Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Education Of Kanye West

A Moose Track

I admire Kanye West.

You look at that sentence. You see my reference to Kanye West in an admirable light, and you feel doubtful. A rapper? Who admires a rapper? Who sees a rapper as a positive influence in our society? And isn't he the one who was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine as Jesus with horns? He's the insanely cocky one, right? And didn't he get into a feud with another rapper?

Well, that last one doesn't count. It was merely for record sales. But all of the rest of the above statements are good arguments for why Mr. West would not be a role model. They're just ignorant ones. Kanye is one of the most original artists that we've had in a while, and he might be the most original that I've seen and heard in my lifetime.

First of all, his music is awesome. Great rapper with meaningful lyrics (well, most of the time), creative synths and production along with a good singing voice. Yes, I liked 808s And Heartbreak. But I own all of Kanye's musical work, and it's all great in my eyes. But, aside from his musical side, he is still an admirable person.

He is not afraid to take risks. This is the big one. He doesn't care what other people think, he wants to do what he wants to do, and he isn't fazed by the media, critics or anyone who doubts him. And this is the admirable part, whether he gets into trouble for it or not. I'm not saying that I'm patterning my behavior after his, after all, he is undeniably pompous and, well, cocky. But that is what sets him apart; he's confident.

I originally got the idea for this piece while I was listening to All Falls Down from The College Dropout, when a certain lyric really got my attention. I walked over to my desk and wrote it down, because it really provoked my thoughts and I felt like I could relate.

"We're all self-conscious, I'm just the first to admit it."

This is truly an admirable statement. And, it is a trailblazer for others to admit the same thing. The people who are self-conscious (which would be, ahem, everyone) can now admit it without fear of being ridiculed, because Kanye said it. Maybe that's not how people should run, but that's how it goes. I used to think that I was the only one that admitted that I was self-conscious, at least to myself. Because he's right, huh?

Kanye takes risks with everything that he does, communicating his thoughts in every last one of them. He's so open, not afraid of what other people will think of him. Some people see this as pompous and cocky. I see what these people mean, but most of what I see of it is bravery. True, this man is very secure, and he could very possibly be too secure. But that's the appeal of Kanye. Here's another one of Mr. West's thought-provoking quotes.

"Nothing in life is promised except death."

See it one way, and it's pessimistic. See it the way that you're supposed to see it, and it's an entirely different quote. The pessimistic way is that "oh, we're all doomed for death. Boo hoo." But what he's talking about is, go after your dreams. I know, I know. Sounds corny. I know what I'm typing. Nobody can tell you that you can't do something. Of course, maybe I'm interpreting it wrong. Maybe he's remarking that people can back out of their promises, like what his former fiancee did in the past year.

Kanye West does not lack humor, no matter how it's intended. Sometimes it sounds cocky (I'm saying that too much), but funny is another thing to describe the following.

"If y'all (are) fresh to death, then I'm deceased."

Kanye West is truly an interesting man. I don't admire all of what he stands for or all of his actions, but I think that we can all learn a thing or too from him.

Or maybe we're just too self-conscious to admit it.



BET said...

Kanye West doesnt care about Moose people

Moose said...

Do you mean, "Kanye West doesn't care about people, Moose"? Or does he not care about me, BET? :)

BET said...

it was a classical play on "George Bush doesnt care about black people" which was a Kanyezee quote. Know your facts fact knower

Anonymous said...

Moose. Wow. I don't know how you do it, but you guys (and you in particular) are downright prolific. Every time I drop by here there's a bunch of interesting updates.

And Kanye is great. He's really special in that he challenges people to challenge him, he breaks moulds. As much as people criticize his lyrics, call him mainstream or whatever, the truth is that his songs, coupled with the way he carries himself, means something to everyone. It's hard not to be a fan.

AR said...

I wonder does Kanye actually believe that he's the first to admit to being self concious?I bet he does.

I used to like Kanye,I guess I kinda still do,I mean I always thought he was a bit of a tool(he's only gone on to prove me right),but the music was good and was probably one of the best debut albums in hip hop history(Illmatic,Liscensed to ill etc).I even went to see him live,looking back,the show was pretty terrible and shoddy with DJ problems and Kanye himself didn't put much into it.I didn't care at the time though,I loved it.Then he dropped Late Registration(it's almost a 10/10 in my book) and I was shocked at how good it was.

This was also about the time the vein,materialistic,childish Kanye started to appear and bored me.Then the steaming pile of shit(ok,that's a bit much)called Graduation came out,it bored me more.I'll only listen to T-Pain on comedy albums.Also,Kanye is only original in the context of mainstream hip hop which sucks anyway,so that's not saying much.You've all been listening too much to Kanye about how good Kanye is.

I am looking forward to see what he does with the Blueprint 3,though.

Zee said...

Haven't listened to Kanye lately, but College Dropout was a dope album. The last song on that album where he chronicles his past struggles and how they turned into his current success was awesome. He's a progressive thinker, I will give him that much. Hopefully The new Blueprint album is dope. I still think Just Blaze was the better in-house producer for Roc-a-Fella back in the day. Kanye got over on those sped-up soul samples.

Anonymous said...

"My friend showed me pictures of his kids
And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs
He said his daughter got a brand new report card
And all I got was a brand new sports car"

Kanye is an amazing lyricist and def a pioneer in the music industry. To anyone who thinks being a celebrity is all that, just listen to "Welcome to Heartbreak." Great piece Moose

Moose said...

@ BET: Of course I knew that quote. I just didn't put two and two together. I didn't read it right. I just assumed you left out a comma :).

@ Joel: Thanks a lot, man. I agree.

@ AR: Yeah, he is kind of a tool sometimes. I'll have to wait some years to see if I still like him, based on your comment.

@ Zee: Thanks for dropping by. I agree, again.

@ Baconator: True that.

Teddy-the-Bear said...

Moose, I respect that you like Kanye, but he's killing hip hop. 808's and heartbreak? Voice synth? Emo skinny jeans? Copying Andre 3000? Yep, its true.

Collin said...

yea, I love Kanye, second favorite rapper after T-Pain.

@Moose, I finnally got ish 127 of SLAM last week. congratulations on gettin in the mag, hopefully I can do that sometime.

Moose said...

Thanks, Collin!

bet said...

"Yes, I liked 808s And Heartbreak" your review suggested otherwise...

Moose said...

BET, I also left some updates in the comments section there. Yeah, I liked it, after I listened to it a lot more. Now I love it. Funny how that works.

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