Monday, December 1, 2008

What A Numbskull

Whoever really made College Dropout: Better than Kanye.

Dude has blessed us with a 37-minute interview from New Zealand. This reminds me of the scene in 8 1/2 (classic 60s Italian movie), where this director is doing a press conference and fielding all these stupid faux-philosophical questions about the meaning of life that European journalists strangely like to ask their directors, so he crawls under the press table - and then I forget what happens. Except here Kanye's playing the role of the stupid reporters. Let me just go through this in bullet points.

  • 0:26: "I'm really delivering art in its purest form."
  • 0:37-1:00: Explains that he's had experiences that have led him to like the sorts of music he likes, muses that some of his fans haven't had those experiences, therefore failing to share Kanye's fine taste in white pop, therefore failing to like his album as it is rooted in said pop. "I have fans that don't like Coldplay!... I have fans that maybe forgot that they liked Phil Collins and liked Boy George!" What kind of experiences can make a person like Coldplay? Being raped? Seriously.
  • 1:25: Compares album to Christmas gift, says it's like expecting an 8-bit Nintendo and getting a 16-bit Sega. What's the 8-bit Nintendo in this analogy? A more melodic reprise of College Dropout? A collection of meditations on being in the closet like 'Love Lockdown'? Because I sort of thought that's where he was headed, and both would've been way better than this.
  • 1:45: Admits he could've "just dropped this as a mixtape." Quickly backtracks and claims the songs were so great he had to make it an album.
  • 2:18-3:00: Starts getting real delusional, says he thinks "there are songs on it that will affect culture," claims people will look back on the album many years from now and remember 2008 as the year of 808s and Heartbreak. Even specifically predicts that a year from now people will just be walking around singing "okay okay okay, you better stop it now." Randomly. He really thinks he has a Billie Jean on this album somewhere. Also reveals his non-autotune-assisted singing voice, which isn't so bad.
  • 3:30: New Zealander reporter asks if this is one of the last times New Zealand will see "Kanye the rapper, instead of Kanye the --" and then can't get the word 'singer' out of her mouth because he, ya know, isn't one.
  • 3:50-4:20: Says he still listens to old Wu-Tang when he's designing, but doesn't really listen to new rap albums "like that," doesn't memorize their lyrics (who does?), says maybe it's just because he's busy designing shoes for Louis Vuitton.
  • 4:40-5:10: Says his beats are sonic art, his concerts are performance art, his shitty Murakami liner art is art, the whole thing put together is like an installation - get your head out your ass.
  • 6:00: Says the 808's a "piece of shit," whole album was really done with the 909. I guess a lot of critics don't know what they're talking about. Certainly I don't.
  • 8:00: Reporter asks about his perpetually pushed-back clothing line. Kanye says he's wearing a piece from it; camera zooms back to capture his gray vest with shiny silver shoulder detailing. Kanye goes on to say that his clothes are being made with the intent to get girls to like their wearers - that vest is so not a good start.
  • 9:52-12:12: Reporter asks Kanye if he'd play James Bond. He goes off on an amazing rant about how he can't choose between an Aston Martin and a Maybach as his primary vehicle, says he doesn't want to be forced into an iconic mold like Bond, says he doesn't want to be Jesus, or Jesus-like, but rather, 'me-like,' and finally, claims that he and Diddy are the only two black men in the world capable of playing Bond because they know fashion. Dude, I'm sure there are plenty of other gay black fashion designers who could even be a bit more plausible as Bond because their mascot isn't a teddy bear and they don't exude beaten up in high school juice. Also, you over Denzel?
  • 12:35: Promises that in the future his pants will either be "extremely tight or extremely baggy." In other words, only extremely tight.
  • 15:56-16:23: Complains that while Diamonds has some "great lyrics" on it (no it doesn't, and see, I told you dude seriously thinks he's a lyricist), when he goes abroad no one gets what he's saying. Well no shit, some of them don't know English and those punchlines don't really make any sense. Goes on to say that people liked singing along to the hook on Can't Tell Me Nothing, decided he had to "make the whole song" like that hook, "make the entire album like a sing-along," apparently so his entire concert would turn into a sing-along fest. Because that's what good music is all about, easy comprehensibility and sing-a-longability.
  • 18:24-18:54: Says his idol is Jim Morrison. Says he is Jim Morrison. This explains a lot. (Also says the nice thing about going from rapping into singing is that he brings that rapper's swagger with him that "a traditional singer" lacks. Kells' singer's swag >>>>>>>>>>, more >>>>'s than this post is long: Kanye's rapping swag.)
  • 19:30: Says he'll be the biggest fucking star just like Jim Morrison, make the most sing-along songs, best songs in history. Look, Jim Morrison made one very good album and a bunch of mediocre ones, and even that one good album was fraught with embarrassing high school poetry lyrics. Just like a rapper I know.
  • 20:52: Says Beyonce is a living legend, as great or "probably even greater than Tina Turner." Maybe this is Kanye's problem, a total lack of perspective. Beyonce? Has she ever made a single great song? Has she ever done anything but this creepy, find a CEO and submit to him shit?
  • 21:20-23:30: Gets worse as Kanye goes on a bizarre rant about "a new regime of living legends," a regime that apparently includes Rihanna, Chris Brown, Coldplay, post-retirement Jay, himself, and Alicia (the first even okay name he's thrown out in this list). Claims he somehow spurred on the competition between these living legends by giving Rihanna performance tips, which carried over into her performance, which spurred on Beyonce, which spurred on Chris Brown, which... wait, why do people even think this guy is smart, because he puts really stupid shit in an articulate way? Anyway, then he says that the paparazzi is out to deprive these "living legends" of their "iconic status," has turned Wacko Jacko into a monster, comparable in the public imagination with Pres. Bush. No, I think Michael did that all himself. Wants laws against paparazzi.
  • 25:40-26:20: Reveals that he reads his blog comments and that the mean ones hurt his feelings (while the commenters on his dick make him feel really good inside). Says the best way to "stab me in the heart" is to write really short mean comments, as that way he'll read the whole comment before he can stop himself.
  • 28:50: Says Obama's election is the most important thing that's happened in American history since George Washington. With a straight face. Even if you look at things from a certain myopic racial perspective, wouldn't you have to roll with the emancipation of the slaves on that one?
  • 30:30: Randomly blurts out that he "loves Marc Jacobs so much" in the context of discussing America's stature in the world and the election of Barack Obama. Do you realize that Jim Jones, Diddy, Kanye, and Marc Jacobs are probably 2-3 degrees at the most from all sleeping with each other?
  • 32:50: Is asked why black people/rappers like Coldplay. His explanation is that... rappers like Coldplay. I would like to know the answer to this myself.
  • 35:50: Says there haven't been any albums in music in the past ten years to share the male side of breakups. Or at least, none done by "a masculine guy." Look, I agree that emo bands and Mario Winans aren't very masculine, but I sure don't see how you're filling that void either.
  • 36:25: Kanye shares some of the 'profound' ideas animating the album. Like how "money's a prison," or "fame is a prison," or how if he wanted to play catch with his imaginary son he'd have to go play on a small patch of lawn surrounded by "big fucking rocks and trees." Or you could just gate your own lawn. And that's it!


Jay (d)eff Kay said...

great find. i haven't watched the video yet, but if its anything like what you wrote, it'll be a total treat.

an extra-hearty lol @ your 21:20-23:30 rant: "claims he somehow spurred on the competition between these living legends by giving Rihanna performance tips, which carried over into her performance, which spurred on Beyonce, which spurred on Chris Brown.." I just picture all celebrities mentioned being these extra competitive ballerina kids in a mirror filled studio. lil kanye gives the whole ballet class an evil side-eye, before belting out streisand tracks in an operatic tenor. lil rihanna gets mad @ ye's spotlight and does a goth-y contemporary dance number. lil beyonce see this, gets mad does this extra mean bellydance. lil' little chris brown looks on enviously before executing a vicious caribbean wine and hip thrust in his tutu skirt

Badmon3333 said...

Dear sweet Jesus. This is the sound of a man so full of his own shit it's exploding out of his mouth. If what he's saying is true re: inspiring Rihanna, Coldplay, Beyonce and what-not... why is Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It" better than the entire '808s' album.

Oh yeah, I meant to ask about the 808/909 thing. I read that in a couple reviews, and I KNOW there are a bunch of sounds coming from Ye's album that my 808 replicator on Garageband doesn't have. Makes a lot more sense now.

The 808 is pretty much a piece of shit, though. However, some of the earlier models, like the TR-78, that Sly Stone used on the 'Riot' record have some real nice sounds on 'em.

Badmon3333 said...

Also, between the jacket that looks like it was designed by Stevie Wonder, the Fisher Price My First Sunglasses and the early-Theo-Huxtable haircut, this is very definition of 'retard chic.'

DocZeus said...

Good lord can I change my review of my album now? This reads like an Onion parody of a Kanye interview.

Did he really say that Rihanna, post-retirment Jay and fuckin' Chris Brown are "living legends?" No wonder his bitch left him.

tray said...

Yes, living legends. That's why I put in minute marks, so you can check this shit out and make sure I didn't make it all up. I mean, Rihanna... wow. She's a video model/jingle singer for Circuit City. A video model who goes on tour. That's ALL SHE IS!!! At least Ciara brought something a little different to the table.

Jay (d)eff Kay said...

"She's a video model/jingle singer for Circuit City."

Hey! Watch your mouth, punk.You're fucking crossing the line here Tray. Ridiculous! Rihanna is not MERELY just another jingle singer. She has a great hair do as well.

Also, she's probably fornicating with fellow living legend chris brown. and yknow what that means - teenage mutant living legend baby!blessed with all of rihanna's rugged masculinity and all of brown's nurturing femininity. and a forehead that will crush you into submission, hater

Also, beyonce's more of an icon than alicia keys will ever be imo (and not just because she got jay-z while alicia's closest steal has been freaking swizz beatz)- she's got the pazazz of a big popstar. and "crazy in" love counts for a single great song doesn't it? Whats the last alicia keys single you heard? Fallin'?

In other news, i actually watched the video this time around, and I gotta say, its such a great interview. Sure, all those hilarious moments you pointed to were there, but he was really engaging. Like, i watched all 37.10minutes of it without once getting bored. I gotta give him props for that.

tray said...

Jay isn't such a prize when you're already the richest woman in the business. I give her no props for bagging that. Surely the more respectable thing to do would've been to find some trophy model. Like would you respect a male billionaire for bagging Oprah? What's the point? Alicia, I mean, she's decent. All her stuff has its flaws, even something really great like You Don't Know My Name, lyrically she can be pretty trite, most of her songs run out of ideas halfway in, is she really much more than a pallid copy of the stuff she imitates, etc. but I think she's headed in a sound enough direction. Whereas B has never done anything for me musically, and what she's actually saying makes me cringe more often than not.

Jay (d)eff Kay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay (d)eff Kay said...

yea. well, i just mentioned it to point out that even if we were to judge them based on the men they bagged, beyonce would win. That's all. Not like there's any man out there going Beyonce got lucky by bagging Jay. Even if Beyonce was a starbucks employee, dudes would be like - jay, you lucky bastard.

I liked "You don't know my name" too, and she's arguably more of an original voice compared to beyonce, but i remember all of beyonce's singles, whereas alicia keys keeps treading further and further into forgetabble territory with every release. What was her last song? I dont eveeen knooowww its name. actually, no i do. superwoman? that james bond theme with jack white? i dont even remember how those both go.

tray said...

"No One, No One, No One, No One, No O-o-ooooooone" was a pretty huge hit. As was "Like You'll Never See Me Again." Both somewhat muzaky, but nowhere near as bad as Upgrade You, Get Me Bodied, Ring The Alarm, Deja Vu...

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

aw, tray, you're not a fan of lines like, "i can do for you what martin did for the people?"

beyonce is a moron (and alicia keys had a pretty great song with timbaland), but at least she doesn't go ranting in interviews about how great her writing is. i remember around the time late registration was about to get released, mr. tudda was going around saying that was the album he wanted people to say, "this dude's my favorite rapper." that's about the point where he lost me.

tray said...

I think all that crap is gross and excessively materialistic and regressive, gender-wise. The moral I generally get out of Beyonce songs is "slut yourself out to someone really rich, start a business partnership/sex slave relationship with him, fuck dudes who don't look like camels on the side if you can get away with it."

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

agreed, agreed. did you ever hear that song she did about how she wants her husband and unborn son (!!!) to be just like her daddy? talk about horrifying.

tray said...

Oh yeah, the unborn son! I forget which one that's called, but it was really creepy. I mean, I'm a misogynistic guy, a post defending Katy Perry's regressive gender politics is actually in the works, but she's too much. As is Nas whenever he raps about the opposite sex.

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

it was called, wait for it, "daddy." i think i'll have to continue to disagree about nas, "remember the times" is so, so great. but, i can't stand silly goose shit like "black girl lost" or "makings of"

tray said...

He rhymes urethra with speaker on that song. Sucking juice out of his urethra... Marvin Gaye playing on the speaker. No, Nas, no. Black Girl Lost, on the other hand, that's okay, I'm totally okay with being retrograde and shitting on slutty women.

DocZeus said...

I agree with Jesus on this one. "Remember The Times" is such a train wreck of bad taste coming from Nas that it somehow negates the grossness of it all. I feel the same way about "Dr. Knockboot."

Actually, this will probably expose both of our biases, Tray but if that song were coming from Cam'ron, I have a feeling that you would probably dig it. While I admittedly would want to throw up afterwards.

tray said...

But Doc, the difference is... the difference is a lot of things. A, Nas isn't Cam. There are things Cam can get away with that Nas can't. Imagine Nas rapping about computers putin. People would all say he's lost it. Similarly, Cam has a way of saying really misogynistic stuff like "dick on her nose, now she's cockeyed" without sounding like a perv. (Though you probably think he sounds like a gay guy who's overcompensating. Perhaps.) B, Cam has too little class to talk about Marvin Gaye coming out the speaker. He'd just stick with the urethra. Thereby avoiding the weird juxtaposition of anatomical descriptions of head and Marvin Gaye appreciation. C, Cam isn't gross like that. He has never talked about women eating his shit. Or "the night I drank my own urine, my own semen, with a .9 to my brain, but wait a sec, give me time to explain." I think if Cam did talk about urethras and shit-eating and drinking his urine I wouldn't like him as much.

ichlugebullets said...

"blessed with all of rihanna's rugged masculinity and all of brown's nurturing femininity"