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Kanye- A serious discussion on serious earth


Okay, a lot of you know more about music and whatnot than me so…Kayne…

Genius, right? Incredibly influential over the last decade, maybe THE most influential artist in pop and rap, right?

This is a different question than “do you like him.” I just asking “who has had a bigger influence on music in the last ten years?”

It seems like whenever Kanye does something Kanye people- most often chunky white people I’ve noticed- wade in to slam him, I always post that he may act like a jackass sometimes, but nobody has done more to shift music and its relation to the culture at large than Kanye. A lot of people think that this is crazy. I don’t (obviously) I feel like he has influenced everybody from Jay Z to Adele, has changed the very foundation of rap in a lot of ways and is really pushing the bounds of what it means to be an artist, but I’m also not a music guy, so I have trouble backing these claims up.

Thoughts, Millarworld? Go!


You might want to edit the thread title for clarity.

Rap/hip hop really isn’t my thing, so Kanye really isn’t for me. I didn’t think he was particularly great at Glastonbury (I watched the whole thing on tv, which is obviously very different to being there live), but I do like his Yeezus album (which I became interested in after I heard Lou Reed really liked it).

I’m not a music guy either so I don’t have a clue on who influenced what, but Kanye won a lot of Grammys, right?


I was kind of going down one of these lines of thought a few years ago with some friends who live near Chicago. I said something along the lines of, “His music is really great but he’s a bit of an asshole.” Then, one of our friends started to talk about how part of it was because of how he used to get made fun of because of how he dressed and how his mom’s death had affected him. She was going into some pretty big detail. Turns out she went to school with him and they used to hang out in his basement while he made music. I still think he drinks his own Kool Aid a bit too much but he is a great artist.


[quote=“KandorLives, post:2, topic:4891, full:true”]
You might want to edit the thread title for clarity.[/quote]

Not sure clarity is appropriate in a Kanye thread!

yeah. Sold a lot of records too. he’s the #3 highest selling digital artist in the last decade. he’s released 6 solo albums, all of which have gone platinum and the last five which have hit #1.


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the greatest albums ever made. I went in hating Kanye and feeling his output until then was not enough to get me past what a complete jackass he is. I tried to find anything at all wrong with it to prove he wasn’t worth my time. I failed. It spoke to me on a personal level more than nearly all the albums I’d heard in the second half of the ‘noughties’ and definitely more than any other hip hop album.

He’s still a jackass, but based on that work alone, he has my respect as a musician and songwriter. Sometimes people laugh when I say that, but that was me before I sat down and listened to that album in one go. It’s by far one of the best concept albums ever written. There is no loose change on it at all, everything is there for the whole of the album and for that narrative, the celebrity rap world and its excesses, successes and personal failures, there’s something incredibly down to earth and resonant with modern day life and how it relates to us as individuals.

Watch The Throne is pretty good but I think Kanye’s fifth is where he peaked in terms of his solo output.


Yeah, I’m not that into rap or hip-hop or even most modern R&B, either. I may have heard bits and pieces of a Kanye West song, probably, but I doubt I could tell you if I had. If he’s influenced anything I listen to, I really haven’t noticed. I recognize Jay Z, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce, more, but really I tend to listen to artists like The National, Regina Spektor or Death Cab for Cutie in the pop music arena.

A lot of it is probably due to his public persona. His personality repels me so I ignore him. On the other hand, I really like Mos Def/Yasmin Bey as an actor and public person, so that actually got me to listen to his music - so it works in reverse too.


I would love for everyone, especially the non rap/hip hop listeners here to give My Dark Twisted Fantasy a listen (a proper listen, concentrating with headphones, from start to finish) and write their thoughts in here. I’d love to know what other people make of it.

As I say, I went in trying to find ways to hate him and I can honestly say it’s my favourite album-listening experience.


The only song I know by Kanye is Gold Digger and I never never listened to it all the way through. If he has had an influence on anything I’ve listened to, I couldn’t tell you.


Todd and Miqque should fight for the title of grumpiest old man.


Just throw him in the closet and let them sort it out. Two grumpy old me go in, one grumpy old man comes out. Or sometimes two less grumpy old me come out. :wink:


His ‘pop’ output is nothing compared to much of his deeper album work. My Dark Twisted Fantasy is very far removed from it for the most part and uses it as part of the ‘in front of the stage curtain’ parts of the albums ‘story’.

The opening song uses Roald Dahl’s poetry and samples Mike Oldfield. It leads to a pretty spectacular album.

I really do implore you all to give it a go, it’s a fantastic and soulful album that any music lover would be hard pressed not to at least respect, if not love.

Edit: though it won’t stop you thinking he’s a compete jackass, either way, I didn’t.


Never heard one of his songs…

Well, maybe once or two on the radio or in a store. So, my only knowledge of him is through the news and the crazy stuff he does.


It feels like he’s out puffied P Diddy, However I think I’d give the title to Lady Gaga who I think has had a bigger musical and cultural influence. Though I blame Mumford & Sons for hipsters and think that’s probably the strongest cultural movement since hippies 40 years ago.


Adele cites him as an influence. ADELE!


I like some of the music, some of it is really good, but the rapping…except for a few examples, like Public Enemy I never really got that. To me Kanye is just talking over a piece of good music in an manner that is unremarkable.

As for influence, I have no fricking idea. Music that makes it to the number one spot is generally shit these days, so the most influential musician must be total crap.


The current “hipster” predates Mumford & Sons by quite a while.

Kanye’s undeniably a musical and creative genius. Not so much with his last album but each previous one has been a massive step forward in terms of tone and production, which established the new colour for a swathe of subsequent pop music hits.

The rap I grew up with and still love is the 90s “gangsta” rap, which is hugely problematic in a lot of ways - while Kanye obviously maintains the braggadocio of that era, he’s not fabricating stories about hustling, dealing and killing, he’s not homophobic, he’s comfortable with his sexuality and in his own skin.

Twisted Fantasy is indeed an amazing album, and comes with my highest possible rating, C+.

Here’s a sample by sample interrogation of just one song from it, album highlight “Power” (with a brilliantly deployed recurring King Crimson sample):


I have to say, Adele doing the rap from ‘Monster’ on The Late Late show there recently was pretty damn good. That verse of Nicki Minaj is probably thee greatest verse by a woman in hip hop history and Adele completely nails it.


Honestly, no matter what pop tunes you’ve heard on the radio, give Dark Twisted Fantasy a listen. It’s much much more than just a man talking over another person’s good tunes. Not only with how he utilizes the samples, but the actual content of what falls out of his, and his guests, mouths. It really is a far cry from Golddigger.


I don’t want to even post some of the tracks, they’re like spoilers to the experience. Runaway is epic, and when that Aphex Twin piano comes in on blame game, I figuratively melt, every single time.


For sure, but even someone who hates rap could watch that video and at least appreciate the level of craft that went into just one song, from a technical point of view.