I have one. When you examine Kanye West, he's really not a great artist. Okay, he's great at one thing: sampling good soul songs for hip hop. He talks himself up as the greatest artist of all time, but last time I checked, there was someone named Prince and someone exists called Steve Wonder. Kanye can not sing, dance, play an instrument, read music, and he's not a great rapper. He needs a whole team of people to write his rhymes. So what does he do that makes him such a great artist? The only area of greatness I see is in his production. He particularly has a good ear for sampling great soul music, and that's where his talent lies, if you ask me. But it's something many producers like Just Blaze and RZA of the Wu Tang Clan are great at too. And RZA is a much better rapper than Kanye.
This is an interesting one that I have some general thoughts on, though nothing you said was incorrect:
Really, this is a guy who has at least 4 or 5 great records (at least?) and basically as perfect a catalog as anyone in the history of the genre. Like in the style of music, he would pale next to Wonder and Prince but - is any of that important either? I'm not so sure it is - he's using artist in the same way as a pop artist I think - i.e. he's major with sales and no one else can sell as much and has that artistic a catalog too. Like I don't think he looks at it more deeply than that.......and when he starts not selling........well, he'll be the Velvet Underground of Hip Hop or something. His sales enhanced everything else about him and those claims he makes - I sell a lot and I don't have to pander to do it etc.
This in some ways gets back into the Bob Dylan argument and what makes an artist - before Bob Dylan no one had to write songs. If you did great, but you didn't have to.........Sinatra didn't, Elvis didn't, it was only after Dylan in the widest sense that the guy who wrote those songs had to sing them really. (Not that he was the first but he was crossed genres and he was obviously a not for all tastes singer - at first "covers" of Dylan songs were common or even preferable.......... until people basically demanded that he had to be heard singing those songs and if you disliked it because of his voice, well you were wrong. That's why he's crucial, he changed that whole way of thinking.)
Kanye's great asset is in linking what he writes with what he puts out as himself - you almost can tell his lines specifically too. One of his greatest songs, New Slaves is a sort of a Kanye's greatest hits of individual lines that you can't imagine anyone else writing. The songs point is his point too or what you clearly recognize as "his". In general most rappers in his era seem anonymous in that larger sense or you have to look much harder at them to find what they represent at all.
His production is his great gift I agree and it's weird and weirdly his and to me his use of Rock is what separates him - I always bring up The Takeover but the the use of The Doors Five To 1 and it's huge, cavernous sound really changed a lot. He is also insanely sharp on Rock and Roll in general - you know Power using 21st Century Schizoid Man, the way he discusses Punk Rock and uses much of the same principles of outrage of it.
To me, if you really want an example of what he's like as an artist its by wearing the T-shirt of The Pop Group "She is Beyond Good and Evil" in the midst of his Taylor Swift stuff - how obscure and cultish and record store geeky is that?.......thats his genius .......I mean he's even sampling his own T-shirts
I can respect what you're saying. Me personally, I don't like every single thing Kanye's done, but the man can put a great-sounding album together. However, I put that down mostly to his impeccable production and sampling of good songs. He needs a lot of help to write his lyrics and I don't care for them anyway.
I was listening to Dreams by the Game, which is a song produced by Kanye. You can't help but love that song, but it's because Kanye used a great soul sample that sounded exquisite over the hip hop beat. If Kanye had put that on his own album, it would be hailed as a work of genius. I think that's a good example of what he's able to do as an artist. It's all in the production.
So I'm not denying the man is talented, but I don't know if I can rank him with the greatest artists of all time based on his skill at sampling which many other producers share. But that's me and I don't expect most people to feel the same. I just don't buy into the hype he has created for himself as THE greatest. But I have a high standard for that.
Post by urbanpatrician on Jun 3, 2018 18:09:22 GMT
-Linkin Park's "Numb" (RIP Bennington) is more powerful and anthemic than anything Arcade Fire has ever done.
-As cherry points out, Cyndi Lauper is a perfect specimen. I don't care if all my friends tell me to move on from such entry-level pop - it's not like I listen to her every single day; there's 45 artists I like more. Entry-level or not says nothing about the actual music - I think she's the standard in the 80s mainstream world - people praise Prince for the same reason. Why not Cyndi?
-Taylor Swift is talented and writes great songs. She only has 3 really really really great all time favorites, but whatever shortcomings she may have is made up by the fact that she's one of the 3 most beautiful women on the planet.
-The Beatles.... yawn. I don't care for them not one little tiny grain, and my last.fm shows 140 plays of them. I hope that's enough. If not one single play of those impacts me one little bit for such an accessible band, I don't know what more to do.
-Pixies.... lol. It's so hilarious to me how a band praised for being a serious influential act is reduced to a 3rd-rate karaoke band where people make a habit of playfully mocking that LalaLayla bullshit. Their stuff is just throwaway forgettable fluff, man. Just the most lol-inducing joke of an acclaimed band there is. If I want frivolity, there's plenty of artists that do it better. Starting with..... Britney Spears.
-Indie rock is cool - some of them. (not all) But it shouldn't be the only thing (certain) people listen to.
New Opinions: -Not sure what makes "Wonderwall" and "Iris" stand out as your girlfriend's favorite song. Not saying they're bad, they're decent to me, but what makes them stand out? But if you wanna get laid, say good things about those.
-Like with any medium, it took music a few decades for it to get out of the "development" stage. For most people, music started in the 60s. That being said, at least in the mainstream (known music), it was only the 80s when music got past the threshold. There were too limited an array of stuff released in the mainstream in the 60s-70s for it be considered a great period of music.
-I am not sure how The Velvet Underground could be considered classic rock. I could see it a little bit, but that drone almost certainly indicates that their sound was a bit different from their peers of the period. Not that they don't possess some "60s" sound which could possibly be considered classic rock... I guess.
-Led Zeppelin was the only good band of the major 4 or 5 classic rock bands.
-Metallica kicks the ass of the dad rock in the 60s and 70s. They made advancements to the model of the big psychedelic band. For Whom the Bells Toll holds up even today.
-Hawkwind > Pink Floyd. Lol...iknowrite: "who the fuck is Hawkwind?"
-Pop music reached the modern's definition of "pop" only in the 90s. Seriously. Even some of the most lambasted stuff is far more "pop" than anything before that. Or any of that R&B/Latin surge that came around after that in the early-to-mid-00s.
-Queen and The Smiths are quite listenable. They have great singles. But I honestly think The Cranberries capture my childhood fancies more. Maybe that's why The Cranberries are considered more "uncool," but despite the fact that The Cranberries have the youthful "started liking them when I was 8 back in the 90s" stigma, there's nothing musically they lack that makes Queen or The Smiths so much better.
-Singing about your pussy, sex, or your shallow sexuality is totally cool. And only really sensitive idiots would take offense to that, and automatically rule that out and vehemently show their disgust. Just like vulgarity has plenty of lovers in the film medium, why should it be hard to understand that some people may like those in music?
-People often like to go: "grunge musicians = suicide, and that's how they're all gonna go." And they do like to romanticize the grunge scene as equal to suicide and drugs. And so far, that's ringing entirely true with the death of Cobain and now Cornell, and and with Layne Staley dying from drugs... it seems it's easier drugs or suicide for those guys.
-Beach House is actually ok now after re-listens. Still...they're good, not great.
Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus subcommittee prize Investigation dance? Those ants in pants glances Well look behind the eyes It's a hallowed, hollow anesthetized "Save my own ass, screw these guys" Smoke and mirrors lock down
I'm not even a big fan of REM but this verse made my jaw drop when I first heard it. Fucking phenomenal lyricism.