Yeezusby Bob Perfect / 24.06.2013
By the time you read this, Yeezus would have been reviewed more times than everything Shakespeare ever wrote. Probably, I don’t actually know if that’s true. Anyway, the internet has collectively given a fuck about this album with everyone trying to either jump on Kanye’s dick or down his throat as quick as possible just so their opinion on the most hyped album of the year gets heard. The thing is, Kanye doesn’t care what you or I think of his latest attempt at greatness. You know when you create something that you’re gonna put out into the public, whether it’s a Facebook status or writing an article on the biggest album of the year, you get that voice in the back of your head that says, “should I really do this?” Kanye West doesn’t have that. He’s self-aware, self-conscious and self-obsessed but he does not know what it is like to experience self doubt, or if he does, he’s incredibly good at hiding it. He knows what he wants to do and if you like it, cool, if you don’t, fuck you cause you’re wrong, don’t you know that Kanye IS the nucleus?
It was that last statement that he made in The New York Times and seeing the live performance of ‘New Slaves’ on SNL that made me a believer in Yeezus before it was released, but now, after hearing it, I’m an atheist again. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just like the idea of the album, the themes and the aesthetic more than the music on the album. He intentionally makes parts of it difficult to listen to and fucks with the listener throughout, challenging you to give it another listen, to try to get why he threw certain sounds in or left some parts empty. Some of it sticks the second time round, some the third, some the tenth, but there are just parts of it that stand out as trying too hard.
For an album inspired by minimalism, it’s noisy, disjointed and at times, overwhelming. Qualities that I can definitely appreciate in music, Converge and Death Grips have found their way into my ears hundreds of times, but with Yeezus it seems like Kanye intentionally fucked with every song just to be contrary rather than because it worked. Or maybe I just don’t get it and I’m Yeezy’s 8th grade basketball coach all over again. (Seriously, read this interview.)
Because of Kanye’s status and size as a global icon, Yeezus will be (and has been) heralded as genius and boundary pushing, which, to a degree, it is, but I assume the people that read Mahala listen to plenty of music that goes far beyond what Kanye has or ever will do. Yeezus’s place is that it’s just so different from anything ‘Ye or anyone else in the pop game has done. It is an audacious undertaking because it’s from one of the biggest names in music and so the pop world will applaud it and lose their shit whilst the underground will shit on it until it’s uncool to like it and then they’ll claim it as a game changer. It will have an impact on music, make no mistake, “Yeezy season (is) approaching, fuck whatever y’all been hearing.”
Kanye is influential as fuck and everyone coming up is going to be on the minimalism train now, but I just can’t help but feel that if it was released by another artist, it might have found a small cult following, got a few blog posts and been an album that only a handful of people gave a fuck about and not the most talked about album in the world today. Kanye may think he is a God but there are no gods, he is just a man, a powerful, influential and intelligent yet fallible, flawed and imperfect man who put out a powerful, influential and intelligent yet fallible, flawed and imperfect album and that is what makes Yeezus worth listening to.