective. There is no empirical scientific theory that definitively proves that Mozart is superior to Britney Spears, or that Aretha Franklin is better than Crazy Frog.

Thus you get some songs that divide opinion, and Kanye West's "Love Lockdown" is one of those. Scan around the internet, and you'll find folks describing it as an innovative fusion of techno and R&B, as being daring, cutting edge, blablabla. I read someone saying he would play this to his girl in order to assist in getting her into bed. Or on the flipside, other folks refer to it as crap and unbearable. Personally I think its just about the whackest thing I have ever had the misfortune to hear. If this actually did help get someone into my bed, I think I would refuse to sleep with them just on principle. Unless of course they were saying, "Come on, let's shag, anything so I don't have to listen to this pile of steaming faeces."

Kanye has many good qualities, but singing is hardly one of them. His gratuitous use of auto-tune throughout the entire song is meant to be different and groundbreaking. Which it is, but only in the sense that conventional music is meant to sound good, and 'Ye breaks new ground in producing something truly awful. The first time I heard this on the radio, I felt embarassed for Kanye, in the same way that I felt embarassed for a girl in my grade 4 school concert who pissed her pants on stage. But I figure her pants-pissing had more artistic merit than Love Lockdown. Anyway, I have attempted to listen to it twice more on youtube, just in case I had been overly hasty in my dismissal of it. Unfortunately, I was unable to get through the whole song on either occasion without having the urge to blow my brains out.

Kanye has fallen off in a big way. He has been one of the best and most-imitated producers in hip-hop, and while never a great rapper, he has had his moments. His debut album The College Dropout is a true classic. His production work with Common, Jay Z, Talib Kweli, Alicia Keys and others has produced some magnificent tracks. But after that first album, his solo work has got progressively more “meh”, culminating in the totally, ass-sucking Love Lockdown.

Or could I be wrong? Am I past it, having no idea of what constitutes good music in this day and age? Am I a "hater"? (Hater being hip-hop parlance for anyone who is not totally on an artist' s jock.)
Maybe. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

2 comments:

  1. PREWORD: LETS NOT HAV A "MASS-DEBATE" over it! :)

    In my opinion, his objectiv was not 2 get laid. He's upset about about being heartbroken, and he's lockdown means he is afraid to trust or love again after being truly hurt. Hence the title of the Album, and nolonger using the LOGO BEAR FACE as on all other LPs. I give him 10-10 for this track, it keeps african roots with the use of tribal instruments, it's nu different, and innov8iv. Very catch chorus hook, and if u observe the body language in VIDEO he is lonely, miserable and kee[ping it real, expressing his true emotions through music. No pretense. Whoever said he's using it as a means to get laid, had misunderstood it.
    That's my opinion. And KanYe is still on top of his game, he keeps advancing, and improving his style, arrangement of intruments, and even took singing lessons to learn how 2 sing, so NeYo or Chris Brown doesn't have to express his feelings, but he gets to release it str8 from his soul. And audiences worldwide can relate to this. The use of NO snare drum, but consistent momentum when danced to, or relaxing enuf to chill to makes it very uneek and multi-functional. As for KanYe I feel what he's going thru, and not many ppl keep it real thesedays, they just put on a mask or hold a pokerface & sing whateva their labels wants them 2 sing about. KanYe is a phenomenal artist, and autotune aside, the effects he uses to N-HANCE his voice are uneek and not overdone. Y make music, when ppl dont even get the tip of the iceberg of what is making merely reasonable music, let alone fantastic, ahead of the curve. involved in composing, producing, raping in beat to the millisecond, as well as sounding good while doing it, and on top of that learning to sing. And in KanYe's case all while having a previously broken jaw, and overwheming expectations upon his shoulders to constantly excel beyond his previous work, while not sounding the same, but innovating to stay ahead of the game, for personal respect, and to keep max appeal, while keepin it real by expressing his true feelings and giving the world the privelage to relate to it- if the can. ONly to have critics, haters and others oppose and dispute his work, because they personally dont like it, is HEARTLESS. Back to Y bother making music, Just to have critics, ppl DL ur music 4 free so agents and labels can nolongeer afford to sign many nu artists, unless they hav another means of making money thru the person (eg. LOOKS or STREET REP, or WHATEVA MEANS)
    I've noticed that some ppl, tend to take longer to adapt to nu styles, and by the time they finally do the styles have changed again, like fashion, leaving such in vicious cycles.

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  2. Thanks Alan. I agree that Kanye is trying to bare his soul and also to stay ahead of the game by making music that is different to what everybody else is doing. I only wish he could make stuff that sounds good as well.

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